2012-08-16 Ambler Environmental EAC Minutes

Ambler Environmental Advisory Council

Date: Thursday, August 16, 2012     6:45 to 8:15 PM

Member Attendance:

Susan Curry, Susan Johnsson, Sue McDowell, Ken Trautwein

Quorum in attendance.

Member Absence:

Candace Kanaplue, Skip Kershner, Estelle Wynn Dolan

Next Meeting Date: Thursday, Sept. 2, 2012   6:45 to 8:30pm Boro Hall Conference Room

  1. 1.          Review Borough Council notes — No Committee meeting was scheduled for August.
  1. 2.          EAC Website – Sue McDowell and Ken Trautwein were reminded to send their bios and photos to SusanC to post on: www.AmblerEAC.org
  1. 3.          Budget Plan for 2013 (See attached Proposed Budget created after the meeting)
  1. 4.          Rain Gardens Campaign:  Two rain gardens will be installed this fall in October at Sue McDowell’s and Ken Trautwein’s property. A third may be dug at a property uncommitted at this time. Funding through the Rain Gardens for the Bays Campaign can be available for plant material and other relevant costs as long as we submit invoices by Sept. 30. Starting in 2013, we plan to install five rain gardens each spring and five each fall   After we install our first 5-7 demonstration rain gardens, we’ll prepare a case studies report, and organize a tour of the rain gardens to build wider interest. Ambler EAC support for this multi-year effort will entail: a) Susan Curry and Sue McDowell finding funding for plants and mulch, b) Sue McDowell developing partnerships with organizations and businesses for workshop presenters and in-kind donations, c) Susan Curry revving up volunteer help for digging and building the rain gardens, and d) Ken Trautwein providing homeowner liaison, education, schedule coordination and reminders to support homeowner ongoing maintenance responsibilities, e) Susan Johnsson providing financial accounting and funder reports, and f) hopefully Estelle and Skip providing photography, publicity and outreach.

1)     Miscellaneous:  1. TREE TRENCHES –A meeting with Sue McDowell, Susan Curry and Mary Aversa explored tree trenches along Butler Ave when it is paved in 2013.  The Boro would need to apply for large community stormwater management grants (since the project may need $260,000 or $75,000 per block).  Mary assigned Elizabeth Russell to investigate the funding options we provided.  A bond is unlikely due to two higher priority needs: the proposed multi-level parking lot on Lindenwold, and the need for the Borough offices, Police facilities and Fire station to have bigger facilities. Mary tentatively agreed that the Boro might be able to offer a discount on the permit fees when homeowners or developers include installations of rain gardens or other green infrastructure at private properties.

ACTIONS:

  1. Susan C will inquire when Public Works can accomplish Butler tree pits re-widening; work with Mary Aversa and Ron Ayres to identify a tree species and vendor to replace the one that Ambler Savings cut down in their concern for sidewalk buckling; repeat her inquiry with the Borough about whether they would match the EAC with $275 cost to purchase another set of Clear Stream event recycling stands; invite particular council persons to participate in getting a rain garden; identify plant nurseries for the first phase rain gardens;  send Ken examples of past homeowner agreements; ask Estelle and Skip if they will provide photography and publicity as occasional services for the long-term project; send a short list to Ken of neighbors and ambler friends who might be approached to install a rain garden in 2013 or 2014.
  2. Susan McD will send in her photo and bio for the EAC website; she will reach out to new partnerships for the Rain Gardens Campaign; she will engage in site preparation for one of the first rain gardens; stay alert to the growing Greener grants announcement, send a short list to Ken of neighbors and ambler friends who might be approached to install a rain garden in 2013 or 2014.
  3. Ken Trautwein will send in his photo and bio for the EAC website and continue to water the four new trees near CVS; he will engage in site preparation for one of the first rain gardens; develop two cost-sharing proposals for review at next EAC meeting; develop homeowner agreements; receive and compile every EAC member’s short list of neighbors to approach to install a rain garden next year.
  4. Susan J will continue to observe, liaison with and report on Council meetings, send a short list to Ken of neighbors and ambler friends who might be approached to install a rain garden in 2013 or 2014  trautwein.k@gmail.com.
  5. Skip send a short list to Ken of neighbors and ambler friends who might be approached to install a rain garden in 2013 or 2014  trautwein.k@gmail.com
  6. Estelle send a short list to Ken of neighbors and ambler friends who might be approached to install a rain garden in 2013 or 2014  trautwein.k@gmail.com
  7. Candace send a short list to Ken of neighbors and ambler friends who might be approached to install a rain garden in 2013 or 2014 trautwein.k@gmail.com
  8. Justin Murray send a short list to Ken of neighbors and ambler friends who might be approached to install a rain garden in 2013 or 2014  trautwein.k@gmail.com

HOLD OVER IDEAS: 

  • Artman Becoming Center and Nursing Home needs a rain garden – there are a couple of swales that could be planted.
  • ClearStream Recycling stands for Ambler events
  • Tour of the incineration plant
  • CVS should plant new trees as promised to replace 2 dead ones, along with supporting or replacing one leaning tree, replacement trees do not need to go in the exact same spots.
  • Where do the new street sewers flow to and outfall (such as one installed at the corner of Bethlehem and Tennis?
  • Justin mentioned a “stand pipe” solution to the Fire Department’s need for access in the new Bottom Dollar parking lot – though more expensive, it would allow the green islands with trees in the parking lot which fire engine maneuverability would not.
  • Inquire of Ron Myers about the backyard chicken ordinance for Ambler.

Meeting was adjourned at 8:35 PM.