Charlestown Township
Environmental Advisory Committee (EAC)
Meeting Minutes
Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Due to COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, the meeting was held remotely via Cisco WebEx

Attendees present were:
Pete Goodman (Chair), Daniel Walker, Meg Solomon, and Veda Maany (Secretary). Carol Armstrong (Vice Chair), and guest resident Esther Estes.

Pete Goodman (Chair) opened the meeting at 6:00 pm.

Minutes were approved on a motion by Walker, seconded by Solomon and were approved unanimously.

Update– VPP grant was not approved. The Clean Energy Transition Plan Group are planning on resubmitting.

Esther Estes is an interested resident and potential candidate to join the EAC. We can plan for her to start a 2 year full term beginning in January.

We would like to resume contacting businesses for Green Business Award.

No update on turnpike sound walls.

Brightside Riparian Buffer blueberry planting was a success. Had community helpers. Also, some deer protection was installed. By Springhouse on the south facing wall there are some invasive trees that we might want to remove. We have been given around thirty-five new trees to plant along the stream at the springhouse. We agree to hold planting event this Sunday, 11/15 at 10 am. The phase 2 planting deer protection was done by a contractor. No mowing around phase one planting has occurred but will happen in near future.

There is still the Ailanthus grove that needs to be addressed. Can postpone it until next summer when leaves are established to have the slash and treat be effective.

Action: Armstrong will post something on Nextdoor to advertise the tree planting this weekend.

Community Education series Armstrong suggests sharing Penn State webinar series “Woods In our Backyard” appropriate for residents with 10 acres or less. We should promote to residents the webinar- put it in Nature News. Could we get a survey out to get a sense of what residents are attending and what residents thought of the webinar? The educational goal is to educate residents on how to be good environmental Stewards. Linda offered to purchase a Zoom account for the township.

Action: Solomon will promote Penn-State Webinar series in Nature News, Armstrong will speak with Linda to purchase Zoom Pro-Plan. Armstrong volunteers to be the host for our future webinars. Advertise Penn State webinar on township website and Nature News.

Buffer ordinance township/state consistency– Goodman and Armstrong had discussions about improving Charlestown’s riparian buffer ordinance, and reviewed info from several sources including Ed Theurkauf. They had a number of conversations with Andy Motel about his experience with the Planning Commission in 2012 and their attempt to get a stronger riparian buffer ordinance passed (he met a lot of resistance). This convinced them that it might be more prudent to pursue adding buffers with individual landowner contact. Andy Motel recommends doing more resident outreach to effect change.

Action– Armstrong will contact the Penn State Ext. Master Watershed Steward program to see if we can develop a project with their assistance - the Watershed-Friendly Property Certification - to create an outreach program to educate residents about stream health and water quality issues on their own properties.

Nature News– Next issue is scheduled for January. Now the EAC is working within a Google drive which is working well. EAC members should submit articles to Meg so that we have a first draft by end of November since we have to also send through for approval by BoS. Pick a couple topics that we like.

Action: Solomon will explore topics; can write something up about perennials.

Volunteer list is on the EAC’s Google drive. Have names from planting to add to the list.

For January 15th deadline township newsletter– Start brainstorming ideas for articles.

Wildflower seed harvesting at Brightside–After the first frost plan on mowing the Phase 1 area and then we should consider planting milkweed seeds that were harvested at Brightside, and native flower and grass seeds that Armstrong purchased for the EAC from Ernst.

Township ownership of land parcel– no update. Action: Goodman is working on it

New Turnpike Facility– It is moving forward— last BoS meeting Turnpike got a legal opinion on zoning and a green light to move forward.

Deerfield riparian buffer proposal– Goodman sent out another email to contact the HOA management office as we haven’t heard anything. Hoping to push that project forward.

Next scheduled meeting on Wednesday, December 9th via Cisco WebEx.

Meeting was adjourned at 7:52 pm.