April 2017 Meeting Minutes

April 17, 7pm – 9:30pm    |   Borough Hall    |    Recorded by: Lindsey Daku

*****Next Meeting MONDAY May 22,  2017 @ 6:45pm****

Members in Attendance:  

  • Mary-Margaret Monser, Chair EAC
  • Jill Sanchez
  • Lindsey Daku

Absent Members:
(Four Vacancies)

Associates and Visitors in Attendance:

  • Susan Curry, former EAC Chair
  • Mitchell Cashatt, Ambler resident, landscape architect
  • Judy Baigis, Ambler resident, former Borough Council Representative
  • Charlotte Wachter, Upper Dublin Senior, Environmental Education Club
  • Benjamin Ford, Upper Dublin Sophomore (accompanied by his Mother)
  • Christian

Action Items By Person:

  • Mary-Margaret – get take-out container samples from Charlotte to display at Earth Fest; have laptop available for more surveys. Sign Bartlett contract for Ash Tree survey. Send list of EAC events to Lindsey for Newsletter. Meet with Karen Kingma and Mitch at Ambler Mennonite Church re: RainGarden. Email Justin Murray about sewer maps. E-mail Judy about parking study…$18,000 spent on this? MS4/TMDL permit process. Obtain clearances for student projects. Create RainGarden Promo and organize Rain Garden workshop with Suzanne Smith Oszilowski. Register Lindsey and MMM for EAC conference in Lancaster. Reach out to Marian about tree tags. Research ordinances we have discussed ( impervious coverage, bamboo, trees, landscape plans for redevelopment). Co-ordinate C-FERST training. Find old email from Engineer about trees and maps.
  • Mitchell – Continue to update Ambler EAC Rain Garden Homeowner Agreement. Reach out to local plant suppliers regarding pricing for rain garden plantings. Continue to solicit pricing for rain garden “heavy lifting” portion.
  • Jill – Complete coordination of 29 new trees to Ambler Borough on Friday April 21. Eight of the trees will be planted by volunteers.  Identify volunteers to ‘adopt a tree’ at Knights Park since 8 trees will be removed this summer due to the Emerald Ash Borer. Design a flyer that will be sent to all Ambler landlords to make them aware of our TreeVitalize program. Ambler Code Enforcer has agreed to send this flyer out. Work with Mary Aversa and SEPTA to gain approval to plant new trees in the SEPTA lot.
  • Lindsey: send out April newsletter; attend booth at SEEDS screening; Assist with day of setup for Earthfest; WVWA Raingardens workshop May 3rd; EAC Conference May 5th; Follow up with Steve Hilbert on Ash tree inventory completion
  • Susan Curry:  Capture environmental project ideas and send to Ben to share with Upper Dublin for other student project ideas. Check with Jim Dougherty if there exists a GIS file of a map that shows not only open space, but undeveloped parcels. Send Lindsey Ash tree flyer draft for homeowners, make sure Mary Aversa gets a chance to review it. Orient Jill to EAC tools and gloves for tree planting. Get new Borough door key to Mary Margaret. Pass folder on rain garden resources to Mitchell. Share Sigi’s PLastic Bag Free Ambler outline with all. Remail Charlotte the outline of steps to make her project succeed.  Send “hours tracking form” to Lindsey to put in our EAC google drive.
  • Susan Johnson: Organize Stream clean up with WVWA.

Agenda Topics:

7:00 – 7:10    Meet and Greet

7:10 – 8:15    EAC General Updates: Mitchell has applied for a seat on the EAC. April 8th – Volunteer Day at Borough Park (Susan led, Lindsey, Mitch)  78 volunteer hours were served by 23 volunteers plus 5 administrative and organizational hours.  Susan offered a draft form for tracking volunteer hours for all EAC events. (attached)

  • Meeting Minutes: March Minutes were approved
  • Council/ Planning Commission updates:  Pocket Park: Ambler EAC sent a letter of support with the Grant application. Double deck parking structure behind Ambler Savings: is Ambler maximizing its current parking? Do we have adequate signage of where parking exists? How do we create and emphasize a more walkable community?[ EAC Discussion to consider permits for residents on South Spring Garden.]  $18,000 Parking Survey completed previously–Steve Ware? Borough voted to appeal the Zoning Hearing decision on Quinn’s permits. Pickering Field cement dugouts were put in place at a cost $10,000 to Ambler Borough residents. EAC discussion about EAC recommendation and confirmation by Ambler Borough Council that dugouts would be of a porous/pervious surface given the fact that we are a built out community which should take advantage of every opportunity to improve our stormwater management issues and address the pollutants we contribute to the impaired Wissahickon Valley Watershed.

