President’s Report

President’s Message
For the period July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022

This past year was our 21st year of ownership of Valley Falls Farm.  In 2022 we also celebrate our 50th anniversary as an organization, we invite members to help us celebrate.

We started the fiscal year in an upbeat spirit as Covid restrictions began to lighten, and we looked forward to cautiously welcoming the public back to the Farm.  We thank you, our supporters for your continuing support during this difficult time.

During this fiscal year we had a wake-up call.  Three members of our Board of Directors became ill and had to retire from their responsibilities.  The need to initiate a succession plan and to hire a part-time executive director was clear.  Through the Vernon Volunteers Collaborative, we knew the Strong Family Farm was in a similar situation.  We worked with Nancy Strong and created a full-time executive director position, half time with each organization.  To date, this collaboration has worked very well.  Laurie Bajorek was hired by both organizations to assist with grant work, succession planning, and on-boarding an Executive Director in the future.

In addition to hired assistance, we were pleased to welcome new Board member, Bruce Dinnie, retired director of Parks and Recreation for the Town of Vernon.  Bruce’s background and knowledge of Valley Falls is a huge asset to the Board, we couldn’t be happier that he agreed to join us!

We welcomed about 80 visitors to a successful Artists Day in October 2021.  The event was rescheduled from August due to a hurricane.  Luckily the weather in October was perfect and we enjoyed an afternoon of music, history and art–all in a beautiful setting.

We continued our focus on maintaining the historical integrity of Valley Falls Farm, and keeping the most scenic corner of Vernon in ship-shape condition.  Our major expense was the installation of a security system and lightning rods in the stable.

We thank our members who volunteer their precious time for the Farm, especially the Vernon Garden Club and Betty Wardrop for maintenance of the herb and flower gardens, and Ron Levesque for weedwhacking, tree work, and willingness to help whenever needed.

Moving forward, we are in the final stages of installing the exhibits in the Heritage Center.  It has been exciting to see it take shape after years of repairing buildings, sifting through old barn contents, and diligent research.  We think you’ll be pleased with the results!

Respectfully submitted,
Maryann Levesque, Vice President