Charlestown Township
Environmental Advisory Committee (EAC)
Meeting Minutes
Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Due to COVID-19 pandemic shelter in-place orders, the meeting was held remotely via Cisco Webex

Attendees present were:
Pete Goodman, Daniel Walker, Carol Armstrong, Meg Solomon, and Veda Maany, Richard Findlay and Linda Csete.

Pete Goodman (chair) opened the meeting at 6:05 pm.

Minutes of the May meeting were adopted following a motion to approve by Walker seconded by Solomon, and approved by all.

Charlestown Day

Our township day may be cancelled. It could be scaled down and delivered as small events. The EAC has been asked what kind of small events it could host involving small groups of people. One idea was to have a tree identification tour either in Charlestown Park or Brightside Farm Park. Armstrong suggests getting groups of volunteers to harvest and plant milkweed seeds. We will closely follow for a formal announcement.

Green Business Award

The subcommittee consisting of Armstrong, Walker and Maany report progress is slow during this pandemic as it is difficult to make contact with businesses. We could consider putting this project on hold. We may have 2 additional candidates. Subcommittee will discuss whether to pursue or put project on hold.

Brightside Farm Park

Armstrong reports that trees and shrubs survived recent storms and look good. She had taken pictures and shared with the EAC. Armstrong and Goodman had met with Laubach (GVWA) and Conservation District to discuss the funding and the EAC future involvement in next steps. Also discussed issues of maintenance. The CCCD grant expiration has been extended to the end of 2021. We also would like to have tree identification and hope to have future plantings identified with signage. For now we can just write on the tubes. Goodman contacted the township about removal of the ailanthus trees in the area of the riparian buffer planting and is waiting to hear back. Will necessitate a tree company to remove these moderate sized trees.

Community education series

We are still hoping to host our planned lecture presentation – “Trees as your friend” presented by Lori M. Hayes, (Director of Urban Forestry Philadelphia Parks and Recreation) as a webinar or a recorded walking tour. We will explore Lori Hayes availability and ideas. Solomon could speak about composting in the fall. Storm-water run-off is a crucial topic – Nespoor had offered to speak about it and we will see if he is still available. Another topic is helping steam side property owners manage the streams on their property. We will have to determine if these will be delivered as a webinar depending on the current state of the pandemic.

Riparian Buffers: township and state compliance

Armstrong and Goodman met to review the ordinances and found two that refer to the riparian buffer. The Tredyffrin township ordinance may be a good model to use to revise our ordinances.

Online Presence

We discussed Solomon’s proposal of an e-newsletter to make us more visible. We discussed how frequent- perhaps quarterly between the township’s newsletter. We would send out to our volunteer list and they could have the option to unsubscribe. We discussed what the content would be; notifications, our minutes, blog. For the next 2 weeks we will collect some ideas to create an “idea bank” and send to Solomon who agrees to be the editor.

Newsletter Articles

Next deadline is July 15th. Armstrong is writing an article about planting pollinators. Goodman will write something about our anonymous contributions to the Brightside project. Goodman will check in with Kristen Snyder about her interest in writing about organic gardening (from May’s meeting).

DCNR Pollinator Program

Armstrong reports we do not have enough seeds to harvest to send to DCNR program. In order to expand pollinator plants at the riparian buffer, we should refrain from mowing where we plant wildflowers. If we don’t mow between lines of tubes then we can plant seeds there. As a cost saving measure, we could harvest milkweed seeds and plant them- again this could be a Charlestown Day activity. Armstrong will evaluate the soil condition and let the EAC know when the milkweed has finished blooming to harvest the seeds so we can organize it as a group activity.

New tree Plantings on township owned properties project now on hold. Goodman is checking the townships map of open space and recreational resources against the list of township owned parcels. Most of the parcels are parkland.

Armstrong spoke about a new potential member for the EAC, a Charlestown resident who has concerns about illegal dumping she has been witnessing in our township along a stream.

Next scheduled meeting on Wednesday, July 8th via Cisco Webex.

Meeting was adjourned at 7:36 pm.