Tag Archives: downtown tree management

November 18, 2015 EAC Meeting Minutes

7:00PM to 9:30PM

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

Absent Members:
Charles Charlesworth

(One Vacancy)

Associates and Visitors in Attendance:
Susan Curry
Chris Raines

Action Items by Person:

  • Steve Maakestad –   .Meet with Mary Aversa. Give presentation to Borough Council in December. Contact prospective EAC members. Check with Gail about carryover process for unused budget funds. Attend BoRit Cag Meeting. Move tools from Susan Johnsson’s house to the EAC storage area in the borough building. Monitor EAC email.
  • Susan Johnsson – Send application to the Fort Washington Business Alliance. Contact Raija about invoices from Greg Gagliano.
  • Susan Curry – Work on Edgewood Forest Preserve Project. Send letter to the editor about the EAC and need for new members.
  • Mary-Margaret Monser – Mary Margaret will contact Charles Charlesworth to encourage him to attend the next EAC meeting. Plan Edgewood Preserve Beef and Beer Fundraiser with Chris Raines and others.
  • Charles Charlesworth – Attend BoRit Cag Meeting.
  • Chris Raines – Add photos from EAC events and monthly minutes to EAC web site.
    Post updates to Facebook page. Work with Mary-Margaret Monser on Edgewood Preserve Beef and Beer Fundraiser.
  • Rachel Rosenfeld – Participate in organization, planning and support of EAC projects.
  • Raija Suomela – Communicate with park maintenance contractors to begin work in Borough Park.
  • Matt Cooley – Attend Fort Washington Business Alliance Meeting in January, if work schedule allows. Participate in organization, planning and support of EAC projects schedule permits.

Agenda Topics:

  1. Council Meeting:

The Riparian buffer ordinance is being pursued. The Steep Slope ordinance has been postponed.

Rose Valley Creek Conservation District Ordinances were received. A letter submitted by Joseph Catuzzi, Esquire representing Mr. and Mrs. Quinn was also received. The Solicitor scheduled a meeting to discuss the letter and proposed language in the Riparian Buffer ordinance. Two clauses in the ordinance have been agreed on and two are being rewritten. One of the Quinn’s buildings is within 17 feet of the banks edge. This building has been grand fathered. Mr. Quinn would like to use his property as a business.

There was a discussion about the health of local creeks. Raking of leaves into creeks is not a good practice. An education program was discussed.

The EAC will consider reintroducing the woodlands ordinance after the Riparian buffer ordinance is completed.

  1. Protecting Green Spaces in Ambler (Library Presentation)

Mary-Margaret gave an excellent presentation with the help of Rachel Rosenfeld. Chris presented a certificate of appreciation to Rachel. Attendance was outstanding with standing room only. The audience was engaged and responsive to the subject.

The borough has written a MS4 TMDL Strategy (link at –http://www.boroughofambler.com/assets/MS4-TMDL-Strategy-2015-10-23.pdf) and is accepting comments during a 30-day public comment period (verbal and written comments). A public meeting date was advertised and comments were accepted at the November Committee meeting.

  1. 2016 Budget:

Public Meetings are scheduled for November 17, at 6:00pm, November 24, at 10:00am and December 1, at 6:00pm. This budget includes funding the EAC and Edgewood Preserve.

Donations of remaining budget funds for allocation to the Edgewood Preserve was voted on and affirmed by EAC members. At this time, there is $913.03 available. Susan Curry suggested purchasing sturdy shelving to hold EAC supplies at a store such as Staples or Quill for approximately $100. Edgewoods Preserve vote – Restricted account for open space. Susan Johnsson will give all to give to Gail by next week.

  1. Edgewood Preserve:

A total of $30,000 has been raised for the Edgewood Preserve and $45,000 is needed by February 2016. The fundraising committee is formulating an agreement of sale. A letter of intent was submitted with a $10,000 nonrefundable deposit. Attorney, Joe Breslin is in discussion with Mr. Retowski to extend date to April 2016. There is no agreement of sale yet. The EAC is also considering purchasing property from Tim Alexi as well. Sarah Hertz has done quite a bit of fundraising and the EAC will encourage her to join the fundraising committee.

