Minutes - 7/2008
Tuesday, July 01, 2008 12:30 PM

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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 

Pavilion. 

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 

park users. 

6. Capitol Region Watershed District events:

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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 

Classroom: 

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 

event. 

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. 

to noon. 

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. 

New business 

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.

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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 

Board meeting. 

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 

orientation. 

Adjournment 

The meeting adjourned at 8:50 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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