Category Archives: Ambler Borough Park

January 2017 Meeting

January 18, 2017, 6:40 PM to 9:00 PM

Borough Hall       Recorded by: Mary-Margaret Monser,

Members in Attendance:  
Mary-Margaret Monser, Chair of EAC
Jill Sanchez
Lindsey Daku

Absent Members: 
Karen Polesir
(Three Vacancies)

Associates and Visitors in Attendance:
Susan Curry
Susan Johnsson, acting Secretary

Next Meeting Date:  February 15, 2017 at 6:40pm – Borough Hall
Action Items by Person:

  1. Mary-Margaret Monser
    1. Send Chris Raines Meeting Minutes  June-Nov 2016 for website
    2. Write Article for HomeTown News on Growing Ambler Greener (GAG)
    3. GAG
      1. evolve outline
      2. opportunities for Spring funding for Rain Gardens, Rain Barrels, Down Spout Planters.
    4. Contact Chris Raines Notes for EarthFest
    5. Secure Ambler Borough Hall for Earth Fest
    6. Meet with Lindsey to work on website
    7. Outline for EarthFest
      1. Vendors
      2. Classes
    8. BoRit CAG comment on proposed PRAP.
  2. Jill Sanchez
    1. Prepare flyer for Spring Trees ordering through TreeVitalize; write article for Hometown News regarding tree ordering; or Emerald Ash borer threat.
  3. Lindsey Daku
    1. Reach out to Julianne Scheiffer to begin tree cataloging (and get software recommendations)
    2. website updates: EV Charge Station Workshop, Household Hazardous waste flyer
    3. Face Book updates: next meeting event (added), share new web pages including Recycling Education Page, EV Charge Station Workshop, Household Hazardous waste flyer
    4. write recycling education article with pictures for for Hometown News submission 2/14
    5. Growing Ambler Greener: create online version of commitment letter
    6. brainstorm Earthfest ideas
    7. submit comment for BoRit CAG to advocate for trails that connect Ambler Borough Park to Green Ribbon Trail
    8. Post and plan to go to the dates: 3/11/17 – Watershed Congress Along the Schuylkill & May 4-6, 2017 – Pennsylvania Land Conservation Conference
    9. Be keeper of a binder/maps regarding 1995 -2016 Ambler Tree Plantings and inventories
  4. Karen Polesir
  5. Susan Curry
    1. Contact Melissa Miles for speaker on Permaculture for Earth Fest
    2. Send “job descriptions” to MM for the EAC Secretary and Treasurer roles
    3. Draft a BoRit Comment from the Ambler EAC to get approved and submit to EPA
  6. Susan Johnsson
    1. Continue as temporary treasurer until an appointed EAC member fills the role;
    2. Arrange to pay usual EAC membership;
    3. Plan on April 29 Steam Clean-up


General Updates:

  1. The Ambler Planning Commission is actively moving forward in creating GREEN SPACE in Ambler at the intersection of Park Ave and Butler Pike. In creating this green space out of current impervious surface, Ambler Borough is leading the way in finding a solution to the pollution. As well, this park will incorporate stormwater management tools and native plantings, not only because it is the right thing to do but also required for grant subsidies. What a showcase for Ambler’s efforts to Growing Ambler Greener 2017-2020! Way to go Planning Commission
    1. Pocket Park might be deeded as permanent Open Space.
  2. The Parks and Rec Committee aligned with stormwater management initiatives and decided that if  dugouts are installed are Pickering Field, they should be pervious.
  3. Borough Council and the Planning Commission supported the EAC’s application for a Growing Greener Plus Grant 2017.
  4. There is a Zoning Hearing Board Meeting on February 2nd, 7pm at Ambler Borough Hall in regards to a variance for impervious coverage.
  5. There is a Zoning Hearing Board Meeting on February 8th, 7pm at Ambler Borough Hall in regards to appealing of a building permit.
  6. David turned over maps of trees planted in Ambler since 1995 – Apparently withdrawing as convenor of the Shade Tree Citizens – over concern about not being indemnified as a volunteer and the long stall about whether to have an official Shade Tree Committee beyond the Council members. Lindsey accepted the inventory and maps and intends to start a tree inventory data base that can be updated. We’d ask a tree expert like Julianne Schieffer to come one day and help us identify trees.

