Tag Archives: stream clean-up

February 17, 2016 Meeting Minutes

Members in Attendance:

Stephen Maakestad, Chair of EAC
Susan Johnsson
(No Quorum)

Absent Members:

Mary-Margaret Monser
Matt Cooley
(Three Vacancies)

Associates and Visitors in Attendance:

Susan Curry
Chris Raines
Raija Suomela
Karen Polesir
Brooke Marshall
Brian Quinn
Sharon McCormick

Next Meeting Date:  March 16th at 7:00PM – 131 Rosemary Avenue, Auditorium

Action Items by Person:

  • Steve Maakestad – Man the table in the lobby at the film series. Add articles and to the EAC Facebook page, occasionally. Attend BoRit Cag meeting.
  • Susan Johnsson – EAC Treasurer. Attend council meetings and report on decisions. Add articles and to the EAC Facebook page, occasionally.
  • Mary-Margaret Monser – Organize Texas Hold’Em Tournament, Attend planning commission meeting. Man the table in the lobby at the film series. Occasionally, add information and articles to the EAC Facebook page.
  • Chris Raines – Add photos from EAC events and monthly minutes to EAC web site
    Post updates to Facebook page. Design flyer and tickets for upcoming events and tree information desktop tri-panel display. Man the table in the lobby at the film series. Help with Texas Hold’Em event. Schedule a showing of the Healthy Wissahickon Film.
  • Susan Curry –Edgewood Preserve project. Attend Planning Commission Meeting. Tree Information Desktop Tri-Panel Display. Man the table in the lobby at the film series.
  • Matt Cooley – Assist with Edgewood Preserve project. Add articles to the EAC Facebook page, occasionally.
  • Raija Suomela – Map of storm drains, Communicate with park maintenance contractor. Add info to EAC website and Facebook page. Choose some dates for Volunteer Clean up Borough Park

Agenda Topics:

  1. Council/Committee Updates:
    1. Susan Johnsson sent an email outlining the Borough Council meeting:
      • The mandatory FEMA Floodplain Ordinance was passed!
      • The Red Tail proposal was received.
      • The 46th Wissahickon Valley Watershed Association’s Annual Creek Clean Up is Saturday 4/30 11:00-1:00 – with the picnic at the Fort Washington State Park from 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. at the Flourtown pavilion on Mill Road. Elizabeth Russell offered to put a paragraph into the Home Town News.
      • The Council agreed to the Wireless Telecommunication Antenna agreement with Crown Castle. Bernadette Dougherty brought up possible health concerns
      • Ambler residents have the option to pay to take our yard waste disposal stuff to Barnside Farms Compost Facility
      • The check for the film series should be at Borough Hall and WVWA membership this weekend…
    2. Planning Commission: The Ambler Borough Planning Commission Meeting will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2016 at 7:00pm in Borough Hall. Environmental ordinances continue to be the focus of consideration.
  2. Ambler Borough Park preservation: Sharon McCormick suggested learning details of the
    Bird Town program or exploring an Audubon preserve at Borough Park. Raija to choose some volunteer dates.
  3. Environmental Ordinances: Brian Quinn and Brook Marshall are opposed to the proposed ordinances and discussed their viewpoint in-depth. Sharon McCormick suggested a voluntary course with incentives for residents in the Rose Valley Creek area.Chris suggested a tour of the Upper Gwynedd Stream Restoration project to show how much can be accomplished through stream restoration. The tour was originally held in July 2015 and was called, Berm is the Word – Stormwater and Stream Restoration Tour – A section of Wissahickon Creek was restored in 2012. Location: Behind Prospect Avenue in Upper Gwynedd Township. Prospect Ave and Stefan Road. Rea Monaghan at WVWA has been contacted and is interested in setting up a private tour for the Ambler EAC.Sharon, Brian and Brook will prepare a written proposal about alternatives to the ordinances.
  4. Storm Drain Map: Raija has encouraged Glenn Kucher to update the map of storm drains throughout Ambler.
  5. Health of Wissahickon film showing: The EAC will attempt to find a venue to show the Health of the Wissahickon Film. Options are being explored.
  6. BoRit CAG: The next meeting is scheduled for April 6th, 6:30 PM – 9:00 PM.
  7. Sustainability Movie Series: Slides have been created to for the Sustainability film series. Susan Curry, Steve Maakestad, Mary-Margaret Monser and Chris will help out at the EAC table prior to each event.
  8. EAC Membership: Currently there are 3 vacancies.Karen Polesir would like to become a member of the EAC and will send her letter and resume to the Council president and manager. (Bruce Jones
    and Judy Simpson will be contacted)
  9. Whitney Lingle from Ambler Meals on Wheels is writing a grant for a composting and gardening project.
  10. Fort Washington Business Alliance: The next FWBA event will be a business card exchange on March 17th at 6:30pm at the Hilton Garden Inn. The next luncheon meeting will be held on April 21, 2016 at 11:30am at the Holiday Inn Express.
  11. Ambler Borough Park Maintenance: Invasives removal 2015 report; complete the contract for 2016 Raija will discuss park maintenance at the next meetings.
  12. Tri-fold table top display about the value of trees: Susan Curry and Chris will design the
  13. TreeVitalize program: The maximum number of tree orders has been received. Susan Curry is in the process of setting up tree planting training.
  14. Shade Tree Committee: David Morgan is interested in creating a shade tree committee in Ambler and would appreciate support from the EAC. Needs more members.
  15. Reviving Ambler Tree Tenders; does EAC support forming a Shade Tree Committee
  16. Invasive Species lecture: Coffee House – Invasive Species (Kylie) Saturday, February 27,
    7:30pm – 9:30pm
  17. Dumping in the Park: Raija noticed someone illegally dumping yard waste in Ambler Borough Park.
    Karen texted the Borough Manager. Mary said that a photo would be needed for proof. Raija suggested a sign stating “No dumping” with the amount of the fine.
  18. Home Town News articles are being completed.

