2007-02-13 Ambler Environmental EAC Minutes

Ambler Environmental Advisory Council   –   Minutes of Tuesday, February 13, 2007   


Attendance:     Members:     Jeremiah Couey, Chair

Susan Curry

Kimberly Koczan-Flory

Peg Williams  [Absent – Snow]

David Morgan

Rich Palumbo  [Absent]

Charles Stewart

Associates:   Judy Baigis (Planning Commission)  [Absent – Snow]

Ron Ayres (Shade Tree Committee)

Visitors:       (None)

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

1.  EAC Appointments:  Rich Palumbo was appointed to the EAC by Borough Council on Dec. 18, 2006 and Charles Stewart was appointed on Jan. 23, 2007, thus bringing the EAC to its full complement.  Congratulations and welcome to Rich & Charles

2.  Minutes of January 9, 2007 (R. Ayres, S. Curry, J. Couey, 02/11/07) were distributed and approved, with a minor clarification that “recycling” will be a component of the post-planting cleanup on April 14.

3.  Meetings and Borough Liaison Calendar & Coverage:

∙  Thursday, February 15, 6:30 pm at Upper Dublin High School Auditorium – Free screening of “An Inconvenient Truth”, followed by discussion of Global Warming at 7:45 with local and state officials (sponsored by Upper  Dublin Environmental Protection Advisory Board).

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

∙  Thursday, February 22, 7:00 pm at Susan Curry’s – Tree Tenders.

∙  Tuesday, February 27, 7:30 pm – Planning Commission:  Charles attending

∙  Monday, March 5, 7:30 pm – Borough Council Subcommittees:  David attending to finalize March 20 HTN.

∙  Saturday, March 10, 8:30 – 2:30 at American College in Bryn Mawr – Annual Penna. Environmental Council (PEC) EAC Conference:  Susan, Jeremiah, David (&Tim?) Morgan, Charles to attend (EAC can reimburse $10/member        fee);  Susan will forward info to Peg and Rich;  Kimberly is checking her schedule.

∙  Saturday, April 14, 9-12 – Tree Vitalize Planting, Knights Park etc (Tree Tenders, EAC meet at 8:00 am)

∙  Saturday, April 28, 9-12 – Wissa. Stream Cleanup, start at Trax Cafe (EAC meet at 8:30), Kimberly coordinating.

4.  Temple-Ambler Earth Fest – Friday, April 20, 9:30- 2:00 (rain or shine):  Susan will inquire whether Tree Tenders of Montgomery County would be interested in staffing a booth with the EAC ($50 for table and Easy-Up cover); interactive activities would be needed for school-age children.  David suggested water issues;  Susan will follow up on obtaining materials;  Charles will check his schedule.

5.  Borough Meeting Reports:

Borough Council:  Susan and David reported.  The Tree Vitalize planting was brought up.  Council is very supportive and many members committed to attend.  It became apparent to Council that coordination details need to be finalized and a meeting will be arranged by Anita Pieri late some afternoon ( 3:00 ~ 5:00) in the next two weeks.  David and Ron offered to attend if possible.

Planning Commission:  Jeremiah reported.  Regarding the Station Square/Boilerhouse developments, a request to reduce the 10′ requirement between a proposed road and the railroad to 5′ was approved by the PC.  There was concern that this would compromise the viability of trees in the remaining 5′ space, however with a continuous 5′ wide tree pit available, there would be less of an impact.  Additional green space is being provided as a result of redesigns.  Regarding the shared retention basins, although water could only be shared in one direction and solutions were being considered, the PC approved the plan in general.

6.  EPA BoRit Asbestos Presentation (Jan. 24):  Kimberly and Susan reported.  The Fall “raking” tests (simulating a child playing or landscape maintenance) resulted in easily detectable, visible amounts of asbestos (“dust”); the amounts collected in respirators were within acceptable levels, and no asbestos was observed outside the site’s border fencing.  Testing in three other seasons is scheduled.  The EPA is assisting in formation of a Community Advisory Group (CAG).  Sharon McCormick is taking a lead role as a concerned citizen in activating the group.  Kimberly distributed pink brochures about the formation of the CAG.  EPA desires to have an EAC member on the CAG – Charles was interested and will email Sharon;  Jeremiah will convey the opportunity to Peg and Rich.

7.  EAC Budget Update:  Jeremiah circulated the approved 2007 EAC budget summary presented to Borough Council and a Projected Tree Vitalize Budget.  Many had not seen the 2007 Budget Summary, and copies will be distributed.  The Tree Vitalize Budget projects $1,650 will be available to complete the planting and purchase tools and equipment.  Minor adjustments to this amount are anticipated.  Cash donations from the Artman Lutheran Home and Ambler Kiwanis were celebrated;  $750 has been collected so far from Borough residents for cost-sharing fees.

8.  EAC Review of Development Plans:  The EAC continues to work toward maximizing its potential benefit to Ambler Borough by becoming a routine partner in reviewing development plans.

9.  EAC Member Packet:  Jeremiah, with assistance from Susan, will attempt to put together a packet for new (and old) EAC members (including the EAC Handbook and other materials).

10.  Standards for Lighting:   Kimberly is interested in having the EAC pursue standards for lighting in the Borough that would, among other things, limit direct light from high point sources infringing upon residents’ privacy in their homes.  Kimberly has a sample ordinance and materials that she will circulate.

11.  Tree Vitalize Planting (April 14):  (Susan reporting, generally)

∙  Tree Banner:  Final proof was circulated.  The banner will fly at Ambler Savings from March 15 – April 15.

∙  Artman Home – “Watergator” Purchase:  Artman Home has offered to provided funds toward purchasing “Watergators” for park tree watering during periods of establishment.

∙  Ambler Kiwanis Assistance:  Ambler Kiwanis has generously offered to purchase two water “buffalos” for the Tree Tenders that would transport water to tree locations.  Kiwanis also will donate $500 toward the event.  A Kiwanis member offered the availability of 2 trucks for transporting trees on or before April 14.  A backhoe is also being pursued by a member.

∙  Other Trucks:  Stu Suttor and Jeremiah also offered trucks;  Mark Clemmont will provide a low-bed trailer (critical for tree movement) that Jeremiah can attach to his truck.

∙  Recycling Exhibit:  David is interested in a recycling exhibit / demonstration at the event.

∙  Mini-Grant Applications:  Susan requested that the min-grants come in within 2 weeks.  Susan has one from the Girl Scouts.  David will need to assist with Church of the Brethren and Library as soon as possible.  Food is not an acceptable item under the mini-grant and thus will be funded through other means.

∙  Monduck Girl Scout Service Unit:  The SE Pa. Girl Scout Council has urged a “Girls Go Green” environmentally-oriented event to celebrate its anniversary.  Our tree planting event was raised as a possibility, along with a flower bulb planting coordinated with Plant Ambler (Bernadette Dougherty has a bulb source), WVWA trail making on April 14, and WVWA stream cleanup.  With the possibility of 200-400 girls aged 5-17, the EAC was opposed to including them on the April 14 tree planting.  Other ideas are encouraged.

∙  Local Match:  In-kind contributions, e.g. volunteer time, are primarily used as local match.  Julianne Schieffer (Urban Forester) reports that $18/hour is the equivalent value of a tree planting volunteer.

12.  Home Town News (HTN):  David reports an issue is planned for March 20.  It will include (1) an interview with Julianne Schieffer on tree care tips and suggestions, (2) county hazardous waste disposal dates, sites, and web link, and (3) the April 14 tree planting event announcement.  David will circulate draft text.

[End]                                                                                                                         [R. Ayres, Susan Curry,  02/15/07 ]