2011-05-09 Ambler Environmental EAC Minutes

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

Member Attendance:
Susan Curry, David Morgan, Skip Kershner, Dan McCormick, Susan Johnsson.
Associate Attendance:
Karen Salvadore, chairing
Members Absent:
Estelle Wynn Dolan, Candace Kanaplue.
Quorum in attendance

Next Meeting Date: Monday, June 13, 2011 6:45 to 8:30 PM

1. Street Light Reduction Report: Last Council Committee meeting there was a surprise presentation by the Chief of Police about the project. Fran Tomlinson asked if there was even one light that could be turned off. As a matter of public safety, Chief Foley was opposed to turning off even one light. Pat Strus commented that maybe council members could go out to the streets at night with EAC members and investigate whether there are redundant lights. Matter was tabled until the Council meeting.
• ACTION: Karen and Susan C will contact other nearby municipalities to learn results of their parallel efforts (Montgomery Township and Upper Dublin, respectively). Karen will ask Mary Aversa for the master map.
• 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 for Borough Hall.
2. Stream Clean-up: Susan J said there were about 20 adults, and another 20 boy scouts and girl scouts. Everyone found trash. The Daisies found a snake. The most trash was in the properties behind the CVS.
• ACTION: Susan J will get the sign-in sheet to Susan C; and notify Bob Adams that we only need 15 people next year.
3. Rain Garden Installation: Susan C reported that 52 volunteers helped with installing the Rain garden and removing and reinstalling deer fencing. The new ground cover plants will need watering through the first summer. Members are invited to stroll down through the park. We ran out of fencing before all trees were contained.
4. Council Report: Street Light reduction program discussed. Four applicants for one Planning Commission vacancy include Susan Curry, Dan McCormick, Scotti Sawyer and Tim Alexy. Litigation regarding the steep slope sub-division is in process – no word. Mary Aversa reported that recycling volume went up 60% with the single stream blue containers. Susan J begins attending the Council meetings twice a month for the rest of the year until tax season starts up again. She will notify us if she needs a substitute.
• ACTION: (Unassigned) create a message for the Ambler Savings sign congratulating Ambler on the 60% improvement in recycling.
5. Transition Towns Movement: Susan C attended the initial meeting of a new group based on an international model. The group is calling themselves Transition Ambler/Upper Dublin. About a dozen people, with additional advisers from Transition Cheltenham, Transition Media and Transition Philadelphia were present. Transition Towns aim to self-prepare specific communities for the twin challenges of Climate Change and Peak Oil. Less use of fossil fuels, local self-sufficiency, and resiliency are key goals. The group will continue to meet monthly with subcommittees meeting in between.
• ACTION: Susan C will add Susan J, Dan Mc, Karen, and David to the email list.
6. Bare Roots Trees: Karen learned that Upper Dublin has a tree “give away” of 70 very small trees on May 19. Residents have first choice, then the remaining ones are planted by UD Parks & Rec. UD apparently gets these trees for $10-$15/tree.
• ACTION: Karen will investigate UD’s tree source (perhaps Ron Ayres knows?). Also coordinate a fall tree planting with TreeVitalize trees.
7. Recycling Center Tour: Susan J is coordinating a tour of the King of Prussia recycling processing center which is where the Ambler recyclables get taken for sorting. We hope that Mary Aversa, members from council, and members of Upper Dublin EPAB, Gwynedd Green committee, and Tom Celona can come. Ideal size is 10 to 15 people. We want a time when we will be able to watch the active sorting process.
• ACTION: Susan J will confirm a 4:00 tour for Friday June 17 and Monday June 20 and then draft an announcement that Susan C can send out to see which date has the most attendance, or if both dates are workable. Note: the tour is shifting to start at 5:00 with confirmation that we will see sorting on the second shift.
8. Ambler Donut Store Landscaping: There is a very narrow strip between the macadam on the property and the sidewalk which goes right up to the street. Members questioned how any trees could be planted, how nice it would be to match or mirror the trees planted at the Shell/Dunkin Donuts station.
• ACTION: Susan C will send a memo to Ron Myers and Mary Aversa asking about implementation of the landscape plan. Tree species were indicated on the draft plans we were shown. Susan C will also ask Ron about 2 trees that are showing no spring growth at CVS.
9. Buxmont EAC Summit: Dan and Sharon McCormick are going and have room for 2-3 other riders. Skip is tentatively interested.
10. Other items
• Phil Benigno can give us white 55 gallon barrels, if we want to host a rain barrel making workshop.
• Karen Salvadore is willing to serve as EAC chair from now on; members were pleased.

Meeting adjourned by 8:30 PM

• 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 newstand if they are OK with relocating the permanent street recycling container outside their two stores. If they are OK, Susan C will ask Public Works to move it from near Rita’s Water Ice, where little recyclable is generated..