District 10 Environment Committee
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Attendees: Val Cunningham, Sharon Shinomiya, Chet Mirocha, Deb Robinson, Becky Cline, Susan Jane Cheney
Val, sitting in for Committee Chair Mike MacDonald, called the meeting to order at 7:05 p.m.
August meeting minutes were approved.
Residential buckthorn project
Saturday, October 31st was decided upon for a survey of buckthorn in the East Como Blvd. area. Details will be worked out at the October meeting. Next steps in the project will be planned over the winter.
Deb contacted Meghan Manhatton of Parks Environmental Services regarding a fall buckthorn bust in the Como Woodland Outdoor Classroom area and scheduled an event for Saturday, October 24th
, from 9 to 11:30 a.m. The goal will be to recruit approximately 50 volunteers to remove remaining trees and re-sprouted seedlings. Deb’s primer from last fall’s event will guide this year’s planning. Deb volunteered to bring coffee and Committee members will contribute snacks. Deb will prepare a poster and e-mail it to members to post at locations within and around District 10; members signed up for specific posting sites. Deb and Susan Jane will meet soon to contact other potential volunteer groups. If possible, Meghan would like volunteers to pre-register with her (at email@example.com
or (651) 632-2459.
Group consensus favored a 2010 garden tour in mid- to late summer, including area rain gardens as one possible highlight. Becky suggested working toward a future fund-raising event.
Urban tree work
Discussion focused on inspiring residents to value their own trees. Val suggested “garden” or “great tree” awards – such as flags installed on recipients’ lawns. Other suggestions: provide a list of possible replacements of trees that must be removed; solicit coupons from native plant nurseries. Deb mentioned that Carl Mueller, member of the St. Paul Tree Advisory Group, has proposed a “magnificent tree registry” for the City (nominations based on historical value, height, girth, and other factors); perhaps we could borrow this concept for District 10. Chet offered to survey the trees on Midway Parkway. An annual tree stewardship award was suggested. Becky brought up the idea of developing a handout including both the concepts of valuing trees and tree replacement considerations, and Deb suggested review of existing materials. Val noted that the Audubon Conservation Committee is putting together a booklet on native trees, shrubs and perennial flowers that attract larval insects (based on Douglas Tallamy’s research).
Continuing the lecture series received committee support. Suggested topics included: a presentation on trees (by Carl Mueller or Jeff Gillman – research scientist and associate professor at the University of MN and author of How Trees Die: The Past, Present, and Future of Our Forests (as well as The Truth About Garden Remedies and The Truth About Organic Gardening), urban chicken coops, and green remodeling. Additional topics and ideas for increasing attendance at lectures through broader publicity, partnering with other districts or organized groups (such as the Horticultural Society), and multi-lecture events will be discussed at the next meeting.
The meeting adjourned at 8:10 p.m.
[Meeting summary prepared by Susan Jane Cheney]