Next Meeting:

Mary Aversa’s suggestion: Focus on minimizing lawn chemicals for Fall Mini-Campaign

Plant swap event with a Farmer’s Market, Spring 2016 (Mary Margaret)

Edgewoods Preserve Tree Fest: April 16, 2016 on Edgewood Drive

The meeting was adjourned around 9:30pm.

Related Links:



2015 Year End Review

Who we are:

Currently, five appointed EAC Members bring diverse backgrounds including science and ecology, accounting, environmental policy and engineering. Appointed members are: Steve Maakestad (Chair), Susan Johnsson, Matt Cooley, Mary-Margaret Monser and Charlie Charlesworth. Additional associates that greatly enhance our efforts include: Susan Curry, Chris Raines, Rachel Rosenfield, and Raija Suomela. Two EAC members that were appointed in 2015 –Stephanie Figary and Alex Pratt — have moved on. Thus, we face 2016 with TWO vacant seats. We meet on the 3rd Wednesday of each month at 7:00 PM.

Accomplishments in 2015:

The EAC enhances the environmental health of Ambler in several ways. Throughout the year, the EAC was involved in the following activities:

  • Ambler Earth Fest: In April, Chris Raines led the EAC in producing the first ever Ambler Earth Festival at the Calvary Methodist Church. An impressive group of vendors and presenters contributed to the Earth Fest along with music, food and entertainment for kids. The EAC sold and raffled off compost bins during the event. Successful efforts to elicit sponsorships enabled the event to net $200.
  • Wissahickon Stream Clean-up and Education: Annually in April, we coordinate a team of volunteers to pick-up trash along two tributaries that run through Ambler as part of the Wissahickon Valley Watershed Association’s Annual Stream Clean-Up Day. The EAC also teamed with WVWA earlier in the year to organize a public video presentation at Borough Hall highlighting the Wissahickon Creek and WVWA’s goals to preserve it.
  • Water Conservation Campaign: The EAC conducted an educational campaign on water conservation through an informative display, information pamphlets and brief articles in the Hometown News and on the EAC webpage. The EAC attends and makes presentations at public events such as the Ambler Farmers Market and Oktoberfest.
  • Waterways and TMDLs: The EAC is greatly interested in our waterways. First, Several EAC members attended a TMDL presentation by EPA at Morris Arboretum to understand how it would affect Ambler Borough.  Second: we introduced and coordinated with the Planning Commission on several draft ordinances aimed at preserving natural resources (wetlands, woodlands, floodplains, riparian buffers, and steep slopes). Third: we organized multiple maintenance days to remove invasives species and debris along the creek in Borough Park; two weekend events were led by Master Watershed Steward volunteer Rachel Rosenfeld. Fourth, the EAC contracted professional services to continue the maintenance of the riparian buffer within Borough Park through an agreement with RedTail Inc.. Fifth: The EAC prepared and delivered an informational presentation on the importance of environmental resource protection ordinances. Twenty-nine attended this event at the Wissahickon Valley Library including environmentalists from Whitpain and Lower Gwynedd townships.
  • Rain Garden Tour: In June, the EAC produced a tour of seven of the Ambler rain gardens drawing a crowd of 40, necessitating a split into 2 groups. The main goal of the tour is to generate interest in installing more rain gardens in other yards around town.
  • Participation in Borough Processes: EAC members were present and actively participated at Borough Committee and Borough Council meetings, Planning Commission meetings, and Zoning Board hearings. In addition, the Chair attended the Summit of BucksMont EACs in Doylestown– an occasion for sharing ideas among other local EACs.
