Thursday, April 19, 2012 11:35 AM
District 10 Environment Committee
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Attendees: Sharon Shinomiya, Val Cunningham, Ron Edlund, Mike MacDonald, District 10 Administrator & Coordinator Jessica Bronk, Janna Caywood, Susan Jane Cheney
Committee Chair Ron Edlund called the meeting to order at 7:05 p.m.
February meeting minutes were reviewed and approved.
Good attendance was reported for the first two talks. The Sunday afternoon time slot seems to be working out well. Next up is Erik Olsen’s presentation on urban gardening with native plants on 4/15 at St. Timothy Lutheran Church. Talks on the history of Como Park and local trolleys were suggested as future topics.
Committee partnering with other neighborhood, City and State groups
Ron Edlund discussed the potential Adopt-a-section-of-Como-Lake program in light of the existing Department of Natural Resources Adopt-a-river program for 4th-6th graders and St. Paul’s Come Clean program. He suggested that local groups with volunteer community service requirements, such as the Job Corps and Como Elementary and High School students, might become involved and that the City might provide signage for litter pickup days.
Janna Caywood noted that the idea of an Adopt-a-storm-drain program has come up, and Ron floated the possibility of encouraging the City to perform street sweeping based on weather conditions rather than a rigid calendar determination in impaired lake areas, such as the Como Lake Watershed.
Janna discussed the Como Lake Neighborhood Network (CLNN) group’s 2012 fall cleanup event and the possibility of the Environment Committee assisting with communicating the importance of framing the issue as a “civic act” with a direct link to a community goal of keeping Como Lake healthy. She explained the roles of several student groups and will prepare a list of specific tasks for possible E.C. involvement in the project.
Janna also briefly discussed the possibility of pursuing an Environmental Protection Agency Urban Small Waters Grant to develop community participation in promoting public health with lake-related activities.
District 10 community garden
Jessica Bronk reported that two potential garden sites (south of Jessamine/ north of the railroad tracks and at the Snelling Avenue/Albany Street intersection) appear promising, pending soil tests. Application for a community garden has been made to the DOT, and the District is awaiting notification. The next group meeting is scheduled for 4/4, 6:00 p.m., at the District 10 Office.
Como Woodland Outdoor Classroom (CWOC)
Environment Committee liaison to the Como Woodland Advisory Committee (CWAC), Susan Jane Cheney reported that:
1. St. Paul Parks & Rec Deputy Director Kathy Korum attended the CWAC’s March meeting to explain the City’s intention to firm up guidelines for affiliated and “friends of” groups (such as booster clubs). Discussion regarding CWAC’s status in relation to the City is ongoing.
2. CWOC signage design will coordinate with other Como Park signage.
3. Meghan Manhatton (Parks & Rec Environmental Services) recapped 2011 accomplishments in the Woodland and previewed the 2012 work plan for each Woodland plant community.
4. Environmental Services Coordinator Adam Robbins announced that he is considering application for a MN Historical Society grant for a cultural and natural history guide to the site.
5. Upcoming CWOC events include: the Annual Citywide Cleanup on Saturday, 4/14, 8:30 to 11:00 a.m.; Garlic Mustard Removal on Saturday, 4/28, 9:00 to 11:00 a.m.; and a Burdock Removal on 6/23.
For more information about the CWOC, check their website: www.comowoodland.org.
Capitol Region Watershed District (CRWD)
CRWD Citizen Advisory Committee (CAC) member Mike MacDonald reported that the most recent CAC meeting included a CRWD staff presentation on the Watershed District’s permitting rules and that a project for dredging the Villa Park wetlands, as specified in the McCarrons Lake Watershed Plan, will include relocation of turtles while the work is being done.
For more information about the CRWD, check the website: www.capitolregionwd.org.
1. Val Cunningham noted that cleaning up the Como Pavilion Native Plant Garden this spring will be a big job. Jessica Bronk will send out an e-blast and contact block clubs.
2. Mike MacDonald, Ward 4 representative to Blooming St. Paul, reported that volunteers are needed to help with maintenance of 30,000 new plants being put in around the renovated Como Pool.
3. Ron Edlund announced that The Monitor has extended an invitation to District 10 to submit an article for publication each month. Ron suggested that the Environment Committee prepare one for the June issue.
4. Sharon Shinomiya and Val Cunningham reported that they are recruiting gardens for the July garden tour.
5. Susan Jane Cheney noted that publicity regarding the annual Tree Appreciation Project should begin soon. Sharon Shinomiya offered to place notices in local newspapers, and Jessica Bronk will send out an e-blast.
The meeting adjourned at 8:55 p.m.
[Meeting summary prepared by Susan Jane Cheney]