2007-01-09 Ambler Environmental EAC Minutes

Ambler Environmental Advisory Council   –   Minutes of Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Attendance:     Members:     Jeremiah Couey, Chair

Susan Curry

Kimberly Koczan-Flory

Peg Williams  [Absent]

                                            David Morgan  [Absent-Prior Commitment]

Rich Palumbo

Associates:   Judy Baigis (Planning Commission)  [Absent]

Ron Ayres (Shade Tree Committee)

Visitors:        Charles Stewart (in process of approval for EAC seat

Next Meetings:   Tuesday, February 13, 2007,  7:00 – 8:30, at Borough Hall  (usually 2nd Tuesdays, 7:00-8:30 PM)

Welcomes and introductions.   

1.  Minutes of Dec. 12, 2006 (S. Curry, J. Couey 12/13/06) were distributed and approved (with minor revisions, spelling).

2.  Meetings and Borough Liaison Calendar & Coverage:

∙ Tuesday, January 16, 8:00 pm – Borough Council:  Jeremiah and Charlie

∙ Thursday, January 18, 7:00 pm – Tree Tenders @ Susan Curry’s

∙ Tuesday, January 30, 7:30 pm – Planning Commission:  Jeremiah

∙ Monday, February 5, 7:30 pm – Borough Council Subcommittees:  Rich, Kimberly, Charlie possible

∙ Tuesday, February 13, 7:00 pm – EAC Meeting

∙ Tuesday, February 20, 8:00 pm – Borough Council:  Jeremiah

3.  Borough Council January Organizational Meeting:  Sal Pasceri was voted by Council to fill the vacant Rick Taylor term (no other nominees).

4.  Ridge Auto Buffer Trees / EAC Recommended Lists:  Ridge Auto is receptive to advice on tree species, best foliage for a tree buffer.  Susan may redistribute electronic version of invasive list.  The Ambler Planning Commission (PC) approved the additions from the EAC invasive species list, and will incorporate county-approved buffer species in with the EAC Recommended Tree / Shrubs for Ambler Properties in order to compile a new list of acceptable species. Susan will forward the recommended list to Ridge Auto via Vince.  Jeremiah will also approach Ridge Auto through the PC.

5.  WREN Grant:  (Water Resources Education Network grant from the League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania) Susan Curry summarized the current status:  There are 5 deliverables, with $ 5,000 available on a reimbursement basis.

A)  Pamphlet for Streamside Property Owners:  The prototype Green Valley Association brochure needs to be adapted to Ambler; Susan will incorporate feedback from EAC members.  Hand delivery to streamside property owners by EAC members at the end of February will encourage property owners signing up for the free riparian buffer evaluation.  At the Feb. meeting, Susan may offer training on how to approach homeowners. Susan suggested that the first consultations will get other neighbors interested. Homeowners will be asked to make a pledge (to be developed).  The Wissahickon Valley Watershed Association’s (WVWA’s) development director might be interested in finding funds for additional printing of the brochure for their use and distribution.  Handouts to be given at time of the consultations will include a FAQ sheet;  DO’s and DON’T’s, and Morris Arboretum’s “25 Ways to Protect Your Stream and Streamside Property.”

B)  Evaluation Surveys:  Twelve of 113 pre-survey postcards were received back. EAC will likely attempt to get more surveys completed during the delivery of the brochure or at the beginning of the consultations.

C) Tree and Streamside Consultations:  There will be approximately 12 consultants – 6 for tree and 6 for streamside evaluations, with enough leads at present.  Susan suggests a pre-meeting of consultants (who will be paid for time per a time sheet).  The evaluations should occur March-April-May and finish by mid-June.

D) Tree Banner:  A tree symbol is desirable for the banner.  Numerous ideas were floated, e.g. “Planting a Legacy of Nature”.  Susan will take the current ideas, as revised slightly tonight, to the printer for a draft design.

E) Earth Awareness Day Event:  This event at Wissahickon Middle School can be a simple hour of focus on the environment or varied activity over a period of time, with many materials available.  David, Susan, and Kimberly will continue to share materials with Dan Mulholland and encourage final selection of activities.

The EAC allocated $100 from its 2007 budget to support Earth Day Awareness at Wissahickon Middle School.

6. TreeVitalize Grant:

a)  Tree order is expected to be sent to DCNR tomorrow:  There will be 15 bare root trees arriving in mid-March, to be planted by the EAC and Tree Tenders.  An additional 65 trees will arrive prior to the April 14 tree planting event:  19 large B&B trees for the parks, plus large containers, small and medium B&B trees for homeowners.

b)  Ambler Borough Public Works training will be scheduled by Susan with DCNR forester Ralph Campbell.

c)  Homeowner Packets:  Jeremiah described the content he is drafting.  There will be 9 Tree Tenders (of 10) available on planting day, assigned to Tree Captains to clustered locations throughout the Borough.  Tree Tenders will approach homeowners beforehand with packets including preparation for planting, what has to happen (e.g. marking tree location, PA 1-Call procedure), volunteers opportunities, map of local grouping (with tree tenders name/contact/other info), How to Plant B&B Trees, Why Care About Trees, EAC info, Caring for Trees, coupon for obtaining a $25 rebate on another tree purchased from a local nursery.  Additionally, a Mini-Planting Guide from Tree Vitalize and a Tree Tenders “Agenda” drafted by Jeremiah (which he will circulate), includes timetables etc. for predigging, PA 1-Call (which will be handled by Jim Wack of the Borough), homeowner trainings on tree care (April 9 & 13 evenings, 7-9 pm at Borough Hall).  More info on caring for trees will be provided at planting.

Volunteer opportunities include:  trucks and (low) trailers for tree delivery during the week prior to and on Saturday April 14, tool loan, photos before/during/after, registration, hot/cold drinks and food, lunch, bathroom locations, first aid, cell phone/communication, post-trash collection, mulching/watering, and becoming a tree tender.  Susan distributed draft poster for “Volunteers Needed for Shade Tree Planting in Ambler”

d)  Ricciardi Park Soil Analysis:  Jeremiah is researching soil analysis in an attempt to determine possible causes of tree failure at Ricciardi.

e)  Combined Event with WVWA:  Susan has met with Bob Adams, Stewardship Director at WVWA, regarding  tools to borrow, and learned that WVWA has scheduled an April 14 PM Trail Making event at a new Prophecy Creek preserve. WVWA proposed a combined April 14th event, that is, separate events, with combined publicity, and a joint lunch at Knight Park (where parking, the symphony, and ready accessibility for the community are available).

f)  Pre-Delivery Tree Care at Borough site was noted as unsettled.

7.  2007 Stream Cleanup, Saturday April 28th, 9–12, meet at Trax Cafe (EAC meet at 8:30), will be organized by Kimberly.


[End]                                                                                                                                       [R. Ayres + SC, 02/11/07 ]