Category Archives: Tree Tenders

November 2016 Meeting Minutes

Recorded by: Mary-Margaret Monser

Members in Attendance:  
Mary-Margaret Monser
( No Quorum)

Absent Members: 
Karen Polesir, Ben Bergman, Stephen Maakestad, Susan Johnsson
(Two Vacancies)

Associates and Visitors in Attendance:
Susan Curry
Chris Raines

David Morgan

Jill Sanchez (with Christian)?

Next Meeting Date:  December 21, 2016 at 6:30pm at From The Boot, 110 East Butler Ave

Agenda Topics

  1. David Morgan on Trees:
    1. Julianne Schieffer, Regional Urban Forester from Penn State Extension provided inservice training to Ambler Borough Public Works crew on pruning trees in Ambler Borough. Jim Wack and his crew were receptive to develop expertise in tree maintenance.
    2. Julianne Schieffer is open to being invited back in the Spring.
    3. There are 7-8 Ash tree’s in Knight Park that are in need of protection from the Emerald Ash Borer at an estimated cost of $200 per tree.
    4. Trees at Riccardi Park have not been pruned properly. It is believed that a property owner near the park has done pruning on their own.
    5. A Spring Bare Root tree planting can be organized – identifying sites will be essential.
    6. A successful volunteer + borough crew effort planted 17 bare root trees in Ambler on November 17-19.
    7. There is no ordinance that requires a property owner of a sidewalk tree pit when they remove a dead tree to specify that the stump be ground to a 12” depth so that the pit will be ready for a new tree to be planted.  The EAC might propose a new code to have stumps ground to 12” level if a tree is removed from public leeway.
  2. Council and Committee Updates:
    1. Budget is under discussion.
  3. EAC Budget for 2016 and 2017
    1. 2017 EAC budget proposal was submitted
    2. 2016 remaining funds: possible outdoor recycling bin, or
    3. Consider hire RedTail Restoration to initiate work on the Edgewood Preserve Conservation Management Plan (authored by the WVWA)
  4. Borough Park Maintenance
    1. Red Tail has accomplished noticeable removal of vines near the well shed.
    2. To build Borough commitment to follow the Conservation Management Plan in Borough Park as well as Edgewood Preserve, consider bringing together John Ferro of WVWA, with Greg Gagliano of Red Tail and Mary Aversa for discussion and decisions on actions
    3. April 8, 2017,  10-1pm a volunteer event “Garlic Mustard invasive removal” day
  1.  Ambler’s TMDL strategy: Mary Margaret and Susan intend to polish the lay version and add links for additional information websites, then post on the EAC website.
  2. Tinkergarten: Nicole Skinner is inspired to start events for tots spend time in Borough Park.  The effort will be self-funded. The first event is Dec. 12.. The EAC supports this effort; will help to publicize it, and inform the Parks and Rec. committee.

Carried Over and New Business

  1. Follow up with Elizabeth to inquire about the success of her proposal to acquire  a non-toxic road salt alternative for de-icing during the winter.

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)

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.

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