Early Spring Crocuses

May 2017 Meeting Minutes

May 22, 6:45-9:45 pm    |   Borough Hall    |    Recorded by: Lindsey Daku

*****Next Meeting — Monday June 26,  2017 @ 6:30pm****

  • Members in Attendance:  
  • Mary-Margaret Monser, Chair EAC
  • Jill Sanchez
  • Lindsey Daku
  • Mitchell Cashatt
    (Quorum)

 

Absent Members:
(Three Vacancies)

 

  • Associates and Visitors in Attendance:
  • Susan Curry, former EAC Chair
  • Judy Baigis, Ambler Resident, former Borough Council Representative
  • Charlotte Wachter, Upper Dublin HS Senior, Environmental Education Club
  • Erin Langan, Engineering Visitor
  • Susan Johnson, Associate Member
  • Andrew Chiang, Water Resource Engineer
  • Mishell Spigelmyer, Ward 2 Resident
  • Nellie DiPietro, Ward 3 Resident and Council Candidate
  • David Morgan (last hour or so), Resident, former Shade Tree Committee

Action Items By Person

 

  • Mary Margaret

 

    • Check with Total Recycling if the processing plant operates on Saturdays, and under what conditions they would schedule a Saturday tour
    • Inspect existing rain gardens for appropriate inclusion on Rain Garden Tour
    • Connect with Frank DeRuosi and Mary Aversa regarding safety measures in development of Bast property
    • Reach out to D’Huy Engineering about interest in Ambler EAC initiatives
    • Claim homes to visit with Ash tree flyer
    • Post Bucks Mont EAC summit event
    • Contact WVWA for information on Rain Barrel handout/resource
    • Create list of Rain Barrel purchases and send out email. Check on installation.
    • Contact potential handy person for installation of Rain Barrels
    • Temple Garden/Farmers Market/Council/affordable fresh food
    • Complete EarthFest reflection notes.

 

 

  • Jill

 

    • Continue to promote the Adopt-A-Tree program to identify volunteers to water newly planted trees this November 2017
    • Continue to work with Mary Aversa to gain approval from SEPTA to plant 6 trees in vacant tree pits in the Ambler SEPTA lot.
    • Work with Susan to compile list of sophomore and senior projects for high school students.

 

Mitch

  • Inspect existing rain gardens with MM before tour
  • Follow through with Mennonite church rain garden installation costs
  • Verify if Nellie’s yard, and Lindsey’s yard can have a rain garden

 

Andrew

  • Check with Greens Committee if they could allocate funds to purchase trees and plaques for Knight Park

 

Erin

  • Inquire with employer regarding access to 2006 documents on asbestos sites

 

Susan J

 

  • Clarify what amount remains in EAC budget for public trees.

 

Susan C

 

  • Work with Jill to compile list of sophomore and senior projects for high school students. Aim to share with high school faculty at Wissahickon and Upper Dublin when school starts in Fall.
  • Claim homes to visit with Ash tree flyer ASAP
  • Check with FEMA about content that will be covered in the June workshops, work with Lindsey to create the most enticing flyer to support more target property owners attending one of the workshops.
  • Investigate how other municipalities counter specific property rights push back on new ordinances
  • Organize a volunteer effort to remove garlic mustard at Edgewood Preserve
  • Interview Lee Mieneke about what could support increased Ambler restaurant composting
  • Provide contact info for ASTDR and PA DOH for support with assurances that Bast property is being developed with resident safety at the same standard as EPA did the BoRit site
  • Give feedback to Charlotte on her brochure to restaurants as soon as she sends it
  • Find diverter handout from past rain barrel workshops

 

Lindsey

 

  • Reach out to Mary Aversa for information to assemble flyer for Property Floodproofing sessions hosted by Army Corps of Engineers June 22nd & 24th; add these events to the EAC calendar
  • Send May meeting minutes to attendees
  • Update logos on website and across social media
  • Get with MM for programming for EAC table at the Farm Market June 3rd
  • May newsletter – include upcoming events and highlight Adopt-a-Tree and Charlotte’s Project (request resident participation) – Create on Saturday
  • Add next monthly meeting to Facebook events
  • Look into updating Accomplishments page (include 2016, 2015, 2014)
  • Update Ash Tree flyer for distribution to residents with Ash Trees
  • This summer: work with Susan C and David Morgan to locate trees planted over the years on a map with database

