2014-11 EAC Meeting Minutes November 19

AMBLER BOROUGH ENVIRONMENTAL ADVISORY COUNCIL
Date: Wednesday, November 19, 2014 7:00 to 9:00 PM
Member Attendance (quorum): Stephanie Figary, Susan Johnsson, Steve Maakestad Member Absence: Matt Cooley Associates: Susan Curry, Chris Raines, Mary-Margaret Bruni Others in attendance for Borough Park Meeting: Sharon McCormick, Frank DeRousi, Nancy Deininger, Rich Palumbo, Dennis Miranda (WVWA), Harry Heckler (Boy Scouts), Judy Baigis, Bernadette Dougherty, others.
Next Meeting Date: December 17, 2014 7:00 pm. Note change—future meetings will be on the third Wednesday of the month.
Action Items by person:
Maakestad: a) Pick up the EAC key from Justin for meetings; inquire about his membership status. b) Draft annual EAC summary report to Council and inquire about agenda spot for EAC at
December meeting. c) Find a professional to do infiltration testing for spring rain gardens and beyond d) Find 2-3 landscaping companies who can assist with rain garden installation and obtain
quotes for typical rain gardens. Johnsson: e) Notify Borough of permanent meeting date change to 3rd Wednesday of the month, ask for
change on Borough website f) Request of Gail Gordon (Boro) issuance of checks to WVWA and Delaware Riverkeepers. g) Eventually confirm all previous rain gardens are registered and have signs.
Figary: h) Inquire with WVWA land manager about cost of following The Riparian Buffer Maintenance guidelines. Bruni: i) Apply for a seat on the Ambler EAC: Submit letter for interest to Sal, Mary, and Frank. Raines: j) Draft program summary for Earth Day event April 18, 2015. Curry:
Find someone to do infiltration testing for Spring Rain Gardens.
Begin coordination of Spring Rain Gardens; update the Homeowners Agreement regarding EAC matching costs.
Check why the Clear Stream recycling stands are not being used at Boro events

AMBLER

Borough of Ambler 122 East Butler Avenue
EAC
Ambler, PA 19002-4476 215-646-1000
ENVIRONMENTAL ADVISORY COUNCIL
www.AmblerEAC.org
AGENDA TOPICS
1. Ambler Borough Park:
The EAC welcomed Council Members of the Parks and Recreation Committee and other attendees. Everyone provided brief introductions.
Susan Curry provided an overview/photo presentation on Ambler Borough Park and described some of the issues that the park has had since it has not been maintained. At first, there was a volunteer group that maintained the park but not since 2012.
A Riparian Buffer Maintenance plan was developed by the landscape professional who had designed the forest restoration in the park several years back.
It was noted that the park was originally all mowed turf under trees until the reforestation project. It has not been maintained well by volunteers over the last 3 years. Therefore native weeds, such as poison ivy, stinging nettles, burdock and poke weed, and invasive species such as Japanese knotweed, stilt grass and other invasive species are pervasive and unattractive.
There are falcons nesting within the park. Sharon McCormick noted that there have been several instances of rabid animals in the park in the last few years.
Deer fencing was installed to protect some of the trees but recent large storm events destroyed the fencing, then volunteers removed most but not all of the fencing. Flooding is a key issue for the park and any improvements or maintenance should consider the recent Watershed Flood Study that was done by Temple Ambler. In addition, new clearing and mowing of grown-in areas may induce erosion in the floodplain.
It was noted that Japanese knotweed has a deep, knotty taproot and herbicide Round-up or Rodeo) is typically used by other park managers to control it, as it is difficult to remove. Volunteers had been working with shovels to dig roots for several years.
Ambler Borough Parks and Rec Committee, in cooperation with EAC and other interested parties, will develop a survey to the residents in order to determine what their preferences are for the park. In addition, Ambler Borough will seek out consulting or a professional study from Temple Ambler. This study would aim to propose a long-term plan for the park – it would be comprehensive and factor in all considerations such as safety, police access, etc.
Ambler EAC will consider holding a park cleanup day to help with annual maintenance. Ultimately, a decision may need to be made about who will do the routine maintenance that may be required.
Harry Heckler, Scoutmaster, noted that their Boy Scout troop is looking for a significant project to work on as part of their 100-year anniversary in 2015.
AMBLER
Borough of Ambler 122 East Butler Avenue
EAC
Ambler, PA 19002-4476 215-646-1000
ENVIRONMENTAL ADVISORY COUNCIL
www.AmblerEAC.org

2. Council Updates: It was noted that Covanta came in as the low bidder for the trash removal contract. This was the EAC’s preferred vendor as they operate the trash to steam plant. Ambler Borough Council is considering buying one or more trash trucks and running the trucks multiple days each week as an in-house operation.

3. EAC General Updates and New Actions:
The proposed EAC budget for 2015 is $2,350. It was noted that all compost bins were paid for and received. The EAC approved contributions from the 2014 budget to WVWA ($50) for membership and to Delaware Riverkeepers ($50) for membership.
The EAC is supportive of an Ambler Earth Day event given that it will not require significant contribution from the EAC budget. Chris Raines will provide a draft program summary at the next EAC meeting. The proposed date is April 18th and proposed venue is the Calvary Church Parking lot. The January 24 EAC meeting will likely be held at the church to facilitate co-planning with their group, especially Eileen and Mark Wenckus
Steve Maakestad will draft a year-end report summary for the EAC to review and will provide a brief presentation to Council at the December 16 meeting.

4. Rain Garden Program:
The new draft homeowner agreement for the D-I-Y style rain gardens was reviewed by the EAC and minor changes were suggested.
It was noted that the WVWA is holding two rain garden workshops in March. There are five potential rain gardens for the spring. Susan Curry is looking for someone to do infiltration testing and also some potential landscapers who could install rain gardens if homeowners want to hire someone. Steve Maakestad will look into this.
The EAC may organize a June? 2015 Rain Garden Tour with publicity at the Earth Day event.

5. Next Steps/Action Items/Next Meeting:
The EAC is still seeking members. The Facebook page has drawn a lot of interest with over 90 followers. EAC members will continue to advertise and seek new members. Mary-Margaret Bruni will submit a letter of interest in joining the EAC as a member. There will still be two openings for members.
The next meeting will be held on Wednesday, December 17th, 2014 at 7:00 pm.

6. The meeting was adjourned at 9:05PM.