2009-06-11 Ambler Environmental EAC Minutes

Ambler Environmental Advisory Council
June 11, 2009, Boro Hall Conference Room
6:30 pm to 8:30 pm

Members present: Candace Kanaplue, Susan Curry, Susan Johnsson, and David Morgan. Absent: Sigi Koko, Skip Kershner (daughter’s graduation), one vacant seat. Associate: Judy Baigis

1. Plastic Bag-Free Ambler
Sigi hasn’t had time to order the canvas bags or request assistance. Susan C. mentioned the hemp bags from Doylestown might be a low enough price, if we can get the printing inexpensively too. Lower Gwynedd School is including acknowledgement of their art contest winners in an awards assembly June 17 at 2:00 pm. Susan J. informally researched prices of canvas bags sold in a vacation city – they weren’t selling at $6.50 to $14.00 – it was believed that $5.00 would move them better. Susan C. shared the Ambler Gazette article on the art contest.
• Judy Baigis will inquire of Jackets and Things if they would imprint 25 bags times four designs at what price, and how quickly and tell Susan C.
• Susan C. will check on prices for printing by Insignia, and find out if the hemp place will sell us 100 bags to start.
• Sigi will contact school principals to find out what is the normal price range for items for sale at school fundraisers.
• Sigi will create a standardizing border for all four designs.
• Sigi will front the approx. $500 cost and be reimbursed from sales or the EAC budget
• We will design an order form to use to learn how many additional bags to print –in minimum orders of 25.
• David and Susan J will contact the Home and School groups at the schools to find out when other fundraising events/tables will happen next year for bag sales. School starts August 31.

2. Joint Action by EACs of Wissahickon Watershed
Clean Water Fund has read Ambler ordinances, and has scheduled a conference call with Jim Dougherty and Susan Curry to discuss room for improvements. Upper Dublin EAC asked to meet with Ambler EAC members to look at sites for a joint municipal stream restoration project. Apparently, the bolsters placed across Rose Valley Creek in Borough Park were removed. Next Joint EAC meeting June 15?
 Wes Horner of Clean Water will phone Gilmore Associates June 24 around 11:15 am to discuss ordinances on tree preservation, well-head protection, riparian buffers, and flood plain protection.
 Susan C will connect with Jim Ennis (MontCo Planning associate) to request alignment on ordinance changes, which will hopefully move Council and Planning Commission to agree.
 Susan C, Susan J and Candace will meet with Carol Collier and other Upper Dublin EAC members to investigate a joint project (Growing Greener proposals due July 17). Two potential creeks: Rose Valley Creek, Stuart Farm Creek.

3. Energy Audit
 Susan C. will ask Mary Aversa what is the status of evaluating the HVAC system and how Ambler can save money this summer.

4. Downtown Tree Policy
a) Our consultant Bill Graham has been unable to complete the rewrite requested by Ron Ayres and Susan C.
b) Bud Wahl told Susan C that Ambler Lot #1 (behind Ambler Savings) is being repaved (with Revitalize funds?). Susan inquired whether curbs were being redone, and whether digging up pavement might damage tree roots in the lot. Bud said to check with Mary Aversa.
c) David remarked that several trees in the lot were showing significant die-back as compared to last year – one tree up to 60% non-leaves. Perhaps a replanting of trees should happen with the repaving. Judy mentioned that Ambler is planning to repave Butler Ave in 2010 – if changes to tree pits are recommended, they should be done BEFORE the repaving. Discussion ensued about best stormwater management practices for streets and parking lots. Pervious paving, infiltration trenches and basins were highlighted. Judy mentioned several examples in Lower Gwynedd.
d) David described his method of watering the new trees that produced double the growth of the other trees: first thoroughly wet the mulched area reaching beyond the root ball, then fill up the gator bag, then pour out the remaining water on the mulch. Each tree got 15 gallons each watering.
 Susan C. hopes to present the recommendations to Council July 7, pending submission of the report from Bill Graham, and Ron Ayres having time to review and approve it.
 Susan C. will ask Mary Aversa about both paving projects. In addition, the EAC will generate a list of interest areas for EAC input to the Borough.
 Susan C. will investigate TreeVitalize grants for Rose Valley riparian plantings.
 Susan C. will find out from Ron Meyers what the CVS landscaping plan looks like, and what can happen to communicate EAC recommendations to the corner owner. Of course, we would like to see MORE TREES as would the parkers who look for shade to park their cars under, and trees attract customers to the Borough.
 EAC should investigate best ways to approach repaving projects that slow down runoff and protect the water system.
 David and Susan will schedule an annual walk to look at the health of trees and note any problems or opportunities for new trees. (Should be in June after leaves are developed.)
 Tree Tenders should be reactivated.

5. Quick REPORTS
a. Susan Johnsson passed out slips from Khiet’s emails that mentioned selected opportunities that members might want to follow-up on
b. Judy reported that Council is considering Jim Dougherty’s report on the new NPDES (TMDL) guidelines for the WWTP
c. Household Hazardous Waste collection at MontCoCommunity College 9:00 AM this Saturday. Susan J and David will coordinate to take computer parts, compact fluorescent bulbs and tubes.

MISC: Susan C. showed shelf space in the Borough conference room closet for books and resource materials relevant to local environmental issues. Susan J and Candace will arrange to meet to install the shelf so they are familiar with what materials are there.
Susan C. will investigate purchasing plastic refill bags for the compact fluorescent bulb boxes at Decks and Denney Electric.

 A website of our own linked to Borough site and PEC.
 Knight Park Green Trail and green building
 Bike racks and routes
 Green Committee
 12 step carbon diet program for municipals
 Green building ordinance
 Solar power
 Yard waste collection
 Buxmont EAC Summit attended by the Susans

David has concerts Monday through Thursday until Sept.
Susan J and Candace plan to attend the June 9 meeting on Transition Communities at the Academy of Natural Science. Susan C. will see if Skip wants to go too.
Susan C. will circulate an email to see if members can meet at 7:00 AM Monday July 6 at Candace Kanaplue’s house. Later revised to July 6, 7:00 AM at the Borough.