Minutes- 10/17/12
Tuesday, January 15, 2013 7:55 PM

District 10 Environment Committee
Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Attendees: Val Cunningham, Curt Stock, Mike MacDonald, Betti Iwanski, Ann Kulenkamp, Ted Benson, Jessica Currier, Susan Jane Cheney

New Committee Chair Curt Stock was welcomed and called the meeting to order at 7:05 p.m. Attendees introduced themselves.

Minutes from the August meeting were approved. There was no meeting in September.

Review of Committee activities
The history of the Committee was shared with Curt, beginning with its key role in focusing on Como Lake water quality beginning in 1995, which led to formation of the Capitol Region Watershed District (CRWD) in 1998. Committee members were involved in a year-long strategic management planning process for the Lake, and Mike MacDonald serves on the CRWD Citizen Advisory Committee (CAC). Members also served on a Shoreland Task Force, which implemented the Strategic Management Plan’s recommendations for restoration of the shoreland and have participated in shoreland planting and weeding events. Other Environment Committee activities and events over the years have included: collaboration with Ramsey Conservation District and the CRWD on creation of the first raingarden in the District (at the corner of Lexington Parkway and Nebraska Avenue); buckthorn busting in Park woodland areas, which resulted in launch of the Como Woodland Outdoor Classroom (CWOC); participation on the Como Woodland Advisory Committee as well as continued hands-on events in the Woodland; rain barrel and composting workshops; Park tree identification tags and tours; a District 10 tree appreciation program; a baseline natural resource inventory, which has included bird, macroinvertebrate, and turtle studies; development and implementation of CHEEP, the Como Home Energy Efficiency Program; an annual District 10 Garden Tour; maintenance of the native plant garden near the Como Lakeside Pavilion; and a public lecture series .

Como Woodland Outdoor Classroom (CWOC)
Environment Committee liaison to the Como Woodland Advisory Committee (CWAC), Susan Jane Cheney reported that the next bimonthly meeting of CWAC will take place on 10/29. Several prairie planting events took place in the Woodland during September, and CWAC members have been meeting with Great River and Crossroads School Forest committees – as well as some Great River School students – as they get up and running. A second MN Department of Natural Resources training session for Crossroads School teachers is scheduled for 11/8. Construction of trails (by Semple Excavating and funded by the MN Environmental and Natural Resources Trust Fund as recommended by the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources – LCCMR) in the Woodland began on 10/9, and approximately 2525 feet of ADA-accessible crushed limestone trails should be completed by the end of the month.
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 relocation of the Trout Brook storm sewer was accomplished within the designated time frame, and, interestingly and unexpectedly, an old Trout Brook storm sewer was found under the railroad tracks. The CRWD has a new logo and is investigating the possibility of rebuilding the Como Golf Course pond to better manage stormwater in the area.
For more information about the CRWD, check the website: www.capitolregionwd.org.

New business
• New turtle basking sites
Susan Jane Cheney reported that she had contacted St. Paul Parks Environmental Services about dropping a couple of the trees slated to be removed along the lake shore into the lake for turtle basking, and that two trees have been dropped for that purpose.
• 2013 Lecture Series
1. Several ideas were discussed for collaborating with the CRWD on lectures: the 2013 regional stormwater plan for Como Park; future plans for Como Park area BMPs (best management practices), including storm drains and catch basins, etc.; features for handling stormwater along the Central Corridor; a presentation regarding shallow lake ecology; and a “world café” type conversation about Como Lake.
2. Another collaboration with the CRWD and/or the City (St. Paul Parks Environmental Services staff) might be a summertime walk around the lake, with questions and discussion.
3. A paddleboat tour with a historical perspective on the Park was suggested. This could incorporate promotion of Sharon Shinomiya’s online history tour, with publicity including posters in the Como Pavilion information kiosks.
4. Another historical presentation idea is a lecture on the trolley system.
5. A panel on creative gardening for urban spaces involving several neighborhood gardeners was discussed.
6. A suggestion was made to ask lecture attendees to indicate how they found out about the event.
7. Curt requested that other ideas for lectures be emailed to him in advance of the next meeting.

The meeting adjourned at 8:10 p.m.
[Meeting summary prepared by Susan Jane Cheney]


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