Minutes- 2/15/12
Thursday, April 19, 2012 11:30 AM

District 10 Environment Committee
Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Attendees: Sharon Shinomiya, Val Cunningham, Ron Edlund, District 10 Administrator & Coordinator Jessica Bronk, Susan Jane Cheney

Committee Chair Ron Edlund called the meeting to order at 7:05 p.m.

January meeting minutes were reviewed and approved.

Review of Committee’s accomplishments and goals
There was a brief continuation of last month’s discussion regarding the Committee’s projects. Ron Edlund proposed sending out a brief questionnaire to e-mail recipients concerning their environmental issue priorities.

Sunday series
Sharon Shinomiya reported that plans for the February 19th talk by Heather Holm are in place. She and Val Cunningham have been working on publicity for the Como History talk on March 18th. Susan Jane Cheney will contact Erik Olsen regarding photos and a write-up for his talk in April. She will bring informational brochures about the committee and sign-up sheets to all three events.

Como Lake Neighborhood Network (CLNN) project proposal
Jessica Bronk reported that Janna Caywood, lead organizer for the CLNN, has decided to delay submission of the group’s proposal focusing on Como Lake and community involvement in maintenance of the lake’s health to the Environmental Protection Agency’s Urban Waters Small Grants Program. Ron will check with Janna about attending the March Environment Committee meeting to discuss the project.

District 10 community garden
Jessica reported that the February 2nd meeting regarding a community garden was well attended and several possible sites – to accommodate approximately fifteen plots – were discussed. The group will meet again in March. Jessica also mentioned the formation of a Hamline-Midway gardening “resource hub” – neighborhood network for tool sharing and plant and seed exchanges – that District 10 might consider participating in.

Tree removal project
Jessica announced that City Parks & Recreation staff are holding a public meeting at North Dale Rec Center on Thursday, 2/16, 6:30 - 7 p.m., regarding Ward 5 tree removals.

Como Woodland Outdoor Classroom (CWOC)
CWOC liaison Susan Jane Cheney reminded committee members about Interpretive Naturalist and Como Woodland Advisor Lisa Held’s free “Animal Tracks in Winter” tours in the CWOC at 4:00 p.m. on Thursday, 2/23, and 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, 2/25. She also reported that Parks & Recreation staff attended the CWOC’s January meeting when discussion focused on the current status of the Advisory Group and the possibility of becoming a more formally recognized city committee (somewhat similar to the Tree Advisory Panel). Discussion of this issue will continue among Advisory Group members at their next meeting on 2/27 and at a follow-up meeting with City staff on 3/8. For more information about the CWOC, check their website: www.comowoodland.org.

Goals and plans for 2012
Ron made several suggestions:
1. Link to the UMN Extension Service website for easy access to information on topics such as lawn care.
2. Start an “adopt-a-section-of-shoreline” service program to promote public ownership in keeping Como Lake clean. A distinctive trash bag might be provided to participants.
3. Begin a photographic project creating a “Como Neighborhood Album,” somewhat modeled on the ongoing National Park Service project documenting a seasonal history of the area along the Mississippi River.
Val brought up the idea of geo-caching in Como Park – perhaps as a Committee-sponsored activity during the District 10 Staycation Event in July. Ron suggested talking to the City Rangers about the program in Lilydale Regional Park.

New business
Jessica Bronk announced that nominations for 2012 Saint Paul Heritage Preservation Awards, sponsored by the Saint Paul Heritage Preservation Commission and St. Paul Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, are due on 4/2, and she suggested that the Como Woodland Outdoor Classroom would be an appropriate candidate for at least one of the award categories. She distributed copies of the nomination form.

Adjournment
The meeting adjourned at 8:35 p.m.
[Meeting summary prepared by Susan Jane Cheney]

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