Minutes - 2/2008
Friday, February 01, 2008 12:45 PM

 1 

District 10 Environment Committee 

Wednesday, February 20, 2008 

Attendees:  Mike MacDonald (Chair), Sharon Shinomija, Jess Roberts, Chet 

Mirocha, Val Cunningham, Joan McKearnan, Betti Iwanski, Susan Jane Cheney, 

Deb Robinson (Como Woodland Outdoor Classroom); guest: Ron Dufault 

(District 12) 

Mike MacDonald called the meeting to order at 7:05 p.m. 

January 16, 2008 minutes were approved. 

Updates and reports: 

Mike reported that the Rain Barrel Workshop grant proposal was reviewed 

and approved by the District 10 Board.  He will submit the proposal to the 

CRWD. 

Susan Jane Cheney drafted a letter to City Councilman Russ Stark 

introducing him to the committee’s history, goals and activities.  The letter 

was reviewed and approved, and Mike will send it out. 

Joan McKearnan suggested printing a Como Park Bird List for posting on 

the District 10 and Como Woodland Outdoor Classroom (CWOC) 

websites, in the Lakeside Pavilion information kiosk and other locations in 

advance of the Ramsey County Birding Festival.  Funds from the CWOC 

Habitat Analysis Audubon grant may be available to defer printing costs. 

Mike presented a revised version of the Committee’s 2008 Work Plan and 

asked for comments before the next District Executive Committee meeting 

on 3/5. 

Mike will confirm the date of the April Parks Clean-up. 

Susan Jane attended the brainstorming session for the Capitol Region 

Watershed District Education Plan on 1/23.  She will contact CRWD 

Outreach Coordinator Elizabeth Storey regarding progress on the Plan 

and specific events for 2008. 

Deb Robinson reported on meetings with Parks Division landscape 

architects Don Ganje and Bryan Murphy and Parks Director Bob 

Bierscheid regarding the interface of the proposed renovation of the Como 

Pool with the CWOC.  CWOC Advisory Group will view project goals in 

preparation for moving ahead on the CWOC Plan with Parks staff this 

spring.  Other news: UMN Professor and District 10 Board member 

Sehoya Cotner has obtained a $15,000 National Science Foundation 

grant for a “bridge project” involving the NSF, UMN, and the CWOC 

through which minority university students will mentor high school 

students. 

The Committee discussed the possibility of submitting a proposal to the 

Community POWER funding program for waste/toxicity reduction but 

decided to revisit this type of project at a future time. 

Jess reported that the Rock-Tenn Advisory Committee has been meeting 

every two weeks.  He will consider writing an article for the District 10 

website and newsletter regarding the issues discussed.

2 

Residential buckthorn removal 

Ron Dufault described the 10-year residential buckthorn removal project initiated 

by District 12 (St. Anthony Park neighborhood council) in 1999.  He outlined the 

stages of the process, beginning with techniques for approaching the community 

in advance, funding sources, a Master Gardener training program for buckthorn 

identification, and the details of removal events.  He provided helpful resources 

from their efforts. 

New business 

Parks Division Environmental Services Coordinator Adam Robbins is 

developing a proposal for replanting vegetation on the east side of the 

lake.  Adam has requested that the Environment Committee host a 

community information session regarding the proposal prior to the March 

18th District 10 Board meeting.  Adam will prepare and distribute a flyer to 

residents immediately adjacent to the planting area and notify the 

community at large through the website.  Committee members agreed to 

this plan. 

Deb and Susan Jane proposed that the Committee nominate the Parks 

Environmental Services staff (Adam Robbins, Nathan Johnson, and 

Meghan Manhatton) for the 2008 Sustainable St. Paul Awards to formally 

recognize their extraordinary commitment to preserving and restoring our 

urban environment.  Committee members supported the proposal.  Deb 

and Susan Jane will prepare the nomination.  Mike will take it to the 

District 10 Executive Committee for approval before the 3/12 deadline for 

submission. 

Val Cunningham distributed invitations regarding an informative session 

on climate change sponsored by St. Paul Audubon Society from 9 a.m. to 

Noon on Saturday, 3/1. 

Val reported that many of the Como Park bluebird houses have not been 

maintained and will be removed.  Parks Environmental Services Staffer 

Nathan Johnson is working with a UMN student on establishing a trail and 

monitoring a limited number of remaining houses. 

The Pollution Control Agency is conducting a Harmful Algal Workshop in 

various locations on March 4, 5, and 6 from 10:00 a.m. to 3 p.m.  Cost is 

$15.00. 

Betti Iwanski raised the possibility of the Committee working on the issue 

of sealing up houses to increase energy efficiency; she is interested in the 

details of measuring energy losses and specifics of remedying the 

problems by homeowners. 

Adjournment 

The meeting adjourned at 9:05 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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