Minutes- 1/18/12
Monday, February 27, 2012 2:40 PM

District 10 Environment Committee
Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Attendees: Sharon Shinomiya, Mike MacDonald, Ron Edlund, Bob Hale, District 10 Administrator & Coordinator Jessica Bronk, Susan Jane Cheney

Mike MacDonald called the meeting to order at 7:05 p.m. and attendees introduced themselves.

November 2011 meeting minutes were reviewed and approved. [No meeting was held in December 2011.]

Review of committee accomplishments and goals
Mike MacDonald, former Committee Chair, briefly reviewed primary committee projects for new Chair Ron Edlund. Since 1995, these have included:
• Studying Como Lake water quality and subsequently petitioning for formation of the Capitol Region Watershed District;
• Participating on a Como Lake Strategic Management Plan process and subsequent Shoreland Task Force;
• Promoting informational signage around the lake and restriction of waterfowl feeding;
• Removing invasive buckthorn from the Como Park woodlands and creating the Como Woodland Outdoor Classroom;
• Participating in the annual Parks Cleanup and Como shoreland weeding and planting events;
• Working on a baseline natural resources inventory of the Park, to date including bird, macroinvertebrate, tree, and turtle surveys;
• Conducting annual Como Park tree treks;
• Organizing rain barrel workshops;
• Sponsoring District 10 garden tours;
• Establishing the Lexington Boulevard/Nebraska Avenue Demonstration Raingarden;
• Maintaining the Como Pavilion Native Plants Garden;
• Involvement in the CHEEP energy conservation program;
• Partnering with the Como Lake Neighborhood Network (CLNN) on curbside cleanup events;
• Initiating the District 10 tree appreciation and recognition project;
• Weighing in on environment-related projects, such as solar battery chargers at the Como Pavilion parking lot and a park trail plan.

Spring 2012 seminars
Sharon Shinomiya reported that publicity for the February talk by Heather Holm has been posted electronically and in print and physical locations. Logistics of the talk were discussed.

Parks & Recreation tree removal
Jessica Bronk reported on a proposal for an upcoming Parks & Rec project in the Hamline/Arlington area. The three-stage plan scheduled to begin in February and March will include: removal of 33 trees (mostly ash, 5 – 10 inches in diameter, projected to die within the next couple of years due to Emerald Ash Borer infestation) and planting of new trees; cleanup of the lilac hedge and “volunteer” shrubs and trees surrounding it; removal of buckthorn in the Hamline/Midway raingarden area and replacement with shrubs. The project will be funded by the Department of Natural Resources. Parks & Rec is seeking support for this work from the District 10 Council, Environment Committee and community. Neighbors surrounding the project area will receive a letter in the mail. Contact Jessica at the District 10 Office for further information.

Como Lake Neighborhood Network (CLNN) project proposal
Jessica reported that Janna Caywood, lead organizer for the CLNN is working on a proposal to the Environmental Protection Agency’s Urban Waters Small Grants Program that will focus on Como Lake and community involvement in maintenance of the lake’s health. Janna will attend an Environment Committee meeting sometime in the spring to discuss Committee support and specific roles in the process.

District 10 community garden
Jessica reported that she has continued to pursue the possibility of a District 10 community garden and has scheduled a meeting for February 2nd, 6:00 p.m., at the Java Train for further discussion.

Capitol Region Watershed District (CRWD)
CRWD Citizen Advisory Committee member Mike McDonald reported that the stormwater infiltration projects implemented by the CRWD in District 10 have exceeded the target of 60% phosphorus reduction by 10 to 20%. Mike has suggested a presentation on these positive findings to the District 10 Board, and the same was suggested as a future public talk topic. For more information about the CRWD, check the website: www.capitolregionwd.org.

Como Woodland Outdoor Classroom (CWOC)
CWOC liaison Susan Jane Cheney announced that Interpretive Naturalist and Como Woodland Advisor Lisa Held will be guiding “Animal Tracks in Winter” tours in the CWOC at 4:00 p.m. on Thursday, 4/23, and 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, 4/25. For more information or to register in advance, contact Lisa at (651) 373-0028. Tours are free and open to the public. For more information about the CWOC, check their website: www.comowoodland.org.

Goals and plans for 2012
Mike initiated a discussion regarding projects for the new year. Annual events, including the tree appreciation program, April parks cleanup, shoreline weeding, and CLNN fall leaf event were mentioned. Other suggestions included: a park history walking tour – in addition to a tree trek; and a demonstration trash net in the lake during the July “Staycation.”

New business
Jessica Bronk announced that the District 10 Board is reviewing the Committee Charter and distributed copies of the existing document for committee review. No changes were proposed.

Adjournment
The meeting adjourned at 8:05 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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