nature photo

March 2017 Meeting Minutes

March 15 6:40pm – 9:30pm    |   Borough Hall    |    Recorded by: Lindsey Daku

Members in Attendance:  

  • Mary-Margaret Monser, Chair EAC
  • Jill Sanchez
  • Lindsey Daku

Absent Members:
(Four Vacancies)

Associates and Visitors in Attendance:

  • Susan Curry
  • Susan Johnsson, Acting EAC treasurer
  • Mitchel Cashatt, Ambler resident, landscape architect
  • Charlotte Wachter, Upper Dublin senior, Environmental Education Club

Action Items By Person:

  1. Mary- Margaret
    • Introduce Charlotte to Liz of Ambler Main Street via email
    • Ask Liz if she would send an intro email to business owners introducing Charlotte and describing her project and ask business owners to welcome her if she contacts them
    • Provide Charlotte with enviro containers or a link where she can order samples
    • Provide EAC tabling materials to Susan C for Sustainability Movie Mar. 21
  2. Jill
    1. Work with Susan C to determine # of volunteers to holes
    2. Work with Charlotte to rally honors students to dig holes
    • Request PHS invoice for spring trees, provide to Susan J who will create an invoice for Gail at the Borough so she can produce a check for Jim Wack by April 20
    • Then ask Gail to do a line item shift for excess tree income $350? to be added to the EAC budget
    • Send email to spring tree homeowners asking if they would like help digging and planting their trees on Friday April 21.
  3. Susan C:  
    • Get EAC materials from Mary-Margaret for table at the Movie Series Mar. 21
    • Add to meeting minutes on Google docs
    • Deliver poster boards to Jill for EarthFest displays
    • Send Charlotte the Boro Park Volunteer Day flyer; send Lindsey Peter Benz contact info; connect with Lindsey and Mitch about April 8
    • Support Jill with volunteer needs for tree planting
    • Check if WVWA will plan a future study of Rose Valley Creek like the stream bank studies in the headwaters of Wissahickon
    • Send secretary info to Lindsey
  1. Lindsey
    • Send out Meeting Minutes ✓
    • Add next EAC meeting to FB events ✓
    • Tree Database – send RFQ to Steve Hilbert (Bartlett)✓, Peter Benz✓, Greg (Redtail Restoration) for survey of residential Ash trees in the borough (need Peter and Greg’s email addresses)
    • Members voted to allocated up to $350 (excess from shade tree fund) toward payment of professionals to do a neighborhood Ash tree survey (street spotting) stipulating that they can enter result into ArcGIS software or make arrangements with Lindsey to have her accompany them and do it within the next 30 days
    • Set up and staff the table at the 3rd Pennypack Farm Film screening April 18th (starts 6:30)
    • FB updates for Earthfest – schedule out posts every 2-3 days to announce what’s going on ✓
    • Mascaro Facility tour – reach back out to Lindsay to schedule
    • Get Mailchimp credentials to begin monthly newsletter
    • Work with Marian on tree cataloging in ArcGIS and brainstorm resident “sponsorship” for tagging borough trees for education
    • Get hosting credentials from Daniel Brouse (need MM to introduce) and set up dev site for new website✓
    • Connect with Charlotte prior to March 21st screening to give her tablet for survey✓
    • Send headshots to Jill to update members page
  1.  Susan Johnsson
    • lead Stream Clean-up – check expanded clean-up area beyond streams in case have too many volunteers;
    • support Jill with Borough check for Tree pick-up and shift extra income to EAC budget.

Agenda Topics:

7:00 – 7:10 PM Meet and Greet,  Decision to share secretary role via attendees entering notes into Google Docs