Announcements and Opportunities:

  • Upcoming/Completed Events:
    • April 19th – EAC newsletter going out (Lindsey is sending – please provide topics). Result of Zoning Hearing, featured:  Earth Fest; other events and resources, Ash Tree Inventory, verify and highlight Ambler is 100% landfill free.
    • April 18th – Pennypack Farm Film Series Screening #3 SEEDS (Lindsey) – 6:30 pm to 9:00 pm
    • April 21st – Resident Tree planting –led by Jill Sanchez  throughout the day
    • April 22nd – EarthFest at Borough Hall  11:00 am to 3:00 pm
    • April 29th – Stream Cleanup — Trax Cafe at 10:00 am – 11:00
    • May 3rd — Rain Garden Workshop at Ambler Food Coop office below Twisters
    • May 6th – 8am-3pm EAC Conference, Lancaster, PA (Mary-Margaret, Lindsey, Jill?
    • May 17th –10am Tour of recycling plant Total Recycle
  • TreeVitalize Spring– April 21-22
      1. Update: 29 trees, 9 need volunteer help, one on Borough property by Police driveway
      2. Tree tagging (Marian)
        • Mary-Margaret to follow up
  • EarthFest– April 22
      1. Update: 6 tickets sold, 20 barrels (cost $600)
      2. Discussion about EarthFest and organizing.
  • Rain Gardens
      1. Steve working on reformatting process
        1. Contractors to do foundation. Have a couple of bids
        2. Follow up with Red Tail Restoration and Land Management for bid.
      2. Workshop May 3 with WVWA Suzanne Smith-Oscilowski
        1. Create media and sign ups
        2. Contact Weavers Way and confirm
        3. Contact Suzanne with information
      3. Ambler Mennonite Church wants a rain garden.  Mitchell will support with technical assistance.
        • Mitch and MMM: Meeting with Karen Kingma Thursday April 20th
  • Single-use Plastic Bags
      1. Ben Ford, Upper Dublin Sophomore has an Environmental Science Semester Project [ends mid-June] to reduce plastic bagging by selling sponsored reusable toters.  EAC will have their logo onbags. EAC suggested sales at Farmers Market and possibly having an educational table at the Ambler Farmers Market to drive awareness of how many plastic bags Americans use.
      2. Suggested possible approach to Weavers Way to eliminate plastic bags
      3. Outreach to Trader Joe’s in North Wales- they just stopped providing single use plastic bags.
      4. Sponsorship $125 MMM to follow up with Gail and Susan Johnsson for payment.
      5. Ben will donate proceeds to Ambler EAC
  • Environ Friendly Take-out Container
      1. Charlotte Wachter Upper Dublin Senior Community Study Project
      2. May 15- June 2nd is her official time to work on project.
      3. Need to complete required background checks–MMM
  • Emerald Ash Tree Borer
    1. Windshield survey: will be conducted soon. Steve Hilbert to sign revised contract along with MaryMargaret. Susan C. presented a Draft handout to go to homeowners found to have Ash trees. Jim Dougherty provided some useful street maps.
    2. Tree management policy for Ash Trees
    3. ARC GIS:   EAC will go to training by EPA, and exercise the optional free trial month for C-FERST
      1. Co-ordinate C-Ferst training MMM
      2. Reach out to Jim Doughery for their thoughts on this.
  • Education/Outreach Opportunities
    1. Master Watershed Steward Mary Margaret is in the 10 week training. Information is rich and valuable. EAC meetings will need to be held on a different date  in May .  PERSISTENCE wins. Discussion on impervious surfaces — Code department holding the line with non-compliant permit requests; and with tree requirements for subdivisions. When possible, site visits prior to issue permits is desirable.
    2. Food Coop
    3. Montgomery County Planning Commission encouraged pocket park idea. Which will include educational signage.
    4. Susan C introduced a “Bee Friendly” initiative to approach Decks hardware about ceasing to carry any neonicotinoid pesticides. Could be a mini campaign in Ambler for residents
    5. Other ideas mentioned: Depaving.  Comparison of tree ordinances in nearby townships and other boroughs to prepare for advocacy with Council
  • Website/Logo/Monthly E-mail
    1. Continue to work on improvements and smooth flow and attractiveness
    2. Change logo on Website.
    3. Consistent Monthly E-mail
  • Open Space.
    1. https://www.pps.org/reference/lighter-quicker-cheaper/
    2. Map of current open space
      1. Ambler EAC desires to get a current map
  • Ambler runoff – Judy Baigis