Charlestown Township
Environmental Advisory Committee (EAC)
Great Valley High School Library
Minutes of Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Minutes were recorded for the meeting on September 11, 2019 at the Great Valley High School Library, 225 N. Phoenixville Pike, Malvern, PA 19355. Meeting was held from 6:00 p.m. - 7:50 p.m.

Attendees were Pete Goodman (Chair), Carol Armstrong (vice Chair), Veda Maany (secretary), Daniel Walker, and Megan Solomon.

The meeting was called to order by Goodman and opened at 6:05.The previous meeting minutes were reviewed electronically prior to the meeting by members. A motion to approve was made by Armstrong, seconded by Solomon. The minutes were then adopted by unanimous vote.

Goodman plans to bring a map display of named streams and unnamed tributaries to showcase on Charlestown day. We then discussed details of what each member will bring to Charlestown Day on September 14th, table set-up, brochures, handouts, etc.

Armstrong & Walker present the update on Green Business Award. Forms were mailed out. Linda paid for all costs- envelopes, posting and making copies. We received one interest thus far. We should test out the link on the website ourselves.

The update on the PA Turnpike Sound Walls presented by Walker, who stated that they had reviewed the new sound ordinance which is seems to be an addendum to the old ordinance- and all parties were in overall agreement. Thompson is combining both ordinances (old and new) to be reviewed again. Sound Walls Now is still receiving a few donations. Solomon points out that the mailing that was sent out was unclear and suggests perhaps making more clear who is behind the coalition.

As for the Pipeline Safety Coalition, Charlestown is participating in Community Awareness Network of PSC and in the FERC process. Chester county has formed an information group as well.

Armstrong & Goodman’s update on the riparian buffer project of Pigeon Run on Brightside Farm. There is ongoing planning and mapping. Audubon society has interest now and offer to provide some plants. The Chesapeake Bay Association has offered plants as well as part of their campaign to plant 10 million trees to improve Pennsylvania watersheds. Even though we are not in the CB watershed, they are awarding us for establishing riparian buffer. Vicki Laubach has informed us that we may be getting another grant or two. Planting could be as early as this fall or spring. The restoration specialist could begin prep work this fall. We are doing this all organically. We will be placing barriers for the immature saplings to protect from competing growth and animal damage. We plan to use small stone that become mulch. Stroud is doing research into stone mulching, and thus far it is shown to be as good for tree survival as herbicide spray. We will be meeting with Jeanne Ortiz from Audubon society in October to have her tour the site and help select the plants. We should review with French and Pickering the areas under conservation to be in compliance with the easement restrictions.

Maany plans to hold her presentation as part of our education series later this month titled, “The Environment and Our Health” at Charlestown Playschool. For future presentations of Community Education series, we discussed the following topics:

  1. Native vs Invasive plants: Foraging and cooking (Christa Reeves, Pres. of Lehigh Valley Chapter of PA Native Plant Society);
  2. Impact of plastics on our environment and our bodies (Armstrong) **voted to hold this winter.
  3. Reducing waste: Composting and Recycling (Solomon),
  4. Trees are your friend (lowers carbon footprint, lowers crime): select: virtual walk in the woods, tree care, trees for the garden or house, Bonsai (Findlay will find speaker),
  5. Wild Neighbors: Loving, protecting, and peaceful coexisting with wildlife (Phila Metro Wildlife Center);
  6. Stormwater runoff and wells on private property (Nesspor);
  7. Management of streams on private property (Goodman).
  8. how diet influence our carbon footprint (Solomon)
  9. Reducing road salt-

Armstrong provided an update on Charlestown riparian buffer ordinances and consistency with State Code. She has been reading through and compiling a comparison of Charlestown code on buffers with PA’s and EPA’s in a working document. She will present to members so we can discuss (via email). Vic Laubach offered to ask Ed Theuerkauf to look at our ordinances to make suggestions for future action. Ideally recommendations will be made that we all agree on. Then we will bring it to Planning Commission as they are expecting us to make specific recommendations. In the end, the ordinance should be clear and obvious to developers, lawyers, and others coming to planning commission. If a property owner cannot comply but are given a permit, there has to be some mitigation. We will review at our next meeting in October.

Progress on Audubon Birdtown is on hold until Audubon re-commences program. Goodman will follow.

Findlay and Meg Solomon will work together to make more effective and trackable ways to use our volunteer lists.

For the next newsletter (October deadline), Armstrong will post notice about plastics talk and Goodman will write a notice about riparian buffer project at Brightside.

New

Armstrong has proceeded to apply for Brightside Park to be considered a DCNR Pollinator Habitat program-Project Wingspan. This statewide program has been initiated as a response to massive loss of insects across Pennsylvania. Many groups as a coalition getting together to help create pollinator pathways. Individual applications have reached maximum capacity but there are still openings for public areas. We discussed different areas in Charlestown that could be considered as well. Armstrong applied for Brightside park as she is most familiar with the property. We calculated that the park open space is about 38 acres. The application requires some requisites which we reviewed together (floral resource through spring summer and fall. forest woody material, milkweed, nesting and overwintering habitat). In the end, we estimate about 3-4 acres of plantable area. Armstrong will submit the application.

Meeting was adjourned at 8:10 pm.