Agenda Topics:

  1. Susan Johnsson has agreed to stay on as an Associate member responsible for receipts. Stephan Maakestad will remain as an Associate member. Mary-Margaret Monser was voted Chair at December’s meeting. Ben Bergman has stepped down. Lindsey Daku and Jill Sanchez were appointed as new members. We still need a secretary.
  2. Tree Vitalize
    1. Jill to organize tree planting for Spring.
      2. New PHS cost is $40 per tree –Susan C suggested homeowners be asked to cost share by paying $45 per tree. This cost sharing allows the EAC to get additional trees for the Borough. All agreed to $45 per tree.
      3. Spring planting date and tree list:  April 21-22.
    2. Lindsey to inventory trees and work to provide an updated computer map of tree plantings.
      1. Reaching out to Julianne Scheiffer for help 610-489-4315
      2. Starting with search of Ash trees in Jean Thompson (2) and Knight Parks (8-9)
    3. Check ordinances to cull and copy all tree related ordinances.
  3. Ash Borer Initiative
    1. Stephen Hilbert from Bartlett Tree Experts for ID
      2. 215-249-1819
    2. Peter Bentz
      1. Susan Curry contact
      2. Specializes solely in Ash Trees
    3. Find trees, inventory, target for treatment
      1. Borough owned
    4. Assist residents with ID of Ash Trees
    5. Add campaign to website and social media for Spring.
  4. BoRit CAG
    1. Discussion on Proposed Remedial Action Plan (PRAP)
    2. Susan Curry urged the EAC to weigh in on this final plan.
    4. Public Comment period ends March 3, 2016
    5. Stephen Maakestad to advocate for trail connections to Ambler Borough Park.
    6. There is no advocate for the Kane Core parcel — 6 acres that is located in Ambler Borough –referred by EPA as the “Ambler pile” – behind former McDonald’s site.
      1. Susan Curry urged the EAC to advocate for
        1. Footings for lighting, benches, and educational signage covering historic highlights of Ambler and its Asbestos, and about selected EPA remedies.
  5. FWBA
    1. Susan Johnsson to attend the February meeting
  6. Opportunities
    1. Pennypack Film Series
      1. Tuesday, Feb 21; Tuesday, Mar 21; Tuesday, Apr 18
      2. Cost is $100. It was agreed we would commit.
      3. Need table and talking points
      4. Need 2 slides for series to be emailed
      5. Contact person is Laurie Krepto
    2. PA Land Conservation Conference.
      2. May 4-6 in Lancaster
    3. Delaware River Watershed Conference
      2. March 11 at MCCC West Campus Pottstown, PA
  7. Hometown News articles for the Environmental Corner are due by March 1st. Elizabeth Russell is our contact at Ambler Borough Hall.  Articles we are considering:
    1. Mary-Margaret/Lindsey on Growing Ambler Greener
    2. Jill:  Emerald Ash Borer,   Tree Vitalize Spring tree planting
    3. Anyone:  proper recycling instructions?
  8. Recycling
    1. Education
      1. Need update on website
      2. Need Campaign
    2. Plastic bag Free Ambler was a previous initiative – involved a children’s art contest and 100s of twill reusable bags
    3. Extensive discussion on recycling: which plastics can be reused; whether EAC will advertise and start a Terracycling at the Borough lobby (no decision); discussed stickers to install on the recycling toters that say yes and no to what can be put in the single stream (no decision).
    4. Program for Restaurants
      2. Task Temple or Villanova with finding a plan for implementation.
  9. Growing Ambler Greener 2017-2020
      1. Submitted 1-13-2017. Growing Ambler Greener: Grant submitted asking for $206,000 with Borough match of $17,500, and in-kind match of $58,000. Subsidize materials and installation costs for 75 rain gardens; 250 rain barrels; 250 downspout planters; 5 or more terraces; and Riparian Buffer restoration as outlined in Appendix D of Temple Plan 2014 for Ambler Borough. Susan C can envision more terraces and less rain gardens at the time of contract; we’ll need an ample list of landscaping companies (5-10) to do simultaneous installations as the timing of installations is limited to March to June and Sept to Nov. Fifty Letters of Commitment accompanied the proposal. EAC members can still collect them. The form can be downloaded from the EAC website.
    2. Website Update
      1. Mary-Margaret and Lindsey to work on.
    3. EarthFest April 2017
      1. Acquire notes from Chris Raines from her event two years ago
      2. Contact Mary Aversa, Ambler Main Street, Rick Denzien
      3. Social Media
      4. Ambler Borough Hall
      5. 10 vendors
      6. Classes
        1. Solar Energy
        2. Rain Gardens
        3. Permaculture
        4. Composting
  10. Wissahickon annual Stream Clean-up is Saturday April 29 supported by WVWA.
    1. Susan Johnsson and Erik to organize another year
  11. Dogs in Parks
    1. Borough aims to remove the No Dogs Allowed signs at Boro Park, especially at the Belmont entrance and consider allowing dogs in Ricciardi park.

The meeting was adjourned around 9:00pm.

Next Meeting Date:  February 15, 2017 at 6:40PM (3rd Wednesday)

    Continued items: Safe winter sidewalks without rock salt. How to connect Borough Park to other local trails.