  1. EAC Membership Availabilities:

Environmental Advisory Council (3 year term) –two seats. Susan Curry will send a letter to the editor to seek new members.

  1. The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program:

The program provides communities with resources to address community development needs. Susan will pursue a grant from the CDBG to purchase open space in the Edgewood Preserve.

  1. Ambler Borough Park Maintenance:

Greg Gagliano of Red Tail Restoration and Land Management LLC. has completed 8 hours of park maintenance. He will continue work within the next few weeks and the total cost should be $800 when complete.

  1. Mini Campaigns:

Showing Health of Wissahickon film (WVWA) at the borough building was suggested with an attendance goal of 35 or 45 people. Refreshments of wine and cheese is being considered.

A new mini campaign on trees is beginning. An information page called, “10 Reasons Why We Save Trees,” was posted on the EAC Facebook page. The Treevitalize program will start in Spring 2016. The EAC will hold a tree planting event in April on Edgewood Drive.

Treevitalize needs tree orders two months in advance. All trees are native and 12 to 15 feet tall. The list of available trees changes from year to year and is sent out in February. Municipalities from all over state order trees which are delivered to the Naval Yard in South Philadelphia. Trees are picked up there by municipalities representatives. Ambler borough will send a truck and EAC members must meet to choose the trees. The trees must be planted with in 2 days.

  1. CAG Meeting:

The Next BoRit CAG meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, Dec 2nd. – Steve Maakestad or Charles Charlesworth will attend. The BoRit cleanup at the reservoir will be finished by early spring. Meetings are held at the Upper Dublin Township Building.

  1. Fort Washington Business Alliance:

The EAC is joining the Fort Washington Business Allliance to help gain support for environmental projects. FWBA luncheon meetings are held on the third Thursday of each month with networking from 11:30am to 12:00, followed by introductions and presentations. Up to two EAC members can attend each meeting.

  1. Other items:
  • Tools will be moved from Susan Curry’s house to borough building.
  • Susan Curry will ask the borough manager if a spare file cabinet is available. Otherwise Susan Johnsson will purchase one.
  • The December EAC meeting will be held at the Lucky Well –
  • There are 144 likes on the EAC Facebook page.
  • EAC – 2015 EAC Accomplishments Report and 2016 Plans to Council Dec. 1 (Maakestad)
  • Steve will talk to Mary about her ideas for 2016. Education for TMDL. January talk about the value of trees.
  • Earth Day is April 22nd, 2016.
  • Wissahickon Watershed Stream cleanup is scheduled for the last Saturday in April. The EAC will participate.

Items Postponed Until The Next Meeting:

Inventory of tools, signs, banners, flyers, info, etc.
The meeting was adjourned around 9:45pm.

Next Meeting Date: December 16th at Lucky Well at 6:30pm.


2012-01-12 Ambler Environmental EAC Minutes

Ambler Environmental Advisory Council

Date: Thursday, January 12, 2012     6:45 to 8:35 PM

Member Attendance:

Susan Curry, Estelle Wynn Dolan, Susan Johnsson, David Morgan, Skip Kershner, Candace Kanaplue.  Quorum in attendance, all present

Next Meeting Date: Thursday, February 9, 2012     6:45 to 8:30 PM

  1. 1.          Review Borough Council notes– SusanJ had sent around an email soon after the Jan 3 Council Meeting. Notable: Whitpain intention to cooperate with upstream municipalities to ameliorate stormwater flooding that impacted the Rose Valley sluiceway during Hurricane Irene and tropic storm Lee — SusanJ meant to say that the cooperation has “possibilities”, not “hostilities”.
  1. 2.            Review Actions from November meeting  
    1. A.    Downtown Trees:  Skip reported that he and David found 4 empty pits along the upper stretch of Butler Ave, near CVS, Lynch gas station and Zina’s, and a few trees that need pruning.  Zina planted a rose bush to fill one empty pit; she should remove it when a tree is found to plant there. At CVS several tree issues were noted: 1) a street pit is missing a tree; 2) a tree near the Park Ave driveway is leaning at 45 degree angle; 3) there is still one dead tree and one spot with only mulch; 4) lastly, CVS trees along Park Avenue need pruning. Two pits at the corner of Kieser’s Tire need trees.  The strip along Lynch gas station could have one or more trees. The tree at the corner of Café Maida on Ridge Ave was not investigated, but an EAC member thought it could be replaced with a small tree like the one in front of CVS which seems to be a success.   Skip also noted that the old tall ACME sign that could not be used by CVS is in disrepair although apparently not causing any environmental problem.  Skip further reported that there is really no room at Ambler Donut for additional trees now that the owner has paved the parking slots and entrance spots; if ever the four pine trees near the Rest Home fail, a shade tree from the original plans could be planted there.