 

 

Agenda Topics:

6:45 – 7:00    Meet and Greet

7:00 – 8:30    EAC General Updates

Meeting Minutes April

Council  and Planning Commission Updates

 

  • Announcements and Opportunities

 

      1. June 2– Jill & MM to attend the Upper Dublin High School Environmental Science Semester Project 10:10am at the UDHS Library
      2. June 3– Farmers Market Strawberry Festival (Lindsey)
      3. June 10– Farmers Market Effects of Littering – a semester’s project presented by a High School Sophomore (Jill)
      4. June 11 — 1:00 to 3:00– Rain Garden Tour (Mary-Margaret)
      5. June 17– Farmers Market Master Watershed Steward Program(Mary-Margaret)
      6. June 27–Bucks-Mont EAC Summit 425 Wells Road Doyelstown 7-9pm
      7. July 29– Farmers Market FEMA floodwaters demo –trees vs developed infiltration (Chris Raines)

 

  • Council and Planning Commission Updates

 

      1. New Stormwater Ordinance
        1. Spend time reading through and understanding
      2. Parking
        1. Discussion of signage/communication of where parking exists. Underutilization of Septa lot at night. Lot sharing.
        2. Ambler Theater has google overlay on their website to direct patrons to parking
        3. Impact study from 2008. Parking has been an issue since 1940.
      3. Medical Marijuana
        1. D’Huy is interested in attending Ambler EAC meetings
      4. Open Space
        1. Discussion about 2006 Open Space Plan
          1. Borough requested update of maps to include new open space
          2. Susan Curry requested update of maps to include potential acquisition sites.
          3. Mary Ambler Property: historical significance and location along green way make it high priority
          4. Open Space Plan is greater than 10 years old. Recommend update of plan.
      5. Bamboo ordinance
        1. Going to Planning Commission
      6. Videotaping Council Meetings
        1. Not on agenda but discussed.
        2. Would allow for people to have greater connection to their community
      7. Food Bucks
        1. Ambler EAC noted that there is a garden at Temple Ambler that seeks out volunteers after students leave in May. Reach out to Farmer’s Market and Council for this potential avenue for fresh food for low income.
      8. No Planning Commission Meeting in April
        1. Can Planning Commission review previous ordinances and reflect with Glenn? This was a suggestion.

 

  • Tree Vitalize

 

      1. Septa Lot trees –
        Jill is working with Mary Aversa to gain approval from SEPTA to replant 6 trees in vacant tree pits in the SEPTA lot.
      2. Adopt-A-Tree – 50 flyers delivered to homes around Knight Park where 8 large Ash trees were removed– 1 reply will purchase and water. Possible funding from Montco Green Party, Girl Scouts Troop 1529 (MM), Canvas Bag sales, Mother’s and Dad’s Day gifts, and EAC funds. Discussed possible tree plaques that could be purchased by residents adopting the tree such as “in memory of” or “dedicated to”. Possibly Veterans groups can have a tree dedicated. Memorial plaques could also help fund trees in the future Pocket Park.
      3. Landlord trees –
        Code Enforcement sent a TreeVitalize flyer announcing availability of trees to Ambler landlords along with an annual bill they receive.

 

  • Recycle

 

      1. Mascaro toured by MM, Susan and Lisa Urie. Inquire if they will organize Saturday tours for a given number of attendees.
      2. Total Recycling is eager to have more schools visit — there are two tour options — the landfill and the recycling processing plant with film.
      3. EAC supports Ambler Borough during the next upgrade of trash receptacles to have dual containers to encourage recycling wherever trash containers are placed. Develop a white paper to voice our support. Important to visually blend in with the look of the streetlights and benches.

 

  • Earth Fest Update

 

      1. Rain Barrels… it is noted not all rain barrels have been installed. Apparent obstacle of missing information on getting diverters. Can we find a person who will offer to install them for nominal fee ($25?).  Susan will try to find diverter handout from past rain barrel workshops.

