Minutes - 11/2008
Saturday, November 1, 2008 12:00 PM

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District 10 Environment Committee 

Wednesday, November 19, 2008 

Attendees:  Val Cunningham, Sharon Shinomiya, Becky Cline, Jess Roberts, 

Betti Iwanski, Susan Jane Cheney 

Susan Jane Cheney, sitting in for Committee Chair Mike MacDonald, called the 

meeting to order at 7:05 p.m. 

October minutes were approved. 

Reports and Updates 

1. Native garden restoration project: 

Val Cunningham summarized the wrap-up report she sent to Cheri 

Steinmueller at St. Paul Audubon Society regarding the 2008 Pavilion 

Garden work, which was facilitated by an Audubon grant of $525.00. 

More than half of the funds remain to fund the 2009 season, including 

expansion to the original – larger – garden boundaries; volunteer 

landscape designer Erik Olsen is working on a plan.  The Committee will 

issue an invitation to the Audubon Board in late summer of next year for a 

garden viewing. 

2. Bluebird nesting boxes: 

Val also reported that she and Parks staffer Meghan Manhatton had taken 

down all (11) bluebird houses in the park due to vandalism and sparrow 

invasion.  Bird houses on the golf course remain. 

3. 2009 rain barrel workshops: 

Mike MacDonald has learned that cost from Verde (business that did the 

2008 workshop presentations) will be $50 per barrel next year.  Mike will 

look into pricing options and submit a grant application to the Capitol 

Region Watershed District.  The Committee discussed the possibility of 

charging a slightly higher amount for the workshops and using the surplus 

for other projects. 

4. Residential buckthorn project: 

Betti Iwanski presented a written plan for a residential buckthorn removal 

program, outlining project scope, Environment Committee activities, and 

work plan steps.  She reported that there are 3750 single residences in 

District 10.  Ramsey County and the independent brush haulers whom 

Betti contacted do not grind stumps, though, with a large enough contract, 

S & S Tree Service might do stump removal in addition to hauling.  Val 

contacted Linders Garden Center about replacement plant coupons and is 

awaiting a return call.  She will review the information provided by District 

12 regarding their residential buckthorn program before the December 

meeting, and she suggested that an Audubon grant (8/15 dispersal) might 

provide funds.  Val and Betti volunteered to meet on Saturday and check 

on buckthorn prevalence in the Midway Parkway/Hamline Avenue area. 

5. Lecture series:

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Invasive plants (with a special focus on buckthorn) – and perhaps their 

impact on bird habitat – were suggested as a lecture topic.  Late 

winter/early spring timing might provide a good kick-off event for the 

buckthorn removal project.  Val suggested that Native Plant Garden 

designer Erik Olsen would be a good presenter, and she will contact him. 

There was agreement that home energy efficiency (perhaps including 

information about indoor air quality issues – radon, carbon monoxide, 

particulates and allergens) would be a good initial lecture topic in mid- to 

late January.  Betti will contact Jimmy Sparks from the Neighborhood 

Energy Connection about presenting.  Lecture locations were discussed: 

Becky Cline will check with Como High, Chelsea Elementary, and Great 

River Schools; Sharon Shinomiya will call the Como Conservatory Visitors 

Center; Val will look into Lyngblomsten facilities; and Susan Jane will 

check into meeting rooms at Black Bear Crossings.  Vegetable gardening 

(individual and community) and birdscaping were discussed for future 

lectures. 

Review of 2008 goals and activities 

The Committee’s 2008 work plan was reviewed and evaluated.  All activities 

related to the 3 stated goals were completed.  Discussion regarding the 2009 

plan will continue at the next meeting. 

Adjournment 

The meeting adjourned at 8:45 p.m. 

[Meeting summary prepared by Susan Jane Cheney]

District 10 Como Community Council | 1224 Lexington Pkwy N, Saint Paul, MN 55103 | 651.644.3889 | district10 [at] district10comopark.org

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