Category Archives: Protecting Green Spaces in Ambler

April 27, 2016 Meeting Minutes

Members in Attendance: 

Stephen Maakestad, Chair of EAC
Mary Margaret Monser
Karen Polesir

Absent Members:

Susan Johnsson (called in briefly)
(Three Vacancies)

Associates and Visitors in Attendance:

Susan Curry
Chris Raines
Raija Suomela
Ben Bergman

Next Meeting Date: May 18th at 7:00PM – 131 Rosemary Avenue, Auditorium

Action Items by Person:

  • Steve Maakestad – Develop brief lay version of Ambler MS4 TMDL Strategy, Attend BoRit Cag meetings.
  • Susan Johnsson – EAC Treasurer. Attend council meetings and report on decisions.
  • Mary-Margaret Monser – Coordinate Farmer’s Market booths – check with Temple Earthfest Displayers. Attend planning commission meeting. Develop and share a tutorial on using OneDrive. Add information and articles to the EAC Facebook page.
  • Chris Raines – Add photos from EAC events and monthly minutes to EAC web site, Post updates to Facebook page. Draft agreements for the Adopt-A-Tree program. Schedule a showing of the Healthy Wissahickon Film.
  • Susan Curry –Edgewood Preserve project. Attend Planning Commission Meeting. Research Tree City USA, connect with Denziens about adopting White Pines on Edgewood property, acquire the WVWA suggested maintenance plan for Edgewoods Preserve and Borough Park.
  • Raija Suomela – Map of storm drains, Communicate with park maintenance contractor (RedTail). Add info to EAC website and Facebook page. Choose some dates for Volunteer Clean up  Borough Park
  • Karen Polesir – Touch base with Mary Aversa about new Borough Park entrance signs.

Agenda Topics:

  1. Council/Committee Updates:
  2. Rain Garden Tour: Tour is planned for July 24th.
  3. Farmer’s Market: Mary-Margaret will coordinate with Ben.  First booth will be on May 14th.  Need to provide activities (educational) for kids.  These could include overviews on rain barrels, compost bins, rain gardens, recycling practices, plant swap, master gardeners.  It was noted that June 18th  is the Arts and Music festival – EAC will plan to have a booth.  EAC will also plan to have a booth on June 4th and July 23rd.   Mary Margaret will contact WVWA and Master Gardeners.
  4. Health of Wissahickon film showing: The EAC will attempt to find a venue to show the Health of the Wissahickon Film.  Options are being explored.
  5. Edgewoods Preserve: About $3,000 left to raise.  Gypsy Blue dinner proceeds event on 4/28.  2 trees were planted on the preserve.
  6. EAC Membership: Currently there are 3 vacancies.Susan Curry to write up a call for EAC members for the Ambler Gazette. Bruce Jones and Judy Simpson were contacted. The group will use OneDrive to share documents.
  7. TMDL Strategy will be discussed at the next meeting. Steve Maakestad will draft a brief summary of the currenty strategy.
  8. Fort Washington Business Alliance: There will be a shredding event from 11 to 2 on Saturday.  It was noted that the Ambler Savings Bank will also have a shredding event on May 7th.
  9. Ambler Borough Park Maintenance: Raija tagged limits of riparian buffer so it does not get mowed. Raija will reach out to RedTail and discuss park maintenance at the next meeting.  EAC should suggest to Borough maintenance crew on how to remove the large fallen trees in the park.
  10. Shade Tree Committee: David Morgan is interested in creating a shade tree committee in Ambler and would appreciate support from the EAC. Raija plans to join.  Need more members.

Topics for Next Meeting:

  • TMDL Strategy – Transparency, Comprehensiveness, Public Involvement
  • Adopt-a-tree program for trees in Ambler Parks
  • Discuss supporting development of Shade Tree Committee
  • Discuss expansion of environmental ordinances
  • Mary Aversa’s suggestion:  Focus on minimizing lawn chemicals for Fall Mini-Campaign
  • Plant swap event with a Farmer’s Market, Spring 2016 (Mary Margaret)
  • Edgewoods Preserve Tree Fest: April 16, 2016  on Edgewood Drive
  • Update on Borit CAG project

The meeting was adjourned around 9:30pm.

