August 2017 Meeting Minutes

August 16, 2017 6:45 – 9:15pm |   Borough Hall Mtg Room   |   Recorded by: Lindsey Daku
*****Next Meeting Wednesday September 20, 2017*****

Members in Attendance:
Mary-Margaret Monser, Chair EAC
Jill Sanchez
Mitchell Cashatt
Lisa Keenan, newest member!

Absent Members:
Lindsey Daku
(Two Vacancies)

Associates and Visitors in Attendance:
Susan Curry, former EAC chair
Erin Landis, Ambler resident
Nellie DiPietro, Ambler resident
Chris Raines, Ambler resident
Andrew Chiang, Local resident visitor, Montgomery County Greens committee
Stephen Mellett, Local resident visitor
Judy Baigis, Ambler resident, former Council and Planning Commissioner
Suzanne Smith-Oscilowski, WVWA educator, Lower Gwynedd Greens hoping soon to be an official EAC

Action Items by Person:

Mary-Margaret: Write up criteria for nominating yards for the Beautiful campaign. See how next signs can have EAC logo and disclaimer. Stewardship Saturday

Lindsey: Post template to get these minutes started; get more familiar with The Sustainable Tools for Assessing and Rating Communities STAR

Jill:  Update the TreeVitalize flyer for Fall; make copies for various distributors. Support Stephen with the Gazette/Enterprise article; get more familiar with The Sustainable Tools for Assessing and Rating Communities STAR, Stewardship Saturday

Mitch: Follow up with AMC and the other interested property owners about rain gardens timing; get more familiar with The Sustainable Tools for Assessing and Rating Communities STAR

Susan C: Notify Mary Aversa about dead tree on Edgewood Preserve, suggest to leave it alone until it falls and then address any cleanup if needed. get more familiar with The Sustainable Tools for Assessing and Rating Communities STAR  Contact Upper Dublin to learn what strengthens their commitment to new ordinances that may be unpopular with affected residents. Find a copy of the EAC Handbook. Add comments to MS4 Plan. Try to attend Planning Commission meeting

Nellie: Collaborate with Erin Landis on solar roofs of Ambler; get more familiar with The Sustainable Tools for Assessing and Rating Communities STAR

Susan J: Submit proposed EAC budget for 2018 once approved by voting members

Chris: Continue to develop the idea of a kid-focused April event; seek native plants and truck driver for Nov. park planting by boy scouts; create sign asking for donations from non-Borough residents who drop-off batteries for recycling

Stephen: Compose an article for the Gazette and Enterprise to inform property owners how to apply for TreeVitalize trees – cull information from PHS web site. Stewardship Saturday

6:45 – 6:55    Meet and Greet
6:55 – 8:30    EAC General Updates

  1. Meeting Minutes July approved. All attending tonight will be invited to contribute to this meeting’s minutes
  2. EAC Updates — Reports by person on progress of action items from last meeting
  3. Council /Planning Commission Updates
    1. Open Space Plan – to be discussed by Planning Commission next week
    2. Rain Gardens – awaiting Borough to identify a source for budget for our $1,000 request
    3. Stormwater ordinance – Act 167, alternative to Part 4 with respect to riparian buffers will be discussed by Planning Commission next week
    4. Bamboo Ordinance – no new planting. Neighbors to workout existing encroachments. To be discussed by Planning Commission next week
    5. MS4 Public Comment period (about 30 pages long) Susan C and Andrew to comment
  4. Announcements and Opportunities
    1. August 22 Planning Commission Meeting 7:00 pm (Judy, Susan C,Lisa, Stephen aim to attend)
    2. August 19th Stewardship Saturday at Ambler Borough Park 8:30 to 10:30 am (expect MM, Andrew, Stephen, Jill and Susan C)
    3. Sept 12th Tuesday, Weavers Way Sustainability  Meeting 7pm at Mercantile
    4. Sept. 16 Saturday, Plymouth Meeting event — Driving Electric — with Rick Denzien 12-8
    5. Sept 19 Tuesday, Total Recycle Event  at 10am in Birdsboro.
  5. Beautiful Project: initiative managed by MM.  2 signs were placed at homes that had installed best stormwater practices (Newdeck and Epply) Both got a $10 coupon from Forest & Main sponsor, and were highlighted on EAC Facebook page. EACs were invited to nominate yards for Sept. Mary-Margaret will send around the nominating criteria.
  6. Tree Vitalize Fall – initiative managed by Jill, who is waiting for Barley Van Cleif to send the tree list and the Fall planting date. Stephen, Jill and David Morgan surveyed the Borough street trees for empty spots, needed pruning and up-coming removals. Stephen will compose an article for the Gazette and Enterprise to inform property owners how to apply for trees. A girl scout troop is interested in being tree planting volunteers. The $80 donation from Montgomery County Greens will buy a tree for Knight Park and a plaque acknowledge the donation.
  7. Rain Gardens – initiative managed by Mitch
    1. Ambler Mennonite Church – next meeting on Sept. 21 will clarify next steps and funding sources including a specific business sponsor.  If more volunteers are needed to install it, Susan C can post on
    2. Others: handful of other interested property owners dependent on partial subsidy to move forward.
    3. Borough Council still reviewing funds remaining in stormwater budget after sinkhole construction.
  8. Boy Scout Native Plant Project in Ambler Borough Park – initiative of Chris Raines
    1. Intended for a boy scout “planting” project — seeking gifts of native plants from people, Maybe the Maple Glen Garden Club. Will need a truck to pick-up mulch. Tools, gloves and Hold Harmless forms from EAC. Tentatively on Sat. Nov 11?
  9. Solar roof tops – Erin Landis, Environmental Justice Center, mentioned Northwest Philly Solar cooperative to educate people about solar and get commitments to install. There will be a Chestnut Hill event with Weaver’s Way.Aims to schedule same in Ambler
  10. Tentative budget for 2018 – due to consideration late in evening, a quorum was no longer present. All proposed categories were discussed. The Sustainable Tools for Assessing and Rating Communities STAR program looks promising, but it may be premature for full financial involvement of the EAC and Borough in 2018. Continue to have members familiarize themselves with STAR and explore easier first steps to implement.
  11. Chris introduced an alternative focus for the EarthFest event:  a Peter Pan event focussed on children’s play and education and taking place throughout the town; EAC would contribute environmentally focused events/activities. Chris was encouraged to continue to develop this idea and how it would promote environmental awareness. Her motto: “Ambler nicely crammed with adventure”
  12. Erin mentioned Weavers Way was forming a sustainability club that she will report back.
  13. Items to be carried forward from July and August agendas
    1. Student environmental projects for fall
    2. Website organization
    3. Electronics Recycling
    4. Volunteer co-ordinator
    5. Awards: citizen, community effort

9:10 PM    Adjourned