  • BoRit Asbestos Community Advisory Group (CAG): The EAC has a voting seat on the CAG, which is an EPA supported citizen group who pay attention to the Asbestos issues and remediation in Ambler. A member attends the CAG meetings that are held six times a year. The EAC helped organize a public education presentation on mesothelioma, a topic of interest for communities with old Asbestos manufacturing facilities like Ambler.
  • Facebook Page/Website/Outreach: For better communication with the residents of Ambler, the EAC created a Facebook page that now has 125 followers. We revamped the EAC website (http://www.amblereac.org/). We contribute several educational articles to an Environmental Corner in each issue of the “Hometown News”. The EAC joined the Fort Washington Business Alliance in order to help promote our activities and engage additional volunteers and potential members.

The EAC plans for 2016.

Several programs are annual events: the Stream Clean-up day and park clean-up days. Variations or new ideas are listed below.

  • Rain Garden Program: We will promote a “Do-It-Yourself” rain garden model that will provide homeowners with technical and financial support, while the homeowners will be responsible to provide the labor and half the cost of the rain garden materials. We will coordinate another rain garden tour to educate residents on stormwater issues and garner interest.
  • Edgewoods Preserve: We will assist in the fundraising to purchase a wooded hillside property along the Rose Valley Creek in order to preserve valuable resources and environmentally sensitive natural areas along the creek. In January, the EAC is planning a TREEmendous party at Borough Hall to raise funds for the preserve.
  • Spring Mini-Campaign will focus on Trees and Open Space: we plan to coordinate a community-wide tree planting in yards all over town during April in concert with the Pennsylvania Horticulture Society, and the Pennsylvania Forestry Council, with a goal of helping children and families understand the value and importance of trees, and increasing the shade tree canopy of Ambler.
  • Borough Park Maintenance: The EAC will continue to support on-going maintenance in Borough Park with EAC funds as necessary to ensure that the riparian buffers and park are maintained as best as possible and that invasive species are adequately removed.

We truly appreciate the support that Borough Council provides through budget allocation and council member participation in our events, and we look forward to supporting the Borough from an environmentally conscious and sustainable perspective. We are happy to help and are open to new ideas for programs from Council. Please let us know if you have any feedback or questions. You can reach us at amblereac@gmail.com.

2012-04-19 Ambler Environmental EAC Minutes

Ambler Environmental Advisory Council

Date: Thursday, April 19, 2012     6:45 to 7:55 PM

Member Attendance:

Susan Curry, Susan Johnsson, Candace Kanaplue, Skip Kershner.

Quorum in attendance.

Member Absence:

David Morgan, Estelle Wynn Dolan.

Next Meeting Date: Thursday, May 17, 2012     7:00 to 9:00 pm Buxmont EAC Summit (in Doylestown)

  1. 1.          Review Borough Council notes (Skip) — Billboards must be an allowed use in a Borough –The Borough is engaging in a legal fight. Council meeting was adjourned after 20 minutes.
  1. 2.          Review Actions from prior meetings  
  2. a.     Downtown Trees:  Two trees will be planted along Butler near CVS and Zina’s and two more in Lynch’s strip by next month.  The pits can be widened by Public Works after the trees are planted.  One CVS tree is blossoming; no news when CVS will replace the 2 or 3 dead trees. EAC ordered 10 bare roots trees to plant April 28 at $500. Susan Johnsson is the only private property owner who wanted a tree at $20. A team of 20 adults from Temple Ambler are going to help with tree planting.

