Minutes 1/2011

District 10 Environment Committee

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


Attendees:  Mike MacDonald, Sharon Shinomiya, Val Cunningham, Deb Robinson, Chet Mirocha, Matt Streit, Betti Iwanski, Susan Jane Cheney


Committee Chair Mike MacDonald, called the meeting to order at 7:10 p.m.


December 2010 meeting minutes were approved. 


Como Lake turtle study

Mike MacDonald reported that both the MN Herpetological Society and Environment Committee Member Joan McKearnan have expressed interest in helping with a turtle study.  


District 10 Staycation events

Darcy Rivers, Recreation Director for St. Paul Parks & Recreation, held a Staycation planning meeting on Tuesday, 1/18; no Environment Committee members were able to attend.  Mike MacDonald reported that the District 10 Board did discuss the event at their meeting on the same evening, and Board member Chris Harkness suggested extending the garden tour and incorporating an opportunity for garden hosts to visit other gardens. 


Tree recognition program

Val Cunningham noted that this year's tree recognition program will be open to the public, and the Committee will be requesting nominations from the community.  Information about the program will be highlighted on the District website, e-blasts, and postings in the Lakeside Pavilion kiosk and other locations; this publicity should begin soon.  Arrangements will need to be made if a tree seedling “give-away” will be included this year.  Tree recognition awards will be presented just prior to the Tree Trek Chet Mirocha plans to lead on Saturday, June 18th. 


Ramsey County Native Plant Expo & Market 

Val suggested that the native plant event be held on a Saturday, either June 4th or 11th.  So far, eight growers, including Outback Nursery and The Vagary, and ten or more exhibitors, such as St. Paul Audubon, The Wild Ones, and the Capitol Region Watershed District, have expressed interest in participating.  Committee members discussed having a table with a focus on the Como lakeshore native plantings and sign-up sheets for Committee membership and hands-on summer work sessions.  Sharon Shinomiya proposed placing an ad in the Horticultural Society's newsletter.  Mike MacDonald will check on District 10 sponsorship of the event. 



Como Park tree tagging project

Chet reported that he still working on a variance in the City code prohibiting posting of any material on trees in order to proceed with tacking tree identification tags on Park trees in the vicinity of the Lexington Avenue pedestrian bridge.  Currently, he is seeking permission from the City Forest Manager. 


Energy conservation program

Betti Iwanski reported that work funded by the database grant is complete.  Sixteen households have been involved, and she has received 2010 data from eight so far.  She reviewed some of the energy savings and key sources and mentioned that CERTS would like to do a case study for a presentation.  Betti will prepare a written report and summary.  She is eager to get more people involved in administering the program. 


Como Woodland Outdoor Classroom (CWOC) news

Deb Robinson reported that the CWOC meeting time has been switched back to the last Monday of each month and generally will be held at the Java Train at 6:45 p.m.  Susan Jane Cheney once again can attend meetings on a regular basis as Environment Committee liaison.  Deb mentioned that daytime meetings will be held periodically in order to more easily involve Adam Robbins, Parks & Recreation Woodland Manager; the first of these is scheduled for 3:00 p.m. on Monday, 1/24. 

Deb also reported that the Joyce Kilmer Memorial Fireplace restoration process is moving along and speculated that the fireplace, but not the wall surrounding it, will likely be completed in time for the rededication event scheduled for 1:00 p.m. on May 19.  Planned activities will include: Como and Chelsea Elementary students reading the poems they wrote in the Poet Tree workshops last fall; brief talks by Brian Murphy from St. Paul Parks & Recreation and Joyce Kilmer authority John Covell; supervised planting of 100 seedlings by children; and an Indian blessing.  The rededication will follow the Como High Field Day, which begins at 8 a.m.  Josh Leonard, coordinator of field day mentors, could probably use more assistants; check the field day curriculum on the CWOC website (www.comowoodland.org) and contact Josh if you are interested.  Environment Committee members also might be needed to help with tree planting. 

Capitol Region Watershed District (CRWD)

CRWD Citizen Advisory Committee (CAC) member Mike MacDonald announced that the CRWD Board approved a letter requesting that the City develop a comprehensive stormwater management plan for Como Park.  He also reported on a presentation at the January CAC meeting by a company that makes floating “islands” which, once planted, filter lake water by sequestering phosphorus.  A bonus effect is more and larger fish.  For more information about the watershed district, check the CRWD website (www.capitolregionwd.org). 



The meeting adjourned at about 8:15 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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