7:10 – 8:15 PM EAC General Updates

  1. Council:  Pocket park survey; marijuana dispensaries allowed. Zoning Hearing decision on Alexy appeal of Quinn permits to be announced April 8.
  2. Meeting Minutes
  3. Upcoming Events:
    • March 21st – Pennypack Farm Film Series Screening #2 SUSTAINABILITY (Susan Curry with Charlotte) 6:30 pm to 9:00 pm
    • April 8th – Volunteer Day at Borough Park (Susan leading, Lindsey, Mitch) 10:00 am to 2:15 pm
    • April 18th – Pennypack Farm Film Series Screening #3 SEEDS (Lindsey) – 6:30 pm to 9:00 pm
    • April 21st – Resident Treeplanting – throughout the day
    • April 22nd – EarthFest at Borough Hall  11:00 am to 4:00 pm
    • April 29th – Stream Cleanup — Trax Cafe at 9:00 am – 11:00
    • May 6th – 8am-3pm EAC Conference, Lancaster, PA (Mary-Margaret, Lindsey, Jill?)
  1. Enviro friendly take-out containers initiative
    • Charlotte Wachter Upper Dublin High School, has chosen to conduct this initiative as her Senior Community Study project.  Jill and Mary-Margaret both have background checks and will provide the EAC support.
    • Detail of project:
      • Create a survey for anyone who visits Ambler to ask how important are the kind of take-out containers various food businesses provide (surveys can be filled out live at the Sustainability Movies, tree plantings, and through the Facebooks)
      • Research and clarify the environmental impacts of various take-out containers commonly used by restaurants. (Steve Waxman Trax Cafe?)  
      • Get a list of food service businesses in Ambler with phone, manager and address from Ambler Makin Street (Liz Kunzier),
      • Charlotte would contact the managers between May 15 and June 2 to present the idea of switching to environmentally friendly take- out containers.
      • Acknowledge restaurants who switched publicly
    • What does success look like:
      • at least one restaurant adopts better take-out containers per pledge or new contract with container providers, and
      • several managers are now aware of a more environmentally friendly alternative.  Further follow-up efforts can be a service project for another student.  Charlotte
  2. EarthFest updates:  Inside and outside the Borough Hall Gym  April 22
    • Programming:  11:00 Rainbarrel workshop – tickets $35, first 20 get a $65 rain barrel (hoping Borough will subsidize $30 of cost per rain barrel.)  12:00 Montco Conservation District – best stormwater practices. Aiming for a compost workshop with Earth Machines available as rain barrels above; Red Tail Restoration to present best landscaping practices, also a table; electronic waste collection; kid friendly activities. (Any unclaimed rain barrels and compost bins could be further dispersed at Weaver’s Way workshops — stored in Borough Hall garage area). Tinkergarden, Robbins Park; EAC led children’s crafts
    • Marketing:  Jill: Facebook, Around Ambler, 19002, Web pages, Press Releases to Enterprise and Gazette; cross posting by ally organizations; display in Borough lobby; presentation to Council; poster on kiosk at Cavalier Drive.
  3. TreeVitalize Spring – Jill leading
    1. $1470 from homeowners-$1120cost= $350 money into the EAC budget to support Fall trees.  Jill will circulate an email soon to homeowners to find out who wants help with digging the holes/planting the trees.
  4. EAC resolved to contact 3 tree Ash tree experts (Peter Benz, Steve Bartlett, and another) to ask if they will come identify yards in Ambler with Ash trees that may need attention.  Funds will come from sale of Spring trees. The EAC will work with homeowners to inform them of the Emerald Ash Borer and provide a list of arborists specializing in assessment and treatment.  The brittle dead but still standing trees are a liability/ safety issue. Some trees can possibly be saved with treatment(s).
  5. Open Space in Ambler/ETC  — The link below showcases a  community ownership approach would be perfect for the pocket park.
    • Map of current open space — Last map was 2006,  open space is dwindling in Ambler
    • It was noted at the Schuylkill Watershed Congress that:
      • WVWA is doing stream bank restoration in the Upper Gwynedd headwaters of Wissahickon (raising the stream bed and widening the area for flooding to slow erosion which causes sedimentation)
      • Involving the community in planning  and  executing environmental initiatives  creates ownership and a sense a community. “Charettes”  are a way to engage the community in planning.
    • Ambler Borough Park is has a growing wetlands area at the downstream end
  6. Website — needs removal of old events,  and  addition of monthly e-mail

Additional connections with Upper Dublin High School students: Principal Mr Thompson — “sponsor some students” for 3-week Community Studies, Culminating Projects. Mr. Greenberg: National Honors Society students need community service hours/points. Lisa Fantini: Environmental Education Club

An environmental project is posted at Wissahickon High School  for Senior Projects.

Meeting adjourned around 9:30pm

Next Meeting April 19, 2017