Minutes - 4/21/2010
Monday, April 26, 2010 8:40 PM


District 10 Environment Committee
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Attendees: Betti Iwanski, Mike MacDonald, Sharon Shinomiya, Deb Robinson, Becky Cline, Ralph Jacobson (guest from Minnesota Renewable Energy Society)
Committee Chair Mike MacDonald, called the meeting to order at 7:02 p.m.
March 2010 meeting minutes were approved with one correction, CHEEP had been misspelled as CHEEPS. 
Bulk purchase program for solar water heaters
Ralph Jacobson of Minnesota Renewable Energy Society introduced a plan to institute a bulk purchase program for solar water heaters. He is a solar installation contractor and founder and CEO of Innovative Power Systems. His goal is to get 500 systems installed in St. Paul by 2012. The program would reduce the cost of solar water heater installation from $9,000 to about $3,800 by aggregating at least 50 systems into one purchase (reduced price also reflects a state rebate and federal tax credit). Ralph would like feedback from us on what would make this program attractive. He can be reached at ralphj@isp-solar.com. He has been in contact with other district councils in St. Paul including St. Anthony Park, Mac/Groveland and Merriam Park. We agreed to include information about this program in an email blast to see if there is interest. Ralph also mentioned that he can do an informational session, which could be held in conjunction with other districts, if we so choose.
Tree recognition program
Val Cunningham, Sharon Shinomiya and Chet Mirocha will meet before the next Environment Committee meeting.
St. Paul Tree Advisory Panel (TAP)
TAP representative Deb Robinson submitted the St. Paul Citizen Waterer Program informational brochure. The Environment Committee can comment on the brochure. She reported that this year, the city will be planting boulevard trees in District 10. The city has gators and buckets available for free for citizens to use to water public trees. We discussed having a supply of these buckets and gators available at the District 10 office, and possibly delivering them to those who request. The Citizen Waterer plan includes neighborhood or block lead waterers. We discussed having the lead waterer send email reminders to their block once a week, or putting a reminder sign out, perhaps tying it to the recycling day. District 10 office staff could send out this information to block club leaders. The Environment Committee needs someone to spearhead this effort to find lead waterers. Becky Cline volunteered to write up information for the email blast. Deb also handed out a brochure and nomination form for St. Paul’s Landmark Tree Program. We are invited to make nominations.
CHEEP (Como Park Home Energy Efficiency Program) Database Project
CERTS Energy Efficiency Workshops
Betti Iwanski has been working on publicizing the upcoming CERTS & NEC energy efficiency workshops being held April 29 and May 4. She and others have been flyering neighborhoods in District 10. Ten people have signed up for the workshops so far. She will be at Lake Como on Saturday morning, 4/24, handing out flyers. More progress will be made with the CHEEP database after the workshops conclude. The database is mostly built and a domain name has been purchased.
Garden Tour
We agreed that the garden tour scheduled for July 21 should be rescheduled to coincide with the Art Crawl on July 24.
Shoreline Task Force
Deb Robinson and Mike McDonald attended a meeting of the Shoreline Task Force. We agreed that our scheduled August Environment Committee meeting should be a “weeding” meeting at the shoreline. Mike will contact Nate at the city.
Como Woodland Outdoor Classroom (CWOC)
Deb Robinson reported that the LCCMR (Legislative Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources) bill that includes $218,000 for CWOC funding is still in the process of being approved at the legislature. Mike McDonald talked about CWOC at the last District 10 board meeting. The Environment Committee will create an Environment Committee Poet Fund to accept donations to pay for the poet in the schools workshops for the Joyce Kilmer Fireplace Rededication. Brian Hoffman, a professor at Hamline University, met with Deb and Sharon Shinomiya for a tour of the woodland and Como Park to identify possible sites for an community archaeological dig. Deb attended an Effective Partnerships Workshop. Mike will contact the CWOC Advisory Committee to find out what relationship the advisory committee wants with District 10. On April 28, the CWOC Advisory Committee will receive a 2010 Sustainable Saint Paul Award. The natural resources department of parks and recreation nominated CWOC for the award. Mentors are needed for the Thursday, May 20 field day at the woodland. Seven general mentors and 4-5 birding mentors are needed.
Update on grants
Becky Cline reported that the Community POWER grant (targeting education and recycling projects) for rain garden workshop funding was not successful. An Improve Group grant for CHEEP also was not successful. 
The meeting adjourned at 8:50 p.m.
[Meeting summary prepared by Sharon Shinomiya]

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