Rain Garden

May 5, 2015 Meeting Minutes

Date: Wednesday, May 20, 2015 6:30 to 8:55 PM at Susan Curry’s 316 Edgewood Drive

Member Attendance (No quorum): Susan Johnsson, Steve Maakestad, Mary-Margaret Monser
Member Absence: Charlie Charlesworth, Matt Cooley, Steph Figary, Alex Pratt
Associates: Susan Curry, Chris Raines, Mary Noel Gorka
Also in attendance: Rebecca Dinwoodie (rain garden owner), Rachel Rosenfeld (Master Watershed Steward)

Next Meeting Date: June 17, 2015 Ambler Borough Hall Conference room

Action Items by person:
• Communicate to Rachel Rosenfeld (rrosenfeld026@gmail.com) which day(s) we can participate in the Park Clean-up.
• Think about a Fall mini-campaign to introduce residents and public servants to the importance of new ordinances
a) Contact Frank DeRuosi to inquire what decisions and policies will be adopted for park maintenance per the surveys
b) Send email to Rebecca Dinwoodie about the Buxmont EAC Summit.
Rachel Rosenfeld:
c) incorporate Incorporate EAC suggested changes to the volunteer flyer.
d) Support volunteer recruitment for the clean-up dates.
e) Share the Hold Harmless Agreement with Linda Hoade (Penn State).
f) Coordinate Rain Gardens Tour; provide 50 color flyers to Susan C before June 6.
g) Calculate all the volunteer hours that went into coordinating the Earth Fest.
h) Coordinate with Susan J to get T-shirts to the two main sponsors of Earth Fest with our thanks.
i) Present the water conservation and Rain Garden Tour at June 6 Farmers Market; collect the display from Borough Hall Friday June 5; get rain garden Tour flyers froorm MM.
j) Communicate to Mary Aversa our EAC consensus to avoid rip-rap as the treatment for Rose Valley Creek stream banks restoration.
k) Check with Joe Bresnan about Master Watershed Stewards not signing Hold Harmless Agreement, given that Penn State will insure them.
l) Contact Clean Water Action regarding speaking in our Fall Mini-Campaign, and including public education for ordinance support in their door-to-door canvassing in Ambler


1. Rain Gardens Tour — June 7
Fifteen signs are in place in front yards, two more are ordered. Maps need minor changes and will include Dinwoodie’s yard. Arriving by 1:30 pm, Suzanne Smith-Oscilowski (WVWA) and Susan Curry will provide the orientation talk, and guide two groups of tours. A compost bin with some extra tools will be raffled. Flyers are at the library, Boro hall, Decks, WVWA, Whole Foods (North Wales), and next two Farmer’s Markets. Publicity includes FaceBook, and EAC website. Expenses: change date on 15 signs ($150), order two more signs ($56); eventually pay for color printing of flyers ($Pi Dental @$.14)
2. Council/Committee updates
Boro Staff is attending a workshop to apply for a Growing Greener grant for Rose Valley Creek stream bank restoration. The EAC consensus was to avoid a rip-rap treatment and find companies who could restore the stream banks to a naturalized look. Steve believes he can rally two prospective companies to offer to the Boro staff who can then include their treatment costs in the grant proposal.
Borough is joining conversations with other municipalities challenging compliance with new MS4 permitting guidelines. (TMDL limits)
Planning Commission is done looking at the steep slope ordinance. Now looking into the Riparian Buffer ordinance. PC is taking the 5 ordinances one by one. New county representative (Matt?) on PC seems willing to add his two cents.
3. Announcements, and Opportunities
• Wissahickon Watershed Congress was attended by Steve and Chris with a Rain Garden display. Steve will attend the BuxMont EAC summit Doylestown June 4, 7:00PM – Rebecca Dinwoodie is also interested.
• The presenter on Mesothelioma who spoke at a CAG meeting (BoRit asbestos site) may present to the community at large through cooperation between the Church of the Brethren Café evenings and Calvary Church (date to be announced).
• Tour of Natural Gardens – June 20, 10:00-2:30, $10, register through WVWA
4. Earth Fest 2015
Everyone celebrated Chris for an excellent event and appreciated her 4 months 6 hours a day voluntary devotion to its success. A full accounting of all volunteer hours will be provided soon. Ideas for next year: Do not organize a recyclables collection. Have better signage before and at the event, such as hHaving banners across the blocked streets announcing the event. Figure out how to have people know about and attend the speakers’ talks. Sponsors will be thanked by Susan J and Chris and include a gift of an event t-shirt which publicized their sponsorship. PhillyFarmFresh food truck vendors will get half off to vend at the Oktoberfest. The event either made $24 or cost only $26 above funds raised through sponsors and vendors.
Chris may do the Earth Fest event every other year. Chris is thinking about holding a History Festival next year.
5. Ambler Borough Park
Steve reported that Frank DeRuosi has not responded to our email offering to assist with park survey compilation and decisions. A new lawn care contract was signed but not with Lawn Rangers. None of the EAC have seen the terms of the contract.
Two park Clean-up days will be led by Rachel Rosenfeld (Master Watershed Steward) on July 11, 18 with rain dates the following Sundays. There has been a disappointing lack of response from the Watershed stewards group. WVWA Property Manager John Ferro communicated by email the best way to manage Japanese Knotweed (cut and bag tops down to lowest branch in mid-June) then return in the Fall to cut and bag again, minutes before application of glysophosphate sp?). Rachel is not available in June. A colorful, lively draft flyer was shared with the EAC for layout and text suggestions as a volunteer recruitment flyer. A few more sponsors’ names may be added. The EAC encouraged Rachel to accomplish things using our budget money. EAC members are asked to communicate which day(s) they can participate in the Clean-up.
Penn State will provide insurance for the Master Watershed Stewards to participate in the event and there is some resistance to have tohe sign the Hold Harmless Agreement. Rachel will share the actual agreement which also provides emergency contact information and gives permission to transport someone who has been hurt to the nearest hospital. Susan C will run this issue by Boro solicitor Joe Bresnan.
6. Mini-campaign: Water conservation
Primitive display is up in the Borough Hall lobby. Alex has not arranged for a more professional display to be printed. Susan Curry will transport it to the Farmers Market on June 6.
EAC consensus of members present was to focus the Fall mini-campaign on making residents more aware and open to new ordinances. Campaign may include speakers, letters to editor and will be discussed more at the next meeting.
7. Review of EAC Budget
Cursory review indicates no issues with expenses. We are well-positioned for new expenses. There is oOne $50 discrepancy between Susan J’s accounting and Gail (Finance Manager for Boro)
8. Facebook page and EAC web site
https://www.facebook.com/AmblerEAC/info — Chris is doing a stellar job of keeping these interesting and informative.

Next Meeting: June 17 , 2015 Ambler Borough Hall Conference room (back door entrance).

The meeting was adjourned at 9:10 PM.

Future Agenda Items
Fall Mini-Campaign
Rose Valley Creek natural treatments for stream bank restoration
Downtown Tree management
Public Involvement for MS4 Permit