Minutes - 11/2009

 District 10 Environment Committee

Wednesday, November 19, 2009
Attendees: Val Cunningham, Sharon Shinomiya, Chet Mirocha, Deb Robinson, Becky Cline, Betti Iwanski, Sally Worku, Bob Hale, Rhonda DeBough-Insook, Mike MacDonald, Susan Jane Cheney
Committee Chair Mike MacDonald called the meeting to order at 7:05 p.m.
October meeting minutes were approved. 
District 10 Organizer Rhonda DeBough-Insook made several announcements:
  1. Rhonda described the recently-formed “It’s a Beautiful Day” gardening group and suggested the possibility of this group and the Environment Committee working together on gardening education and other activities. 
  2. Rhonda suggested that the Committee consider applying for a Community POWER grant to fund a project in 2010. Proposals are due in May, and funding begins in August. 
  3. Rhonda serves with Becky Cline and others on the District 10 Financial Development Committee, which works to find appropriate grants for district projects. She suggested that the Committee prepare a “wish list” for 2010.
Buckthorn bust
Deb  Robinson gave a brief report on the October buckthorn bust, which included 52 participants. 
Sally Worku raised the question of what happens when the buckthorn has been removed along Hamline between Arlington and Como Avenues. Mike will contact the City regarding plans for replanting.   
Residential buckthorn
Betti Iwanski reported on the residential buckthorn identification session on Saturday, October 31st. Discussion ensued about where to go from here with this project. Val suggested a small demonstration removal project in a highly visible location in the neighborhood. Specific sites will be discussed at the next meeting.  
Urban trees project
Chet Mirocha described informative laminated metal tree identification signs that he discovered at a park on Cape Cod. He suggested pursuing a grant to fund something similar for Como and will plan to work with the Como Campus and Como Town on the project. 
Chet shared photos of notable neighborhood trees, including some that make striking “background” specimens. He also passed around a sample draft “tree award” letter for honor recipients. 
Val Cunningham reported on her investigation of the Macalester-Groveland Alley Beautification Program, started in 1992, which might provide a blueprint for our tree project. Subsequent discussion included: award flags or ribbons to tie around recognized trees; related seminars throughout the winter months; neighborhood block club involvement; a tree registry on the district website; e-blast solicitation of tree award candidates. 
Como arboretum
Mike MacDonald will investigate the possibility of designating Como Park as an urban arboretum. 
2010 work plan
A Como Lake water quality focus, in collaboration with the Capitol Region Watershed District (CRWD) and the neighborhood group led by Janna Caywood was discussed. Bob Hale and Sally Worku are participants in the latter group. Resurrection of the Como Lake Shoreline Task Force is one possibility. 
The meeting adjourned at about 9:10 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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