Holly with snow and berries

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,

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.
      1. http://phsonline.org/programs/tree-tenders
      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
      1. shilbert@bartlett.com
      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.
    3. https://semspub.epa.gov/work/03/2238004.pdf
    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. lkrepto@yahoo.com Contact person is Laurie Krepto
    2. PA Land Conservation Conference.
      1. http://conserveland.org/2017-conference/
      2. May 4-6 in Lancaster
    3. Delaware River Watershed Conference
      1. http://www.delawareriverkeeper.org/watershed-congress-along-schuylkill-river
      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
      1. https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/introducing-go-box-ultimate-reusable-take-out-box#/
      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.