Minutes - 2/17/2010
Wednesday, February 17, 2010 10:40 PM

District 10 Environment Committee

Wednesday, February 17, 2010
 
Attendees: Becky Cline, Betti Iwanski, Sally Worku, Nick Smith (District 10 Intern), Mike MacDonald, Susan Jane Cheney
Committee Chair Mike MacDonald, called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.
January 2010 meeting minutes were approved. 
 
Announcements
Mike provided information about several upcoming workshops:
  1. Community Cleanups for Water Quality Program Information &Training session at Hamline University on 3/4, 9 - 11 a.m., sponsored by the Metro WaterShed Partners, Freshwater Society, and Friends of the Minnesota Valley. Contact Cherie Wagner at (763) 219-1252. 
  2. Deb Robinson recommends a University of Minnesota two-day short course “for everyone involved in urban forestry and arboriculture” – the 48th Annual Minnesota Shade Tree Short Course, March 16-17, at Bethel University in Arden Hills. Check http://cce.umn.edu/documents/cpe-general/Shade-Tree-2010-brochure.pdf for more information. 
  3. A number of different organizations are sponsoring a series of symposia entitled Protecting Our Water—Protecting our Health:
    • “Our Troubled Waters” on Saturday, 3/6, 10 a.m. - noon
    • “Urban Water and Land Use” on Tuesday, 4/6, 7 - 9 p.m.
    • “Conservation – Preserving Our Water” on Saturday, 5/8, 9 a.m - 12:30 p.m. 
For additional information, call the League of Women Voters Minneapolis at (612) 333-6319. 
 
Update on tree appreciation program
Regarding tree signage, Chet Mirocha has learned that a City ordinance prohibits penetration of tree bark. Discussion of the project will continue at future meetings. 
 
Update on CHEEPS (Como Park Home Energy Efficiency Program) Database Project
  1. Nick Smith displayed the spreadsheet illustrating categories of energy usage (building, equipment, base-load, and behavior) that he has been compiling from the CHEEP participant journals. He is working toward online data entry by program participants with a goal of making each entry as specific as possible.
  2. Betti Iwanski reported that Jess Roberts is designing a CHEEPS logo. Betti is working with NEC (Neighborhood Energy Connection) and CERTS (Clean Energy Resource Teams) in setting up a neighborhood energy efficiency program, which will include a free workshop on saving energy and money in residents’ homes followed by home visits from the Home Energy Squad that will install energy-saving materials for only a $30 co-pay and provide a year of personalized home energy reporting as well. Workshops are tentatively planned for late April, and Committee members are requested to assist with flyering and other advertising. 
 
 
Update on grants
  1. Becky Cline is planning to submit a Fiskars grant proposal for Lakeside Pavilion native plant garden equipment. She suggested that a Community POWER grant (targeting education and recycling projects) might provide funding for rain garden workshops.
  2. Mike reported that Midway community garden volunteers are not interested in pursuing grants at this time. 
 
Capitol Region Watershed District report (CRWD)
Citizen Advisory Committee member Mike MacDonald reported that the CRWD is focusing on an education plan and are responding to comments regarding the proposed 10-year Watershed Management Plan. Visit the CRWD website www.capitolregionwd.org) for more information. 
 
Como Woodland Outdoor Classroom report
Susan Jane Cheney briefly reported on the CWOC project:
  • The LCCMR (Legislative Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources) bill that includes CWOC funding is in the process of working its way through House and Senate committee hearings. On 2/16, Susan Jane and other Como Woodland Advisory Committee members attended a hearing by the Senate Environment, Energy, and Natural Resources Budget Division chaired by Senator Ellen Anderson. 
  • In early March, several CWOC Advisory Committee members plan to meet with St. Paul Parks & Recreation Environmental Services Coordinator Adam Robbins and new Education Coordinator to discuss working together on the restoration project, Department of Natural Resources School Forest designation, teacher materials development, and teacher training. 
  • A history subcommittee is actively working on multi-faceted preparations for rededication of the Joyce Kilmer Memorial Fireplace. 
  • Redesign of the CWOC website (www.comowoodland.org) continues. 
 
New business
  1. Green Alley project possibilities
Mike introduced the idea of developing a pilot project to reduce stormwater run-off by redirecting downspouts away from neighborhood alleys. He cited successful programs in Owatonna and Chicago. The Capitol Region Watershed District is a potential partner. Discussion will continue at future meetings. 
  1. Spring parks cleanup
Susan Jane Cheney will contact Parks Environmental Services staff about plans for the cleanup and Committee involvement. 
 
Adjournment
The meeting adjourned at about 8:30 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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