  • SusanC will notify the code enforcement officer and Borough Manager that Skip will prune the Butler Ave trees. Skip will talk to the manager of CVS to get permission to prune the branches of trees complicating the pedestrian sidewalk along Park Ave.
  • SusanC will contact Plant Ambler to inquire who is overseeing the strip by Lynch’s station which needs some loving care.
  • EAC intends to order 10 bare roots trees for March to plant in the four pits outside CVS, Zina’s and Kieser’s. Trees are expected to cost $50 each.  SusanC will request that the Borough Manager arrange for the highway department to dig the dirt in those 4 pits and widen them before tree delivery, as well as to re-remove the extra stones laid in the 3 pits on the west side of Butler last year–intended length of open pits: 8’ to 11’ parallel to the street. We may need the Highway Department’s help to pick up the trees in March.  EAC members will seek neighborhood spots for the additional six trees to be properly cared for by the neighbors for the first two years.  A corner property behind Borough Hall was suggested.  Lynch’s planting strip might take 1 or more small to medium size trees.
  • SusanC will remind the code enforcement officer that two trees in the CVS parking lot are dead and need to be replaced with better assurances that the CVS landscaping crew will water the trees every week through the summer.
  1. Deer Sonic System:  David checked with Linda P at Temple Ambler about the arboretum’s system for repelling deer sonically – we wondered if using it in Borough Park could work. Apparently, there is a rather pricey ongoing monthly fee.  DeerTech is the company.

ACTION:  SusanC will check into in their website.

  1. WREN Grant Partnership with Temple Ambler:  David left email messages but did not connect with Mary Myers, head of student volunteer projects at LAHORT at Temple Ambler to ask her if they will be a partner for our WREN grant, i.e. will they support a student project to work with 100 residents on making and using Rain Barrels to reduce the run-off that drains to the outfall at the end of Edgewood Drive.  Susan stated that applying for the WREN grant hinges on Temple Ambler students’ partnership for volunteer work.  We understand that incoming freshmen normally perform a large community service project in late August as part of their orientation.  EAC members were interested in expanding the geographical scope of eligible homes. Every home will need to keep a log of gallons saved from run-off as part of the evaluation.


  • David will continue to reach out, and phone if necessary to Temple Ambler.
  • David will call Dan McCormick to find out how SEPTA barrels can be saved for us.
  • SusanC will send the draft WREN proposal to all EAC.
  • SusanC will contact Susan Harris of the Montco Conservation District to request ideas for grant partnership.
  • SusanC will inquire of Gentle Touch car washes if they have barrels we can have.
  • SusanC will inquire of Borough Manager if we can store barrels at Houston Tank fenced in area.
  • SusanC will revive homeowner agreements from the tree-planting 5 years ago and revise them for the rain barrels.
  1. Tree Tender’s class:  SusanJ and Candace are the only EAC members who have not taken the Tree Tenders training.  Candace is too busy. Susan Johnsson is interested.  SusanC mentioned that if we desired, we could help PHS locate a Tree Tenders course near us in Montgomery County, for example, at the Borough, Temple Ambler or Upper Dublin.

ACTION:  SusanC will send the link to the PHS website which lists the next season’s Tree Tenders courses to EAC members to promote to friends.

  1. March EAC conference: Khiet Luong sent the email announcement about March 3 conference in Pottstown; all members but Skip had seen the announcement.

ACTION:  Susan Johnsson is most likely to go.

  1. Update EAC website:  no report. We need to review the AmblerEAC.org website and tell Daniel Brouse what to remove or add, then post the list of EAC projects on the web inviting viewers to volunteer to help.

