Minutes - 10/20/2010
Tuesday, November 30, 2010 7:10 PM

District 10 Environment Committee

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Attendees:  Chet Mirocha, Sally Worku, Becky Cline, Mike MacDonald, Susan Jane Cheney; guest: Chris Lenhart (UMN Assistant Research Professor, Bioproducts & Biosystems Engineering)

Committee Chair Mike MacDonald, called the meeting to order at 7:05 p.m.

September 2010 meeting minutes were approved. 


Como Lake Curbside Cleanup

Sally Worku reported on the Como Lake Neighborhood Curbside Clean-up that the Committee co-sponsored with the Como Lake Neighborhood Network and other groups on Saturday, October 16.  Sally, Mike and Ruth MacDonald and Susan Jane Cheney set up and, along with event organizer Janna Caywood, hosted the thank you celebration at the Hamm Falls picnic area following the event.  A total of 446 bags of leaves, representing just over 89 pounds of phosphorus (and 89,000 pounds – or 44.5 tons – of future algae) that did not end up in the lake – and ultimately the Mississippi River, were collected: definitely a successful effort!  One suggestion for future endeavors is to provide refreshments earlier in the day and closer to the event site.


District 10 news

Mike reported on results of District 10 Board elections held on 10/19.  Check the District website – www.district10comopark.com – for specifics. 


Poet-Tree workshops

Mike passed along a report regarding the Como Woodland Outdoor Classroom (CWOC) poetry project from Sharon Shinomiya, who was unable to attend the meeting:  Final poetry workshops with three 6th grade classes took place on Tuesday,10/19 at Como Elementary, following a walking field trip to the CWOC on Friday, 10/15.  Sharon has received positive comments on both the field trip and workshops from the teachers involved, and the poems that resulted are great.  Parks Director Mike Hahm has offered use of a Parks & Recreation copier for printing the project booklets; each student will receive a copy. 


Other Como Woodland Outdoor Classroom (CWOC) news

Susan Jane Cheney gave a brief report on the most recent Woodland Advisory Committee meeting, held on 9/27/10.  Discussion focused on:

  1. Review of recommendations in the Como Park transportation plan that impact the CWOC;
  2. Review of a flyer that Parks staffer Kelley Dinsmore has drafted to send to teachers;
  3. Update on the Joyce Kilmer Memorial Fireplace and Poet-tree workshops;
  4. Upcoming meeting (10/13) with LCCMR (Legislative-Citizen Commission on MN Resources) education project grantees, which Deb Robinson and Bryan Murphy from St. Paul Parks will attend;
  5. Upcoming District 10 Annual Meeting, for which Deb will prepare a brief summer of the past year’s CWOC activities.

Visit the CWOC website (www.comowoodland.org) for additional information. 


Potential Como Lake turtle habitat project

Guest Chris Lenhart introduced the possibility of Environment Committee collaboration on a study involving his spring semester ecological engineering students regarding some aspect of turtle habitat, perhaps nesting behavior, in Como Lake.  Committee members expressed interest in the prospect, and Chris will stay in touch as he develops his course syllabus.  He suggested conducting a tour of the lake shoreline and stormwater management features in early spring (April) in advance of a study.  Mike will look into related Department of Natural Resources (DNR) grants. 


Tree tagging project

Chet Mirocha will study the City ordinance banning attachment of anything to trees on park property in preparation for the presentation to the City Council to request a variance.  Mike is continuing work on a map showing tree locations. 


Capitol Region Watershed District (CRWD)

Citizen Advisory Committee member Mike MacDonald reported on CRWD activities:  Crosby Lake will be the next CRWD study area, and, like Como, will focus on shallow lake ecology.  For more information, check the CRWD website (www.capitolregionwd.org). 



The meeting adjourned at about 8:10 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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