2011-04-11 Ambler Environmental EAC Minutes

AMBLER ENVIRONMENTAL ADVISORY COUNCIL
Date: Monday, April 11, 2011 6:45 to 8:30 PM

Member Attendance:
Susan Curry, Estelle Wynn Dolan, David Morgan
Associate Attendance:
Karen Salvadore
Members Absent:
Skip Kershner, Dan McCormick, Candace Kanaplue, Susan Johnsson.
NO Quorum in attendance

Next Meeting Date: Monday, May 9, 2011 6:45 to 8:30 PM

1. Estelle reported on PEC Annual EAC Conference at Villanova University on April 9. There were three workshops on storm water management, bikes and green trails, green building codes, but nothing on natural resource protection. Networking was wonderful. Estelle showed us a map of the Montgomery County EACs and conservation areas.
2. Woodland Ordinance Upgrade – Estelle is still talking to people about an ordinance. The Clean Water Action ordinance was too long. She feels a one-for-one caliper replacement is tough.
3. Energy Works – A program of Energy Cooperative Agency offers to conduct an energy audit homeowners, school districts, and municipalities. Cheltenham Township EAC is sponsoring a presentation. Since 2011 is the year of new energy options, David inquired about how the Borough is dealing with the changes and what conservation measures are in place. Is there a recent energy audit of Borough buildings?
• ACTION: Karen will contact Mattison Elementary School or Wissahickon School District Green Committee to see if they would like more information.
• David will call Mary Aversa to ask what the Borough is doing to reduce electrical costs and what has been done about the heater/air conditioner.

4. Birdtown USA – Steven Saffier of Audubon has restructured the price for municipalities to join the program. Steven is a resident of Mercer Hill in Whitpain.
5. United Way – Karen asked if the EAC could receive United Way donations. We are not a 501(c)3. Also, there are many foundations that will not give to organizations that do receive United Way funds.
6. Bare Roots TreeVitalize Trees – Karen organized 3 homes and Mattison School to receive 15 trees at $35/tree. The trees were nearly 16 feet tall! If EAC could match the tree fees, she thinks more people would participate and Ambler’s canopy would improve. The EAC has budgeted $620 toward tree purchase and care.
• ACTION: Karen will organize to get more bare roots trees in the September round. Some trees could be planted in borough parks.
7. Sustainability Movie Series –EAC is co-sponsoring a movie at Ambler Theater on plastic bags waste problems on April 12. Susan Curry and Estelle (from 6:30 to 7:30 pm) will be there to staff an EAC table. Sigi will be on the panel of presenters. Three other EACs have tables too.
8. Steep Slope Property – A forested steep slope property between Valley Brook and Edgewood Drive has been approved by Ambler Borough Council for subdivision into three building lots. Ambler does not have a steep slope ordinance. The developer will need to show plans for no erosion or sedimentation to Rose Valley Creek. A neighbor has appealed the plan approval. EAC members expressed concern over the development. EAC members remember the history of Pennlyn Woods where a park was saved from development and plan to study that history.
• ACTION: Reach out to learn how Pennlyn Woods was saved from development.
9. Rain Garden at Borough Park – April 29, 30, May 1 are set for an Ambler Community Volunteer Weekend. Work in Borough Park will include stream clean-up, removing vegetative debris, erecting deer fencing around another 200 trees, and building and planting a rain garden below Well Pump House #4. Tools and volunteers are being sought.
• ACTION: Susan will resend the flyer on the event.

10. Wissahickon Stream Clean-Up – April 30, the Ambler EAC will lead a clean-up of the three tributaries to the Wissahickon that flow through Ambler. Volunteers will meet at the Trax Café parking lot at 9:00 AM and complete by 11:00 AM after which there is a free picnic.
• Susan J will lead the day of the event.

• ACTIONS: Susan J will pick up bags from WVWA; Candace will revive folders from the last two years and post to the Ambler Savings Bank marquis.

11. Council Meetings Observation – SusanC emailed a brief report on April 5.
• SusanC: April 19
• SusanJ: from May on till next tax season

• ACTION: Whoever attends agrees to send to the EAC members a paragraph or bullet points about issues of interest (within 36 hours of the meeting they attended).

12. EAC Website – David brought a 2-page spread from the Green America on ways homeowners can reduce their electricity usage.
• ACTION: David may write a letter to the editor mentioning some of the items that people may not know.
• SusanC will seek permission to post it on our website.
13. Permanent Street Recycling Containers: – The street recycling container that the EAC purchased at the end of 2010 is located by Rita’s Water Ice. There is additional trash in with the recycling. There seems to be a higher concentration of bottle and can vendors at the bus stop by Spring Garden St. than near Rita’s.
• ACTION: Dan McCormick will ask Candida’s and newstand if they are OK with relocating the container outside their two stores. If they are OK, Susan C will ask Public Works to move it.

14. BUXMONT EAC Summit – The EACS of Bucks and Montgomery County have an annual gathering that is a very potent event for empowering EACs on May 25 at 7:00 PM It will be held at DelVal College.
• ACTION: SusanC will circulate the announcement and encourage people to car pool.
15. Webinar on Wissahickon Illicit Discharge Detection and Monitoring, April 28 + May 31
• ACTION: SusanC will share with Borough Manager, Engineer, WWTP Director and WWTP Engineer.
16. Water Line Insurance – All EAC members have received their notice. Some are considering buying the insurance. David suggested that an Ambler Gazette article that tells about recent streets where properties needed repairs and the costs of the repairs might be good promotion.
17. Banning Pesticides – Inspired by “A Chemical Reaction”, shown 2011 Sustainability Movies series at the Ambler Theater in March 2011, a few viewers have joined forces to attempt to pass an ordinance that bans the use of toxic synthetic pesticides in Ambler.
18. Sharing EAC Leadership – Susan C requested that one of EAC members/associates consider taking over being the chair of the EAC. Karen Salvadore expressed willingness.

Meeting adjourned by 8:30 PM

HELD OVER ACTIONS :
• Susan C to send Susan J the draft WREN proposal for next year.
• Susan C will begin to offer changes to the EAC website one page per week. Look into posting the 2 page spread from Green America on ways to cut your energy costs.
• Dan McCormick will ask Candida’s and the newstand if they are OK with relocating the container outside their two stores. If they are OK, Susan C will ask Public Works to move it.
• Susan J will pick up bags from WVWA; Candace will revive folders from the last two years and post to the Ambler Savings Bank marquis.