apples in a basket

October 21, 2015 Meeting Minutes

October 21, 2015


7:00PM to 9:45PM

Members in Attendance:  
Stephen Maakestad, Chair of EAC
Susan Johnsson,
Mary-Margaret Monser

Absent Members:
Matt Cooley
Charles Charlesworth
(One Vacancy)

Associates and Visitors in Attendance:
Susan Curry
Chris Raines
Raija Suomela
Rachel Rosenfeld
Jill and Christian Sanchez

Action Items by Person:

· Steve Maakestad – .Meet with Mary Aversa. Give presentation to Borough Council. Contact prospective EAC members. Check with Gail about carryover process for unused budget funds.

  • Susan Johnsson – Send application to the Fort Washington Business Alliance. Contact Raija about invoices.
  • Susan Curry – Work on Edgewood Forest Preserve Project.
  • Mary-Margaret Monser – Create Powerpoint and give presentation at Library on November 5th. Contact Linda Hode. Send Chris Raines specs for image needed for emblem.
  • Charles Charlesworth – Coordinate TerraCycle Program to collect specific recyclables at Borough Hall with Sue Garrity of Shady Grove (cereal bags, tape dispensers, pens/markers/mechanical pencils, glue bottles, plastic bottle spray  triggers, cheese wrappers, juice pouches).
  • Chris Raines – Add photos from EAC events and monthly minutes to EAC web site
    Post updates to Facebook page. Send photos to Mary Margaret for November 5th Presentation.
  • Rachel Rosenfeld – Attend November 5th presentation and help to answer audience questions.
  • Raija Suomela – Communicate with park maintenance contractors to begin work in Borough Park.

Agenda Topics:

  1. Council/Committee Updates:

The planning commission gave a presentation describing their role in the county, explaining how they have worked with Ambler borough for 42 years and outlining two proposed conservation ordinances (Riparian Buffer and Steep Slope). Dulcy Flaherty, Eric Jarrell and Lauren VanDyk each presented information Ms. VanDyk has been working on the ordinances with the Ambler Planning Commission for the past several months.

Residents in the vicinity of Rose Valley Creek expressed dissatisfaction with the ordinances. Much of the concern was about the distance of setback from the water’s edge for Zone 1 and Zone 2. In rural areas, the setback is 100 feet for each zone and for urban areas, it is usually 25 feet. The planning commission has agreed to make the setback distance 15 feet for Ambler. There are specific guidelines for Zone 1 and Zone 2. Glenn Kucher is planning to meet individually with residents who are affected by these ordinances.

Joe Bresnan mentioned that the flood ordinance is currently being rewritten.

The TMDL (Total Maximum Daily Load) for phosphorus was discussed in relation to the water quality of the creek and the ordinances. Mary Aversa stated that the ordinances were only part of the necessary actions that the borough needed to take. Capturing and filtering all of the water runoff before it reaches the creek will be a large and costly project. She also alluded to the improvements that may be needed in the waste water treatment plant.

  1. Health of the Creeks: Some borough residents are blowing their fallen leaves into the creeks. There is a need for education about how to improve the health of the creeks. Stephen will talk to Mary Aversa and Glenn Kucher to learn whether the borough has a brochure about keeping creeks healthy.

A resident on Edgewood cut down several large healthy trees last weekend. Many neighbors are quite upset and someone spray painted swear words on one of the stumps. This tree stump has since been removed.

  1. Edgewood Forest Preserve: Susan Curry made a proposal that a 501c3 organization purchase the woodlands steep slope property on Edgewood Drive and suggested that the EAC and whole community participate in raising the tax-deductible funds to do so. She suggested that the property be transferred with a permanent Conservation Easement to the Borough for on-going maintenance.  Susan has spoken to the Wissahickon Watershed, but the size and current condition of the property does not meet the WVWA’s criterion. Susan plans to speak to the Heritage Conservancy about partnering with the property purchase.
  2. Removal of Invasive Plants in Borough Park: Raija stated that Red Tail would begin removing invasive plants later in the week. She will follow up with them to clarify which plants will be removed and report discussion to the EAC following the meeting. Rachel was concerned that the Knotweed has dried up already and suggested that Red Tail remove other invasive plants.
  3. Mesothelioma Lecture: The lecture was held on September 19th, 2015. The meeting was a success. Diane Blackburn-Zambetti was thorough and clear in presenting many aspects of the disease, prevention and risks as well as types of asbestos and where it can be found. The audience was engaged and interested in the subject. Nineteen people attended. To publicize this event, 1000 flyers were distributed to neighborhoods in Ambler, 12 local churches and many Butler Avenue businesses.
  4. Healthy Wissahickon Film: Chris Raines will work with Lindsay to schedule an EAC showing of the Healthy Wissahickon Film in early winter 2016. Possible locations/events are a church coffeehouse, a senior center, or a Fort Washington Business Alliance luncheon.
  5. Fort Washington Business Alliance: The EAC decided to join the FWBA for 2016. Susan Johnsson will send the application and fee. Our goal is for one EAC member to attend the luncheon each month to discuss ongoing initiatives and enlist support for projects from the group.
  6. Protecting Green Spaces in Ambler: Presentation is scheduled for November 5th at the Wissahickon Library (Ambler Branch). The event begins at 6:30pm with tea and scones. The presentation is scheduled for 7pm. Chris Raines will purchase the refreshments, set up and clean up. Mary-Margaret will speak about the current condition of the creek, the need for environmental ordinances, the Temple Study, and the EAC’s role.
  1. The BoRit Cag Meeting was held on October 7th. Gordon Chase was appointed chair.
  1. EAC Budget was briefly discussed. Approximately $800 is still available.
  2. Rain Gardens: A Rain Garden on the Ambler Borough Property was suggested to be placed in the area near the building’s entrance was discussed. Stephen will discuss this project with the borough manager.Mary Margaret is considering a rain garden on her property.
  3. Hometown News was mentioned briefly. Several EAC articles and photos appeared in the newsletter.
  4. Membership: There are two openings on the EAC. Matt Cooley will change his status from Member to Associate Member. He will send a letter to borough council announcing is change.


  1. Meeting with Borough Manager: The need for a meeting with Mary Aversa was discussed. Stephen Maakestad will meet with Mary Aversa to discuss EAC agenda. He will learn what types of projects she would like the EAC to focus on.
  2. December Committee or Council Meeting: Each year the EAC gives a short presentation to borough council. Stephen Maakestad will give this presentation outlining EAC accomplishments for 2015 and goals for 2016.
  3. December Meeting: The Lucky Well is being considered for a dinner meeting in December.

Items Postponed Until The Next Meeting:

  • Plant swap project
  • TMDL Phosphorous Update

The meeting was adjourned around 9:45pm.

Next Meeting Date: November 28, 2015 at 7:00PM – 131 Rosemary Avenue, Auditorium

Leave a Reply