October 2016 Meeting Minutes

Recorded by: Ben Bergman

Members in Attendance

  • Ben Bergman
  • Mary-Margaret Monser
  • Stephen Maakestad
  • (No Quorum)

 Absent Members:

  • Karen Polesir, Susan Johnsson
  • (Two Vacancies)

Associate and Visitors in Attendance

  • Jill Sanchez
  • David Morgan

Next Meeting Date – November 16th – 7 – 8:15 pm at Ambler Borough Hall – 131 Rosemary Ave

Agenda Topics

  1. Tree Vitalize – Find an Arborist – Perhaps Julianne Schieffer from the Penn State Extension

EAC General Updates

Council/Planning Commission – No One Went

Announcements and Opportunities:

  1. Washington Business Alliance – No one went
  2. EAC Coming to Farmers’ Market on the last day of the season
  3. Two People in the Borough want Rain Gardens – Kate Henry? How to get them involved.
  4. Tree Planting – November 17th – 19th
    1. Borough is investing in 17 trees
    2. 4 on Borough Land
    3. 3 in Ricciardi Park
    4. 1 on South Main Street by State Farm
  5. Borough Has excavated space on Main Street by Decks
  1. Ambler’s TMDL Strategy – lay version was presented to the group by Susan for discussion and by in from the Borough. It was agreed that all members must review.

Carried Over New Business:

  1. EAC Mission and wish list products

Meeting Adjourned

September 2016 Meeting Minutes

September 21, 2016, 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM        Borough Hall Recorded by: Steve Maakestad

Members in Attendance:  

Stephen Maakestad, Susan Johnsson, Karen Polesir, Ben Bergman, Mary-Margaret Monser (Quorum)

Absent Members: 

Karen Polesir (Two Vacancies)

Associates and Visitors in Attendance:

Susan Curry, Chris Raines, David Morgan, Dottie Beachem

Next Meeting Date:  October 19th, 2016 at 6:40PM –
Borough Hall

Action Items by Person:

  • Steve Maakestad – Meeting minutes, lawn chemical campaign write up.
  • Susan Johnsson – Finalize 2017 budget.
    Mary-Margaret Monser – Lead rain garden (DIY/Contracted) program, attend FWBA meeting, set up table at Borough Park volunteer day.
  • Ben Bergman – Lawn chemical campaign article, Farmer’s market coordination.
  • Chris Raines – Add photos from EAC events and monthly minutes to EAC web site.
  • Susan Curry – Follow-up with John Ferro on Restoration Plan for Edgewoods Preserve and Borough Park; revise TMDL lay person summary – include what property owners can do; collaborate with Karen on supervision of Red Tail in Borough Park

Agenda Topics:

  1. Council/Committee Updates:
    1. The monopole was discussed at the last meeting.  They are still trying to find a location but it may not be needed.
    2. It was noted that a Shade Tree Commission cannot be formed without the passing of a Borough ordinance.  Instead, a Shade Tree Citizens group may function to play an advisory role to the Parks and Recreation Committee.  It was recommended that one of the Public Works supervisors gain expertise in trees by taking the Tree Tenders training and going to the day-long Oct. 13 course at Haverford College for municipal tree managers.
  2. Announcement and Opportunities:
    1. Mary-Margaret will attend the next FWBA meeting and give elevator speech.
    2. Mary Margaret is planning to lead the rain garden program that would streamline the process for the EAC.  It would follow the Philadelphia Raincheck model providing property owners with list of installers.
  3. Treevitalize Tree program will take place from November 17th to 19th.  David Morgan is leading the program.  It was noted that volunteers will be needed for tree planting and watering afterwards.  The Borough will pick up the trees on the 17th and the planting will take place on the 18th and 19th.
  4. Ambler Borough Park Volunteer Day – Mary Margaret will set up a table for the EAC at the volunteer day on September 24th.  The group will meet at Tennis Avenue.  It was noted that Stiltgrass is an issue and the EAC should consider planting garlic mustard in its place.
  5. Social Media – The EAC will continue to use Facebook, Eventbrite, MailChimp and the gmail account.
  6. 2017 EAC Budget
    1. The group discussed the remaining budget for 2016 and the proposed budget for 2017.
    2. The 2017 budget will resemble the 2016 budget with some additions.  The EAC will add a $200 budget for social media.  The EAC will propose to increase the rain garden budget from $1,200.00 to $2,500.00 to support new installations with more of the costs. In addition, the budget will include an item for trees and borough arks of $1550.  The total budget is expected to be $5,110.  It was noted that a designated Borough Arborist would be helpful in assisting the Shade Tree Citizens and EAC efforts.
  7. Ambler’s TMDL strategy
    1. Susan Curry and Mary Margaret will meet and finalize the TMDL summary and send to Mary Aversa for review before posting to the website/social media.
  1. Ambler Borough Park Maintenance
    1. Susan Curry will circulate the maintenance plan for detailed discussion at the next meeting.
  2. Google Docs – Anyone that has questions can reach out to Ben Bergman for help.  Susan noted that she uses the following email address for Google Docs:
  3. Lawn Chemicals – Steve and Ben will meet and draft an article for the fall mini-campaign.
  4. PennDOT – It was noted that PennDOT and the Borough use Roundup regularly.  The EAC will propose alternative herbicides to Elizabeth Russell that they could use.
  5. The Delaware River Watershed Conference is on March 11, 2017.  They are seeking presenters.

The meeting was adjourned around 9:00pm.

Next Meeting Date:  October 19th, 2016 at 6:40PM (3rd Wednesday)