ACTION:  Candace later agreed to look at the website and tell Daniel Brouse what to remove that is no longer current.

  1. 3.                     Recycling Container:  Estelle reported that the new container was delivered and is stored with the Highway Department until the new concession stand is completed at Pickering Field. She was not certain that the check was mailed by the end of the calendar year. The committee applauded Estelle’s timely and successful efforts.
  1. 4.                    EAC Membership:  There is one vacancy. The news article reaped no responses. The two persons who signed interest at Octoberfest have been unresponsive. Ideas suggested:  Another Gazette article, Ambler Savings Bank electronic sign, ask residents who come to the Rain Barrel workshop. It was noted that the Ambler Borough website lists the wrong meeting dates for EAC.

ACTION:  SusanC will contact the borough to update our meeting schedule on their website, and submit a message for the Ambler Bank electronic sign.

  1. 5.                    EAC Budget:  EAC was awarded $1200 for 2012.  A draft budget was shared at the meeting. Suggestions were made. We have flexibility to shift amounts between categories, if needed.

ACTION:  SusanC will send around a revised draft budget for further review before next meeting.

  1. 6.                     May Intern:  A young man is seeking to fulfill his 3-week senior community service project in May by serving the borough.  The Borough Manager is considering administrative tasks for him.  EAC members suggested that he could participate with the street tree mulching, and watering. SusanC later remembered that he could also complete the storm sewer labeling of 15 storm sewers.


  1. 7.          Moving first Recycling Container: 

ACTION: Skip will check with Maro’s and NewsStand for permission to relocate the container which is sitting outside Rita’s to sit in front of their stores where more cans and bottles are generated.


  1. 8.           EAC Letter of Support for Temple Ambler floodplain mapping: Temple Ambler contacted SusanC over the holidays to request EAC support and learn about other possible community groups to support a grant proposal they were submitting to accomplish new floodplain mapping of all three Ambler tributary’s watersheds.  SusanC described the commitments written in the letter.  All EAC agreed.

ACTION:  SusanC will email the Letter of Support to all EAC members

  1. 9.           YMCA Healthy Kids Fair – Letter requesting the EAC to staff a booth and have activities for youth.  EAC felt the fair reached a constituency much wider than our scope and we don’t have youth activities to serve the 1,000 expected audience.

ACTION: Estelle will decline for the EAC.

  1. 10.        Bottom Dollar

ACTION: EAC will request more trees at Bottom Dollar than borough ordinances require.

  1. 11.        Loss of trees:  Two private property owners have taken down apparently healthy trees, Jim Nearing and Brian Quinn.  Candace questioned whether there is any oversight of such activities, particularly in the floodplain on the Quinn’s property.  SusanC replied that without a formal Shade Tree Committee and ordinances, there is likely to be more of this in the future.

ACTION:  SusanC will check with Quinns, as her neighbors, to learn of their plans and activities.

  1. 12.        Recycling:  David mentioned the schools are collecting additional items that the normal recycling plant cannot save.  Could there be a collection bin at Borough Hall? David can receive stuff at his home, or it can be carted to the schools.

ACTION:  David promised to resend the announcement of what can be saved to all EAC.

  1. 13.        Food Coop:  Estelle has garnered large support for her initiative to start a Food Coop like Weaver’s Way in Ambler. Their first public organizing meeting is January 25 at SAAC. SusanC wondered if the storefront on Main Street could be used.  Estelle will inquire about space at the renovated Boiler House.  Information:  amblerfoodcoop@gmail.com,  215-326-9792, or www.facebook.com/amblerfoodcoop


  • EAC members took posters to help publicize the Jan 25 meeting.
  • Estelle will seek a free booth at the Pennypack Movie Series and at the YMCA Healthy Kids Fair

Meeting was adjourned at 8:35 PM.

2007-10-09 Ambler Environmental EAC Minutes

Ambler Environmental Advisory Council   –   Notes of Tuesday, October 9, 2007   


Attendance:   Members:   Susan Curry, Interim Chair

David Morgan

Charles Stewart [Absent]

Rich Palumbo [Absent ]

No quorum.

