District 10 Environment Committee
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Attendees: Mike MacDonald (Chair), Val Cunningham, Becky Cline, Sharon
Shinomiya, Deb Robinson, Susan Jane Cheney
Mike MacDonald called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.
Twin Cities Daily Planet Presentation
Lisa Petersen-de la Cueva, Neighborhoods Editor and Community Outreach
staffer at Twin Cities Daily Planet, an on-line newspaper focused on citizen
journalism and local news, spoke to the committee. She has been partnering
with district councils to get more neighborhood content on the Planet website.
Lisa provided general information about the Daily Planet and a new “green blog”
the Planet has started to document environmentally-sound measures by
individuals and neighborhoods and to provide a vehicle for community
networking. She welcomed input to the Planet’s community calendar and
extended an invitation to a blogging workshop she will be conducting from 6:15 -
8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, 8/6 at the Rondo Library. For more information, see
the Planet website: www.tcdailyplanet.net.
Updates and reports
1. Rain barrel workshops:
Mike reported that he has submitted a report on the workshops to the
Capitol Region Watershed District (CRWD), and a check for the grant
funds should be forthcoming.
2. Tree trek:
Chet Mirocha reported to Mike that the 8/10 tree tour participants
numbered 8 to 10 and included several Boy Scouts and another youth
working on a project. Chet plans to lead another trek on Thursday, 7/31,
beginning at 12:30 p.m.
3. Shoreline weeding:
Approximately 30 volunteers weeded the native plantings along the north
end of the lake from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday, 6/24.
4. Como Pavilion native plant garden:
Val Cunningham reported that Phase One (initial weeding and planting)
of the project is half done; we are currently waiting for Little Bluestem to
be available – likely by the first week of August. Phase Two will consist of
plugging in the “holes” in the vegetation next spring; garden planners Erik
and Molly may have shrubs to contribute. Val and Sharon Shinomiya
have been watering using a series of hoses connected to a spigot at the
5. Como Park bird list:
Joan McKearnan prepared a list for use at the May Como Woodland Field
Day. Val offered to contact Joan and work with her on a list for general
6. Capitol Region Watershed District events:
Susan Jane Cheney presented a report from Elizabeth Storey, CRWD
Outreach Coordinator, on the District’s summer educational program:
Macroinvertebrate and fishing events at Como were a great success, with
31 participants (age 4 to 60s) at Bug’s night out and 19 for fishing. She
circulated photos and announced that Elizabeth is planning a Day on the
River, September 9th, for elected officials and decision makers.
7. Como Woodland Outdoor Classroom:
Deb Robinson provided an update on the Como Woodland Outdoor
• The next Advisory Committee meeting will be on 8/18, 6 - 8 p.m., at
the Streetcar Station. The focus will be review of what may be the
final draft plan for the site. Access Bryan Murphy’s latest draft of
the plan at www.comowoodland.org.
• The Fall Field Day is scheduled for 9/19. Josh Leonard is looking
for volunteers to act as mentors and birding tour leaders for the
• Thanks to Ramsey Conservation for recognizing CWOC at their
East Central Regional meeting on 6/27. Board Chair Dorothy Waltz
produced a great video about the CWOC Garlic Mustard Pull and
used photos from CWOC Field Days in her presentation to the 12
county Soil & Water Districts in attendance. A RCD weed specialist
has been attending Advisory Committee meetings.
• Minnesota Bound (KARE 11) will air a segment about the 10/07
Field Day on 7/20 at 10:30 p.m. and again on 7/26 at 6:30 p.m.
• There will be a Burdock Bust in the Woodland with a Community
Service Stars (Minneapolis Employment and Training Program
(METP) crew and Conservation Youth crew on 8/5 from 9:00 a.m.
• Sharon Shinomiya is working on a history article for the website
and will be useful for history-related grant applications.
Discussion of potential lecture series
Mike outlined his idea for a District 10 community lecture program modeled on a
St. Anthony Park series funded by a grant from the St. Anthony Park Foundation.
Possible topics discussed at the May meeting included: composting, solar ovens,
and rain gardens. Mike will contact the St. Anthony Park Community Council for
more information. Susan Jane suggested that Como Park history might be an
interesting program and that the CRWD might partner on some lectures. Mike
will discuss this possibility with Elizabeth Storey.
1. Mike suggested preparing for grant opportunities that arise on short notice
by developing a list of topics the Committee would like to pursue. Sharon
suggested a proposal to fund replacement plantings for residential
buckthorn. Becky Cline, a grant writer for the St. Paul Chamber
Orchestra, will work on a grant application template.
2. Becky brought up the idea of providing information to the District 10
community about the State Constitutional amendment proposal to provide
funds for the arts and environment. Mike will bring this up at the next
3. Susan Jane suggested writing a letter to the Mayor and City Council
regarding Parks Director Bob Bierscheid’s successor. She will work on a
draft encouraging the selection of a candidate with a strong environmental
The meeting adjourned at 8:50 p.m.
[Meeting summary prepared by Susan Jane Cheney]