November 15 2017 Meeting Minutes

November 15, 2017 6:45-8:30pm | Borough Hall Meeting Room | Recorded by: Lindsey Daku

**Wednesday December 20 at 6:45pm**

Members in Attendance:

  • Mary-Margaret Monser, Chair EAC
  • Jill Sanchez
  • Lindsey Daku
  • Lisa Keenan
  • Mitchell Cashatt
  • (Quorum)

Absent Members:

  • Erin Landis
  • (One Vacancy)

Friends of the EAC & Visitors in Attendance:

  • Nellie DiPietro, Council-elect Ward 3
  • Erin McKenna-Endicott, Council-elect Ward 1
  • Susan Curry
  • Mark Schafer – Vice chair of Lower Gwynedd EAC, WVWA member
  • Connie Liu, Upper Dublin HS student
  • Nancy Deininger, Council, Ward 1, Chairperson of Salary and Personnel

Action Items by Person:

  • Mary-Margaret: contact DCNR for resources and brochures, compile known locations of bamboo – ask Judy Baigis, and PC members for any others known, check if Erin would become “admin” for the EAC; develop the date and theme for EAC Summit – invite speakers.
  • Lindsey: send Nov newsletter, add meeting time to homepage, create Dec meeting event on FB, work with Nancy to facilitate adding EAC meeting time to borough website and calendar, eventually work with Connie on design of new trifold
  • Jill: Coordinate all aspects of the TreeVitalize tree planting; secure waterers for each public tree.
  • Mitch: Develop materials to include Monarch way stations in all future rain garden designs; assist in pick up of extra tools needed for the tree planting from the WVWA
  • Nellie: Scan and circulate the 2008 proposed Downtown Tree Management Policies
  • Chris: Continue to develop children orientated April event


6:45-7:00 Meet and Greet

7:00-7:15 Presentation Connie Liu UDHS Environmental Project

  1. Questionnaire Feedback regarding Ocean Debris – focus questions on buying/disposal decisions
  2. Connie loves art: considering a student arts show to fund recycling education initiatives – aiming for May/June 2018. Nancy would like to include Wissahickon students
  3. Design and create an educational trifold for recycling – work with Lindsey on design