—– The current “weedy and littered” look of the Butler Ave. tree pits was discussed.


1)     SusanC will arrange to get the “water buffalo” from Knight Park to Borough Park to make sure the bare roots trees have water during and after planting and ask for any spare shovels.

2)     SusanC will request access to the Water Dept faucet on Well #4 for April 28 and bring a hose from home.

3)     SusanC will speak with Mary Aversa about tree pit widening.

4)     Skip will bring his two spades on April 28; Candace/Josh will contribute one shovel.

5)     SusanC will try to get more shovels from Friends of Borough Park, DCNR and Nat. Lands Trust

6)     SusanC will prepare 6 copies of instructions on planting Bare Roots Trees for volunteers and SusanJ.

7)     SusanC will contact Mary Aversa and Bob Rocco about cleaning up under the existing trees and mulching them properly.  SusanCwil check with David and Ron Ayres about the wisdom of planting Loriapi in the pits for a greener look.

  1. b.      Rain Barrels Workshop:  Estelle has a contact at Penn. Hort. Soc. That led a rain barrel workshop in Abington. We will contact PHS and find out how much they do and what the EAC needs to provide. We are considering a workshop in the fall (Sept-Oct.)


8)     Candace will review the old emails to find the one from Estelle with the contact person. Someone will then call to negotiate what each partner needs to provide.

  1. c.      EAC Vacancy – The Ambler Savings Bank is displaying our announcement. After every member revealed how they heard about the EAC, and SusanC reported how past members came on board, we decided to try another article in the Ambler Gazette.


9)     SusanC will write and submit an article in the Ambler Gazette and the Enterprise reporting the Stream Clean-up + Tree Planting + completion of the Riparian Buffer Restoration with sign erection.

10)  SusanC will inquire whether the Riparian Sign can be erected on or before April 28.

11)  SusanC will design a colorful card to hand to volunteers at the Stream Clean-up/Tree Planting and other events inviting people to join the Ambler EAC.

  1. d.     March EAC Conference: was cancelled due to low pre-registrations.
  1. e.      David’s Church Recycling:  David had sent an email with the list of items that Church of the brethren is recycling.  We discussed promoting this opportunity more publicly.


12)  SusanC will invite David to write a paragraph if the church wants it to be publicized. SusanC will submit it to the Ambler Gazette and the Enterprise.

  1. f.       Moving First Recycling Container:  The Borough never responded if it has a Trash container that can be placed next to the recycling container at Rita’s so that people have both options there.


13)  SusanC will call and email again.

  1. g.     EAC Budget:  EAC was awarded $1200 for 2012.  $500 was spent on bare roots trees. $90 on memberships, $50 on the Home Grown Institute, and $160 on the Riparian Buffer project public education sign.  $400 remains to be spent.
  1. 3.                  Stream Clean-up– April 28, 9:00 am to noon.  Susan and Erik Johnsson are coordinating the volunteers and tasks. SusanC is leading a tree planting in Boro Park starting at 8:00 am.


14)  SusanC will collect the garbage bags from WVWA, and deliver the gloves and wet bags to SusanJ’s home.

15)  Everyone will donate whatever shovels they can to SusanC’s house or bring them to the Boro Park on April 28 by 8:00 AM.

16)  SusanC will confirm that Bob Adams is telling people to meet at the Trax Café parking Lot at 9:00 am.

  1. 4.         Storm sewer markers – There are 15 remaining markers to apply to storm sewers.


17)  SusanC will deliver the markers and adhesive to Candace, who will check if the adhesive is still usable, and if not, order more from DAS Markers and get reimbursed from the EAC budget.

5.    Buxmont EAC Summit May 17 in Doylestown will cover: Community/Municipality Effectiveness; Bike and Hike Trails; and Connecting with Faith Groups/Schools.  This drew interest from Skip and Candace to go to it along with SusanC.  SusanJ will be out of town.


18)  Candace will check whether David or Estelle think they can go, and then RSVP for us all.

19)  SusanC will drop off a copy of the flyer to Skip’s house as a reminder.

6.  Skip volunteered to go to the June 5 Council meeting and report to the EAC relevant news.

Postponed to next meeting:

EAC website update

Food Coop update

Report on Home Grown Institute

Champion for Downtown Tree Management Policies

Meeting was adjourned at 7:55 PM.