Removal of invasive plants in Ambler Borough Park

September 2016 Meeting Minutes

September 21, 2016, 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM        Borough Hall Recorded by: Steve Maakestad

Members in Attendance:  

Stephen Maakestad, Susan Johnsson, Karen Polesir, Ben Bergman, Mary-Margaret Monser (Quorum)

Absent Members: 

Karen Polesir (Two Vacancies)

Associates and Visitors in Attendance:

Susan Curry, Chris Raines, David Morgan, Dottie Beachem

Next Meeting Date:  October 19th, 2016 at 6:40PM –
Borough Hall

Action Items by Person:

  • Steve Maakestad – Meeting minutes, lawn chemical campaign write up.
  • Susan Johnsson – Finalize 2017 budget.
    Mary-Margaret Monser – Lead rain garden (DIY/Contracted) program, attend FWBA meeting, set up table at Borough Park volunteer day.
  • Ben Bergman – Lawn chemical campaign article, Farmer’s market coordination.
  • Chris Raines – Add photos from EAC events and monthly minutes to EAC web site.
  • Susan Curry – Follow-up with John Ferro on Restoration Plan for Edgewoods Preserve and Borough Park; revise TMDL lay person summary – include what property owners can do; collaborate with Karen on supervision of Red Tail in Borough Park

Agenda Topics:

  1. Council/Committee Updates:
    1. The monopole was discussed at the last meeting.  They are still trying to find a location but it may not be needed.
    2. It was noted that a Shade Tree Commission cannot be formed without the passing of a Borough ordinance.  Instead, a Shade Tree Citizens group may function to play an advisory role to the Parks and Recreation Committee.  It was recommended that one of the Public Works supervisors gain expertise in trees by taking the Tree Tenders training and going to the day-long Oct. 13 course at Haverford College for municipal tree managers.
  2. Announcement and Opportunities:
    1. Mary-Margaret will attend the next FWBA meeting and give elevator speech.
    2. Mary Margaret is planning to lead the rain garden program that would streamline the process for the EAC.  It would follow the Philadelphia Raincheck model providing property owners with list of installers.
  3. Treevitalize Tree program will take place from November 17th to 19th.  David Morgan is leading the program.  It was noted that volunteers will be needed for tree planting and watering afterwards.  The Borough will pick up the trees on the 17th and the planting will take place on the 18th and 19th.
  4. Ambler Borough Park Volunteer Day – Mary Margaret will set up a table for the EAC at the volunteer day on September 24th.  The group will meet at Tennis Avenue.  It was noted that Stiltgrass is an issue and the EAC should consider planting garlic mustard in its place.
  5. Social Media – The EAC will continue to use Facebook, Eventbrite, MailChimp and the gmail account.
  6. 2017 EAC Budget
    1. The group discussed the remaining budget for 2016 and the proposed budget for 2017.
    2. The 2017 budget will resemble the 2016 budget with some additions.  The EAC will add a $200 budget for social media.  The EAC will propose to increase the rain garden budget from $1,200.00 to $2,500.00 to support new installations with more of the costs. In addition, the budget will include an item for trees and borough arks of $1550.  The total budget is expected to be $5,110.  It was noted that a designated Borough Arborist would be helpful in assisting the Shade Tree Citizens and EAC efforts.
  7. Ambler’s TMDL strategy
    1. Susan Curry and Mary Margaret will meet and finalize the TMDL summary and send to Mary Aversa for review before posting to the website/social media.
  1. Ambler Borough Park Maintenance
    1. Susan Curry will circulate the maintenance plan for detailed discussion at the next meeting.
  2. Google Docs – Anyone that has questions can reach out to Ben Bergman for help.  Susan noted that she uses the following email address for Google Docs:
  3. Lawn Chemicals – Steve and Ben will meet and draft an article for the fall mini-campaign.
  4. PennDOT – It was noted that PennDOT and the Borough use Roundup regularly.  The EAC will propose alternative herbicides to Elizabeth Russell that they could use.
  5. The Delaware River Watershed Conference is on March 11, 2017.  They are seeking presenters.

The meeting was adjourned around 9:00pm.

Next Meeting Date:  October 19th, 2016 at 6:40PM (3rd Wednesday)