Minutes - 3/17/2010
Friday, March 19, 2010 10:45 PM

District 10 Environment Committee

Wednesday, March 17, 2010
 
Attendees: Betti Iwanski, Sally Worku, Nick Smith (District 10 Intern), Mike MacDonald, Val Cunningham, Sharon Shinomiya, Deb Robinson, Bob Hale, Susan Jane Cheney
Committee Chair Mike MacDonald, called the meeting to order at 7:05 p.m.
February 2010 meeting minutes were approved. 
 
District tree plan update
Mike MacDonald reported that Chet Mirocha met with Parks Maintenance Director Cy Kosel regarding tree signage. Chet will develop a plan specifying which trees to tag and why and will prepare a map of tree locations. After consulting with City foresters, he will write up a detailed proposal to submit to Parks Director Mike Hahm for review and comment by relevant parties. Tree tags will need to be re-nailed every three years to account for tree growth. Sally Worku suggested that after the tags are in place, notice of the tree tags and tree tours be posted at the Lakeside Pavilion and Streetcar Station as well as on the District and Parks websites. 
 
Tree appreciation program
Val Cunningham provided photos of three trees that she and Sharon Shinomiya have chosen as candidates for recognition in Subdistrict 1, and Susan Jane Cheney shared photos of four tree candidates from Subdistrict 2. Recognition criteria include age, placement to block wires, aesthetics, wildlife value, excellent pruning, new tree status, height, or any other characteristics that make a tree an outstanding specimen. Becky Cline will be identifying recognition candidates in Subdistrict 3. Next steps in the project include: preparing or obtaining a flyer touting the benefits of trees (the website www.ISA.arbor.com may be a source); select one tree in each subdistrict and notify residents; tie a ribbon around each tree (with residents’ permission) and present letters of appreciation; and send out a news release to newspapers, websites, and other appropriate venues (target date: end of May). Sally suggested providing additional information to District 10 residents regarding care for damaged trees.
 
St. Paul Tree Advisory Panel (TAP)
TAP representative Deb Robinson reported that TAP is working on implementing a citizen watering program for park and boulevard trees. TAP will provide watering bags and ask for citizen volunteers’ commitment to fill bags with at least 3 gallons of water per week throughout the summer. TAP also will be involved with the annual St. Paul Festival of Trees, this year scheduled for May 14 and 15 at Newell Park, located at Pierce-Butler Route and Fairview Avenue. Within District 10, a tree replanting project along Hamline Avenue, between Midway Boulevard and Como Avenue, is planned for May 1; it will include participation by school kids. 
 
CHEEP (Como Park Home Energy Efficiency Program) Database Project
Betti Iwanski reported that 2008 energy data has been entered into the database and 2009 data from Xcel Energy should be available within the next couple of weeks. Program goal is to achieve a 25% reduction in energy use. Nick Smith’s role is correlating participants’ actions with reduced energy consumption. Becky Cline is working on obtaining an IMPROVE grant for community presentations. Betti has submitted a proposal to CERTS (Clean Energy Resource Teams) for a half-time staff position for one year to manage data and communications. 
 
CERTS Energy Efficiency Workshops
In conjunction with the Neighborhood Energy Service, a collaborative program between CERTS and the NEC (Neighborhood Energy Connection), CHEEPS has scheduled energy efficiency workshops for Thursday, 4/29 and Tuesday, 5/4 at St. Tim’s on the corner of Nevada and Victoria Avenues. On 3/23, a kick-off meeting will be held at Betti’s home to begin recruitment for the workshops. 
 
Spring Parks Cleanup
Susan Jane Cheney provided copies of a poster for the Cleanup event on Saturday, April 10. Mike will send out the information and link to the poster to the Committee e-mail list. Susan Jane, Mike, and Deb volunteered to set up for the 8:30 a.m. Kick-off Event at the Lakeside Pavilion. Susan Jane will remind Meghan Manhatton at Parks about last year’s suggestions for improving the registration process. 
 
Update on grants
Mike reported that Becky Cline submitted a Community POWER grant (targeting education and recycling projects) for rain garden workshop funding.  Becky did not submit a Fiskars grant proposal for Lakeside Pavilion native plant garden equipment. 
 
Capitol Region Watershed District (CRWD)
Citizen Advisory Committee member Mike MacDonald reported that the CRWD is continuing to focus on the District education plan. The February CRWD meeting featured a presentation on “green roofs,” and the District may offer funding for these projects. There was also discussion regarding closing locks and dams on the Mississippi to keep out Asian carp. Visit the CRWD website www.capitolregionwd.org) for more information. 
 
Como Woodland Outdoor Classroom (CWOC)
Deb Robinson reported that the LCCMR (Legislative Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources) bill that includes $218,000 for CWOC funding was passed in the MN House and is going back to the Senate Finance Committee. The historical rededication of the Joyce Kilmer Memorial Fireplace in spring 2011 will feature Poet-tree workshops at Como and Chelsea Elementary Schools, and the CWOC is seeking $600 to cover costs. 
An Archeology professor at Hamline University contacted Deb about conducting an archeological dig at the woodland site. 
 
New business
  1. Community Cleanups for Water Quality project
Mike announced that a cleanup for water quality (concentrating on street gutters, storm sewers, and alleys) is scheduled for Saturday, 4/17. Target area is between Como Lake and Victoria Avenue, and the focus is on getting neighbors and block clubs involved. The Capitol Region Watershed District is providing funding for a flyer about the event. For more info regarding conservation and stewardship of all freshwater resources, visit the website www.freshwater.org
  1. Como Lake Shoreline Task Force
Mike has been in touch with Parks Environmental Services Coordinator Adam Robbins regarding revival of the Como Lake Shoreland Task Force with representatives from Parks, District 10 Environment Committee, Capitol Region Watershed District, and the new neighborhood water quality group. Former Task Force member Susan Jane expressed interest in participating. 
  1. District 10 garden tour
Mike announced that the District 10 Garden group is planning a garden tour, including several Environment Committee members’ gardens, in July. July 21 was suggested as a date for the tour (in lieu of a regular committee meeting), with July 28 as a rain date. 
  1. Native garden spring cleanup
Val announced that a first cleaning of the Pavilion Native Plant Garden is scheduled for Saturday, 4/24, 8:30 a.m.; rain date is 4/25. Please bring gloves, rakes, trowels, shovels, and yard waste bags.
  1. Buckthorn hedge replacement
Deb noted that the “Plant Selector” section of the Department of Transportation (DOT) website is a good resource for buckthorn replacement specimens. 
 
Adjournment
The meeting adjourned at 8:35 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

Site donated by: Havens Design, Matt Schmitt Photography
and UrbanPlanet Software LLC