Related Links:

http://www.wvwa.org/Events/104/month–201507/search–berm_20is_20the_20word/vobid–1234/

February 17, 2016 Meeting Minutes

Members in Attendance:

Stephen Maakestad, Chair of EAC
Susan Johnsson
(No Quorum)

Absent Members:

Mary-Margaret Monser
Matt Cooley
(Three Vacancies)

Associates and Visitors in Attendance:

Susan Curry
Chris Raines
Raija Suomela
Karen Polesir
Brooke Marshall
Brian Quinn
Sharon McCormick

Next Meeting Date:  March 16th at 7:00PM – 131 Rosemary Avenue, Auditorium

Action Items by Person:

  • Steve Maakestad – Man the table in the lobby at the film series. Add articles and to the EAC Facebook page, occasionally. Attend BoRit Cag meeting.
  • Susan Johnsson – EAC Treasurer. Attend council meetings and report on decisions. Add articles and to the EAC Facebook page, occasionally.
  • Mary-Margaret Monser – Organize Texas Hold’Em Tournament, Attend planning commission meeting. Man the table in the lobby at the film series. Occasionally, add information and articles to the EAC Facebook page.
  • Chris Raines – Add photos from EAC events and monthly minutes to EAC web site
    Post updates to Facebook page. Design flyer and tickets for upcoming events and tree information desktop tri-panel display. Man the table in the lobby at the film series. Help with Texas Hold’Em event. Schedule a showing of the Healthy Wissahickon Film.
  • Susan Curry –Edgewood Preserve project. Attend Planning Commission Meeting. Tree Information Desktop Tri-Panel Display. Man the table in the lobby at the film series.
  • Matt Cooley – Assist with Edgewood Preserve project. Add articles to the EAC Facebook page, occasionally.
  • Raija Suomela – Map of storm drains, Communicate with park maintenance contractor. Add info to EAC website and Facebook page. Choose some dates for Volunteer Clean up Borough Park

Agenda Topics:

  1. Council/Committee Updates:
    1. Susan Johnsson sent an email outlining the Borough Council meeting:
      • The mandatory FEMA Floodplain Ordinance was passed!
      • The Red Tail proposal was received.
      • The 46th Wissahickon Valley Watershed Association’s Annual Creek Clean Up is Saturday 4/30 11:00-1:00 – with the picnic at the Fort Washington State Park from 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. at the Flourtown pavilion on Mill Road. Elizabeth Russell offered to put a paragraph into the Home Town News.
      • The Council agreed to the Wireless Telecommunication Antenna agreement with Crown Castle. Bernadette Dougherty brought up possible health concerns
      • Ambler residents have the option to pay to take our yard waste disposal stuff to Barnside Farms Compost Facility
      • The check for the film series should be at Borough Hall and WVWA membership this weekend…
    2. Planning Commission: The Ambler Borough Planning Commission Meeting will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2016 at 7:00pm in Borough Hall. Environmental ordinances continue to be the focus of consideration.
  2. Ambler Borough Park preservation: Sharon McCormick suggested learning details of the
    Bird Town program or exploring an Audubon preserve at Borough Park. Raija to choose some volunteer dates.
  3. Environmental Ordinances: Brian Quinn and Brook Marshall are opposed to the proposed ordinances and discussed their viewpoint in-depth. Sharon McCormick suggested a voluntary course with incentives for residents in the Rose Valley Creek area.Chris suggested a tour of the Upper Gwynedd Stream Restoration project to show how much can be accomplished through stream restoration. The tour was originally held in July 2015 and was called, Berm is the Word – Stormwater and Stream Restoration Tour – A section of Wissahickon Creek was restored in 2012. Location: Behind Prospect Avenue in Upper Gwynedd Township. Prospect Ave and Stefan Road. Rea Monaghan at WVWA has been contacted and is interested in setting up a private tour for the Ambler EAC.Sharon, Brian and Brook will prepare a written proposal about alternatives to the ordinances.
  4. Storm Drain Map: Raija has encouraged Glenn Kucher to update the map of storm drains throughout Ambler.
  5. Health of Wissahickon film showing: The EAC will attempt to find a venue to show the Health of the Wissahickon Film. Options are being explored.
  6. BoRit CAG: The next meeting is scheduled for April 6th, 6:30 PM – 9:00 PM.
  7. Sustainability Movie Series: Slides have been created to for the Sustainability film series. Susan Curry, Steve Maakestad, Mary-Margaret Monser and Chris will help out at the EAC table prior to each event.
  8. EAC Membership: Currently there are 3 vacancies.Karen Polesir would like to become a member of the EAC and will send her letter and resume to the Council president and manager. (Bruce Jones
    and Judy Simpson will be contacted)
  9. Whitney Lingle from Ambler Meals on Wheels is writing a grant for a composting and gardening project.
  10. Fort Washington Business Alliance: The next FWBA event will be a business card exchange on March 17th at 6:30pm at the Hilton Garden Inn. The next luncheon meeting will be held on April 21, 2016 at 11:30am at the Holiday Inn Express.
  11. Ambler Borough Park Maintenance: Invasives removal 2015 report; complete the contract for 2016 Raija will discuss park maintenance at the next meetings.
  12. Tri-fold table top display about the value of trees: Susan Curry and Chris will design the
  13. TreeVitalize program: The maximum number of tree orders has been received. Susan Curry is in the process of setting up tree planting training.
  14. Shade Tree Committee: David Morgan is interested in creating a shade tree committee in Ambler and would appreciate support from the EAC. Needs more members.
  15. Reviving Ambler Tree Tenders; does EAC support forming a Shade Tree Committee
  16. Invasive Species lecture: Coffee House – Invasive Species (Kylie) Saturday, February 27,
    7:30pm – 9:30pm
  17. Dumping in the Park: Raija noticed someone illegally dumping yard waste in Ambler Borough Park.
    Karen texted the Borough Manager. Mary said that a photo would be needed for proof. Raija suggested a sign stating “No dumping” with the amount of the fine.
  18. Home Town News articles are being completed.