 

  • Rain Gardens — Ambler’s rain gardens were highlighted in recent Master Watershed Steward class and at the Natural Lands trust EAC Conference. Getting this program up and running again fulfils BMPS for our MS4 permit, beautifies yards, and filters stormwater, keeping it where it falls.

 

      1. Rain Garden Tour — June 11  1:00 to 3:00 Mary-Margaret
      2. Rain Garden inspection — Mary-Margaret and Mitchell
      3. Mennonite Church/Residential – Mitchell to clarify costs to install the Mennonite Church one with Greg Gaglioni; visit Nelli’s and Lindsey’s yards to review for future rain garden. Report of a woman on Lindenwold interested too. One rain garden ready for installation.

 

  • Emerald Ash Borer — Ash trees are what they make baseball bats from!

 

      1. 14 Park trees removed from Knight and Borough parks. Jill is leading a replacement project with PHS TreeVitalize trees and volunteer waterers. Clarify what amount remains in EAC budget for public trees.
      2. Ben Ford, student working on single use plastic bags will donate proceeds to Ambler EAC. Money to be used for trees.
      3. Community outreach: trees at 37 homes identified in windshield survey. EAC members to claim specific houses they will visit to bring attention to taking action as suggested in the Ash tree flyer
      4. ARC GIS — This summer: Lindsey to work with Susan C and David Morgan to locate trees planted over the years on a map with database

 

  • Student initiatives

 

      1. Biodegradable Take Out Containers – High School Senior, Charlotte Wachter, is making progress on her 3 week Senior Community Study project to research biodegradable take out containers and persuade Ambler restaurants to switch to a more environmentally friendly take-out box. She has a chart of restaurants and their hours, and has a draft brochure for our feedback. Trax Cafe was mistakenly reported to us eco-friendly containers – maybe good plastic utensils?; From the Boot may be the best example. The eco-friendly containers cost about double the other ones (15 cents vs. 7 cents) Suggest SweetBriar not to give out straws unless asked for
      2. Single Use Plastic Bags – need to find out when Ben can attend Farmer’s Market. Sale of bags could support funds for new trees.

 

  • Stormwater Management — Borough about to approve new ordinance per MOntgomery County

 

      1. Identification of opportunities – Mary Ambler Property: possible student initiative to calculate ROE/ROI of preserving this land (avoided costs)
      2. Education
      3. Partnerships with Abington EAC, Upper Dublin EAB, Gwynedd Green Committee

 

  • Ordinances

 

      1. Tree ordinance – Aim to support required replacement of equal calliper whenever trees are cut down, eliminate “topping” of trees, educate on proper maintenance (mulching)
      2. Bamboo issue sent to Planning Commission for new ordinance– no new plantings; encourage voluntary removal to reduce expansion of existing areas
      3. EAC to continue to stand for inclusion of Riparian Buffer and Wet Lands ordinances in the new Stormwater ordinance.

 

  • Bo Rit Concern for Bast site

 

      1. Attached letter 120 residential units on Bast property– EAC to work with Mary Aversa and Council to accomplish public assurances and proof that development is happening on Bast property with high standards regarding resident protection from asbestos exposure
      2. Acquire pictures of site
      3. Langan Engineering report 2006

 

  • Ambler Borough Park

 

      1. Invasives – Additional maintenance required to control Garlic Mustard at Edgewood preserve; Susan C will organize a volunteer effort
      2. Programming – Tinkergarden and more desired
      3. Red Tail – contract allows for “pop up” removal dates

 

  • Administrative

 

    1. Meeting Minutes – Lindsey is sending to attendees 5/23; all notes should be added to be shared to allies and post to website and FB by 12pm on 5/27
    2. Agenda – MM to make sure is posted on EAC web page
    3. Website – new logo; resurrect Accomplishments page from former website
    4. Social Media – Instagram, Facebook and AmblerEAC.org
    5. Recording of meetings – agendas and meeting minutes will be shared on social media as the next step toward transparency

Additional topics:  

–Undesirable density at St. Mary’s Villa, and desire for stronger stormwater management than planned to compensate for the loss of trees and infiltration.

— Way to connect Temple Ambler’s agricultural produce with low-income residents.

— Mary Margaret attended a day in Harrisburg in support of Keeping PA Growing Greener funding in state budget.  Awaiting news about grantees of 2017 Growing Greener grants.