Associates: Ron Ayres (Shade Tree Advisory Committee)

Susan Johnsson (Supporter)

Visitor        Vincent Hee, Ambler resident

Next Meeting:            Tuesday, November 13, 2007, 7:00 – 9:00, at Borough Hall

(usually 2nd Tuesdays, 7:00-9:00 PM)                  

1.  Minutes:  September 11, 2007 notes reviewed with changes suggested to item 3 A:  ” “Ambler has no formal Shade Tree Commission even though one is listed on the Borough website. There has never been an enabling ordinance.  The renewal of an Ambler Shade Tree Advisory Committee was discussed.  We will ask Pennsylvania Extension Forester Julianne Schieffer to examine Ambler trees to detect hazards in borough parks and right of ways.  Also, an October training for borough crews in pruning trees will be a follow up to the session conducted last spring.”

2Secretary Rotation:  David Morgan took minutes.

3.  Trees:  A) Toward a formal Ambler Shade Tree Commission, Ron Ayres, who is on the Upper Dublin Shade Tree Commission, will give us Upper Dublin’s enabling ordinance.

B)  Susan Curry will write a report of her meetings with Julianne Schieffer regarding:   1) identification and prioritization of Borough trees of concern, and 2) pruning training with Jimmy Wack, five borough Highway Department employees, and Tree Tender Scott McCalla. Fire blight was detected in several spots, so the need to sterilize sawing or cutting tools between cuts was mentioned.

C) Gerald Hoy, DCNR Service Forester newly assigned to Montgomery County came to Ambler September 26 to conduct a pruning training for Tree Tenders Judy Baigis, Bill Baker, Susan Curry and David Morgan. Some trees in Ricciardi Park were pruned.   Gerald discussed the likely appearance of the emerald ash borer fatal to ash trees recognizable by its “D” shaped holes.  The pest is moving east from western PA.

4.  EAC Membership:   Vincent Hee expressed interest at the Oktoberfest.  His wife might be more interested. Others who gave their phone or email at Oktoberfest were all sent messages or left messages to reply to Susan.

  1. 5.     2008 Budget:  The EAC request for $1,100.00 for 2008 appeared in the Borough draft budget on file at the Wissahickon Valley Public Library in Ambler.  Clearstream recycle stands will need to be covered by our budget ($350.00)
  1. Butler Ave Revitalization Plan: No news about “Street Clock” planting at corner of Short Street and Butler Ave.
  1. DCED Grant for Borough Tree Management Plan:  Joe Carlucci of Rick Taylor’s office contacted Susan encouraging the EAC to apply for a DCED grant due October 19. Ron suggested a landscape architect be paid to develop a plan for downtown and side streets.   Adequate root space is a concern to address.  Susan C & Susan J may work on the grant this weekend.
  1. 8.     TreeVitalize Mini-Grants: $300 mini-grants will bring $200 for Tree Tender tool purchases.  Susan will relay to mini-grantees the reporting requirements of the grant administrators.   
  1. Tree Tenders: Ambler Tree Tenders will be honored at the Montgomery Green Futures Award dinner at the William Penn Inn October 30.   Eight Ambler representatives are expected to attend

10. Montco Green Futures Conference: Susan Johnsson reported that municipalities are being encouraged to preserve resources such as steep slopes, riparian areas, wetlands, farmlands and woodlands should be preserved through “overlay zoning”.   An April 2008 dead line for funding of open space projects was mentioned — Green Fields/Green Towns projects can be funded.

11.  Recycling:  Five ClearStream stands were initiated by EAC during Oktoberfest.  Susan Curry collected two full bags from the five stands. Jimmy Wack’s staff usually picks up the trash after events. Arrangements for bag collection, and event placement for future events, as well as storage of the stands need to be worked out with AMS and Jimmy.  Our trial recycling at a Butler Ave event (recycling occurred at the April Community Tree Planting) was a first success. Discussion arose about acquiring: 1) more containers to accompany every trash box, and 2) permanent containers for both parks and streets aesthetically placed, maybe with flowers by Plant Ambler

  1.  LED Traffic Lights:  Mary, Jim and Jimmy all have copies of the LED traffic light article.   We await evaluation by Borough.

Submitted by David Morgan + SC  10/16/07