Next Meeting:

Mary Aversa’s suggestion: Focus on minimizing lawn chemicals for Fall Mini-Campaign

Plant swap event with a Farmer’s Market, Spring 2016 (Mary Margaret)

Edgewoods Preserve Tree Fest: April 16, 2016 on Edgewood Drive

The meeting was adjourned around 9:30pm.

Related Links:

http://www.wvwa.org/Events/104/month–201507/search–berm_20is_20the_20word/vobid–1234/

 

January 27, 2016 Meeting Minutes

Members in Attendance:
Stephen Maakestad, Chair of EAC
Matt Cooley
Mary-Margaret Monser
(Quorum)

Absent Members:
Susan Johnsson,
(Three Vacancies)

Associates and Visitors in Attendance:
Susan Curry
Chris Raines
Raija Suomela

Next Meeting Date: February 17, 2016 at 7:00PM
131 Rosemary Avenue, Auditorium

  • Action Items by Person:
  • Steve Maakestad – .Annual Report to Council on February 2nd. Move items from garage to borough building with Susan Johnsson (Completed on February 2nd), man the table in the lobby at the film series. TREEmendous Party volunteer.
  • Susan Johnsson – EAC Treasurer. Move items from garage to borough building. (Completed February 2nd)
  • Mary-Margaret Monser – Organize TREEmendous Party, Attend planning commission meeting. Man the table in the lobby at the film series. TREEmendous Party volunteer.
  • Chris Raines – Add photos from EAC events and monthly minutes to EAC web site
    Post updates to Facebook page. Design flyer and tickets for TREEmendous Party. Tree Information Desktop Tri-Panel Display. Sustainability film series slides. Man the table in the lobby at the film series. TREEmendous Party volunteer.
  • Susan Curry – OrganizeTREEmendous Party. Work on Edgewood Preserve project. Attend Planning Commission Meeting. Tree Information Desktop Tri-Panel Display. Sustainability film series slides. Man the table in the lobby at the film series. TREEmendous Party volunteer. Will be interviewed by Dutch Godshalk from the Ambler Gazette about Edgewood Preserve.
  • Matt Cooley – Assist with Edgewood Preserve project. Attend TREEmendous Party volunteer. Write lawn care article for Hometown News (completed Feb 4th).
  • Raija Suomala – Map of storm drains, Communicate with park maintenance contractor. TREEmendous Party volunteer.

Agenda Topics:

  1. Council/Committee Updates:
  2. Reorganization: Borough Council voted for incumbent, Sal Pasceri for president and Ed Curtis for Vice President. Frank DeRousi is Chair for Parks and Recreation Committee. Ed Curtis is      Chair of Public Safety Committee. Public Utilities Committee chair is Sal Pasceri, Finance Chair is Jonathan Sheward. Claudio Zaccone is chair of Salary and Personnel.
  3. Appointments:
    Sarah Hertz has been appointed to the board of the Wissahickon Watershed Association.
    Julie McCabe has been appointed Executive Director of Pennypack Farm and Education Center.
  4. Next Borough Council Meeting: Steve Maakestad will give a brief overview about EAC          accomplishments at the next borough council meeting.
  5. Removal of Invasive Plants: Raija Suomela is communicating with Red Tail landscaping        service about recommendations for removal of invasive plants during the coming months. Steve    and Raija will present a proposal to Mary Aversa about the removal of invasive plants and brush in the park.
  6. Next BoRit CAG meeting is the first Wednesday of even-numbered months. All are invited to come to Upper Dublin Township Hall at 6:30 pm. (Wednesday, February 3rd then April 6th)
  7. Ordinances: Mary-Margaret attended the Planning Commission Meeting. Brian Quinn was in disagreement about the flood plain ordinance. He stated that there are several culverts discharging into the creek and said that environmental ordinances will not make a difference in the health of    the creek. More discussion about the ordinances will occur at the planning commission meeting in February. Joe Bresnan will attend that meeting. Brooke Marshall would like scientific evidence    proving that these ordinances will make an impact on the condition of the creek. The EAC would like assistance from the Wissahickon Watershed, Clean Water Action or the DEP in presenting the evidence supporting the impact riparian buffers, and steep slope protection have on the health of  waterways.

Matt Cooley stated, “Downstream flooding…people downstream have a voice. They should be    made aware (of the ordinances). I believe we are fighting because it is the right thing to do, so the Ambler waterways can be the best they can be. I recommend that we find an expert”

Susan Curry noticed that part of the ordinance had been crossed out. She is planning to attend the next Planning Commission Meeting.

The Wissahickon Watershed’s goal is to have all communities work together to reach the goal of  the TMDL.

  1. Wissahickon Watershed Stream Cleanup is April 30th, as always the last weekend of April. Earth Day is Friday, April 22nd.
  2. TreeVitalize Grant –. There is a minimum order of 10 trees – maximum number is 20 trees — to participate in the Tree-Vitalize program. Species of trees are on a 1st come, 1st serve basis and      cost $25. There are currently 6 tree orders. The EAC will purchase several trees to be placed in    Ambler Borough Parks and other public locations throughout the town. The borough public works department will pick them up and transport them to Ambler. David Morgan, Judy Simpson and Joe Sampson ? will be organizing this project. Jill and Chris gave out flyers announcing the program.  A stack is also located at the Borough Building.
  3. Edgewoods Preserve Tree Fest: April 16, 2016 on Edgewood Drive as a street fair. Lots of    children’s activities, tree planting instruction, information booths, restoration projects, music,        refreshments.
  4. Tree Information Desktop Tri-Panel Display: Susan Curry and Chris will work on the display.
  5. Sustainability film series slides: Susan Curry and Chris to work on slides and send them to      Brooke at Pennypack Farm & Education Center. Mary-Margaret, Steve, Chris and Susan Curry    will man the table in the lobby at the film series.
  6. EAC Plans for 2016: To have a greater presence in the community, particularly have a table at the Ambler Farmer’s Market, hold a plant swap, and lead a talk. Rain Garden Tour: Promote our “Do-it-yourself” model. Find landscapers who are willing to provide tentative example plans with estimated fees and possibly join the tour to discuss with attendees. Rea Monaghan’s husband is a landscaper who builds rain  gardens. Contact: rea@wvwa.org.
  7. Storm Drain Map: Raija is working on acquiring a map of storm drains throughout Ambler    for the EAC to use. Justin Murray has an older version. Glenn Kucher is also designing a storm    drain map for the borough.
  8. Fort Washington Business Alliance is scheduled for Thursday, February 18th, 2016. Two        representatives from the EAC may attend this event to discuss EAC initiatives to local business      leaders. Presentation: “Active Shooter Situation” Location: Upper Dublin Township Building, 801 Loch Alsh Avenue, Fort Washington, PA 19034. Time: 11:30 a.m. Networking, Noon to 1:15 p.m. Meeting. Email kathydisque@verizon.net to RSVP.

Officer David Madrak, UDPD, will present the various safety parameters for this               emergency situation., David E. Madrak, Professional Standards Officer, #81 – Patrol        Division, Upper Dublin Township Police Department

  1. EAC Budget was briefly discussed. $2,610 has been approved.
  2. TREEmendous Party: A DJ will provide music. Addicted2Dance will perform. The event is    scheduled from 7pm to 11pm. Tickets can be purchased at the door. There will be a 50/50 raffle as well as other raffle items. Setup volunteers will meet at 12:30pm to decorate the auditorium.

The meeting was adjourned around 9:30pm.