7:15 -8:45 EAC General Updates

Meeting Minutes from October 18th – approved

  1. Council/Planning Commission Updates
    • Open Space – Lauren vanDyk (County planner) provided a draft for updates for one section (paper copy available) but very preliminary at this point. Notable: interesting focus on providing residents “biophilia”, or nature therapy
    • Bamboo Ordinance – Montco planning commission suggested more details for management of existing bamboo into the ordinance draft; EAC was invited by PC to compile a preliminary map of bamboo in the Borough just from common knowledge; Find a dichotomous key for bamboo identification for residents.
    • Properties with bamboo in Ambler from common knowledge (also ask Judy Baigis, and PC members if they know of others)
      1. 152, 154, 156 Tennis Ave
      2. 2+ Properties on Edgewood backing up to Borough Park
        1. 424 Edgewood Drive
        2. 157 Edgewood Drive
      3. Edgewood Apartments 150 N Bethlehem Pk
      4. 1 property on North Main Street (need confirmation)
      5. 1 property on  232 Forest ave
      6. Chris Raines house on 342 Mattison (invasive from neighbor)
      7. Southern & Church (on Ambler side, needs confirmation)
      8. 323 Valley Brook Rd
    • Peter Nyamu has submitted an EAC application – It would be hard for him to find our meeting time on the Borough’s website, not on calendar; Nancy will go through channels to reach out to Peter and let him know he can (and is encouraged) to attend an EAC meeting prior to officially joining; Nancy will advocate on Council for candidates attending an EAC meeting to know what they are signing on for before applying. A lot of recent appointments have not lasted.
    • Term of EAC service: 3 years, renewable
  2. Announcements and Opportunities
  3. EAC project updates
    • Make Ambler a Shade Better – 34 new trees; 24 to be planted with help of volunteers from Wissahickon High School Key Club & a Girl Scout Troop Sat. Nov 18 from 9:00 to noon.  #WHSDigsAmbler where any participant can post snap chat photos with captions of the event in progress
      1. Education on proper mulching practices.
      2. Focus on maintaining current trees.
      3. A tree pit policy of 28 square feet minimum tree pit was agreed to by Council 7-8 years ago, but not enforced. Susan Curry would like to join Mary-Margaret to meet with Mary Aversa to develop a plan for honoring tree pit minimums. Ambler Downtown Tree Management policies were recommended 2008; five of the 21 recommendations were approved back then.  A binder was given to the Public Works Department (Jim Wack may know where it is). EAC may consider proposing formal adoption and implementation of additional policies in the future. Possibility: fence and flower planting at base of wider pits.
        1. Nellie will scan a folder of documents on the recommended policies from Susan so all can know what the policy suggestions entailed
    • Solar power – Solar City presentation last weekend: 33 people in attendance. Requirement: 12 people in the general vicinity of Ambler to establish a solar co-op; probably a $10K-35K  investment by each home.
    • Stewardship Saturday- Saturday October 21st
      1. RedTail was not there this month. Mary-Margaret led the volunteer group to remove the small amount of bamboo that had migrated from a private yard into the park
      2. RedTail Contract with Borough for $5,000 yearly.  Discussed some confusion earlier in the year that was straightened out around making sure that Red Tail separates invoices for park work (in the $5,000 Parks and Rec contract) from participation in Earthfest (in the EAC events budget.) Before the invoices were separated, it appeared that Red Tail was invoicing for more than their contract.
    • Beautiful project – Sharon McCormick & Bernadette Dougherty were selected for the month of November. Both home owners will get a letter of acknowledgement, some social media & maybe Gazette coverage, as well as a gift certificate to Abyss. Criteria focusses on best management practices: both yards are reducing mowable turf in favor of other storm water management features.
    • Fall native planting:  The boy scout event was cancelled. Temple Ambler Arboretum already donated to the EAC magnolia trees, nine bark shrub, and sixty osage oranges. Plants are stored at Chris Raines’ back yard. Need to devise plans for planting; could some be offered to help residents along riparian buffer areas? Reach out to residents along the riparian buffer. BEST to plant the all before the ground is frozen, but there are over-wintering plans to temporarily heel trees in the ground.
    • Rain Gardens– Mitch has the last 3 signs.
    • Creek Monitoring, Wissahickon Valley Watershed Association – Susan Johnsson has been monitoring site TS50 in Borough Park, between the 10th-20th of the month. Mary Margaret did it recently, using a form to collect data for an assessment of the Rose Valley Creek. We’ll plan how can incorporate this activity of monitoring in with Stewardship Saturdays.
  4. Education Opportunities
    • Student engagement in community environmental projects- Jill Sanchez is working with Rachel Bowman’s WHS senior project about recycling.
    • A Healthy Wissahickon: We All Have a Part To Play – a Movie: WVWA to set up time to show this movie. Include showing it into the February Ambler EAC summit.
    • February Ambler EAC Summit -Mary-Margaret will figure a date. Abington, Whitemarsh, Horsham, UD EAB. Get the kind of speakers we had from Earth Fest last year — the speakers will have a more interested audience. Maybe focus on TMDLS, and MS4
    • April EarthFest/GreenFest in Ambler – Chris Raines is planning a children’s oriented event. Erin McKenna noted that the children’s focus at last year EarthFest seemed one of the better aspects worth expanding.
    • Monarch Waystations -Implement into all rain garden designs going forward.
    • The Benefits of Trees
      1. New education trifold
      2. Will source books and several other educational components for kit
    • Spring Native Planting Gardens – Install spring 2018
  5. Possible future initiatives
  6. Volunteer Co-ordinator/Job descriptions/Website/Email/Social Media

8:30-8:40 next Steps/Action items

Next Meeting Wednesday, December 20th at 7pm