Charlestown Township
Environmental Advisory Committee (EAC)
Meeting Minutes
Wednesday, December 9, 2020

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

Attendees present were:
Pete Goodman, Daniel Walker, Meg Solomon, and Veda Maany (secretary), Carol Armstrong (Vice Chair), Esther Estes and guest residents and potential members of the EAC, Sharon Richardson, Bethany Asplundh, and guest resident Mark Connolly.

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

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

Upcoming Chester County EAC meeting in February– date TBA. Armstrong would like to see if other EAC have bylaws and to share them.

Moving monthly meetings to Zoom starting in January. Armstrong made a motion to approve and Maany seconded it.

Re-organizational meeting will be incorporated into our monthly meeting in Jan. A separate agenda will be sent out. is seeking assistance on their EAC Network Conference planning committee for 2021. Goodman will email us the details.

Mark Connolly reports that their application for VPP grant was not approved- came in fourth. They plan resubmit and application in February. He wants township to be aware that this is the plan. Energy star portfolio manager implementation. He would like EAC to encourage BoS to allow volunteers to take township utility data (small) and add to portfolio manager– has team of volunteers ready to work energy and greenhouse tracking. The alliance wants to pursue 4 school districts to start the conversation about energy and GH gas emissions. “Ready for 100” in other townships is skewed so Connolly wants to establish criteria and framework in chapter 5 in the comprehensive plan– “sustainable and energy conservation chapter”. Goal is to implement strategies. He emphasizes the township should be resource for people- education and not policy. Still trying to figure out how to be most efficient to accomplish this.

We would like to resume contacting businesses for Green Business Award. Armstrong has list of businesses — there are 2 interested businesses — Action: subcommittee Armstrong and Maany will meet in Jan to arrange interviews and make other contacts.

Brightside Riparian Buffer Phase 1 and 2 are essentially done– One part of stream is in the forest and Austin did not think it needed planting. There is a path from community garden to trail– this lawn area is bordered by ailanthus trees which won’t be addressed until early summer. Fall of 2021 planting would be the next phase. As for maintenance for phase 1 we are planning the mowing is to be done this Friday 12/11. We still need some more shrubs for phase 2 plantings from Austin. Also, we need more stakes and deer fencing. Armstrong and Goodman want to coordinate getting stakes and setting them up within the next week.

Community Education series – Now that we have Zoom, we can put on webinars. Action: Solomon can do March/April timeline for composting. Armstrong is wrapping up a Watershed Friendly Property Certification- so she will be able to present to communities sometime in the spring.

Buffer ordinance township/state consistency – Survey the township– see if there are areas where we should be thinking about having riparian buffers and then propose suggestions to the landowners- do we need to get BoS approval about contacting them? Action: Goodman will start surveying areas to focus on.

Nature News – Solomon will write up an article and distributed to us for review- was given some feedback. Once all revisions are made, then Solomon will format the final and will send out before the holiday to send out in January. Put in “Woods In Your Backyard” webinar series notification as well. A little announcement about our upcoming spring webinar. Also, how to get your property certified watershed friendly. Solomon will then forward to Linda for BoS approval.

Volunteer list is on Google drive. Names from planting event were added to the list.

For January 15th deadline township newsletter – Goodman will write an article about clean-up along roadways. Maany to write an article about light pollution.

Wildflower seed harvesting at Brightside. After mowing this Friday we plan to scatter wildflower and milkweed seeds. Action: Armstrong will let us know when.

Township ownership of land parcel – Goodman still needs to go over list with Linda. A good question: Is there opportunity of riparian buffer restoration in Charlestown Park?

New Turnpike Maintenance Facility – It is moving forward with a motion from the BoS at their last meeting. Turnpike got a legal opinion on zoning and got a green light to move forward.

Deerfield riparian buffer proposal – Goodman received tentative approval from HOA- they just want to ensure that the maintenance would not interfere with open space agreement with the township. Goodman went to BoS to ask- Kevin Kuhn referred him to Ed Theurkauf who gave approval for township to go ahead with project. We need to involve the neighbor on old farm on Yellow Springs Road - Goodman wrote them a letter earlier this week asking them if they are interested in participating in this project-Goodman is awaiting to hear their response if they would be interested in filling in with some trees on their property. Also who do we think we want involved with this project- do we want those involved with Brightside project like Viki from GVWA and Chester County Conservation District- Armstrong thinks that consulting with them is best- Maany agrees. Deerfield wants to have some input in to tree selection for the buffer but not sure to what extent. The plan is to meet in next few weeks- if others are interested in meeting with them. Armstrong offers to join him in this meeting. Action- Armstrong, Goodman, and Walker will meet with Deerfield HOA

Ailanthus trees along Horseshoe Trail still need to be addressed.

No update on turnpike sound walls.

Resident Richardson brought up that there are different organizations that offer programs that promote environmental stewardship; for instance, we can get our gardens certified- Richardson can discuss further at our next meeting.

Armstrong shared zero waste practices she learned about in California- products that can be composted not just about recycling. Also, the practice that estuary socks were in a hemp netting not plastic. Bioplastics is also not popular because have to composted in a specific designated area- need 60-180 days to be composted.

EAC members extended invitation to guests to join EAC - we have one open position, but could see about creating an associate position to be inclusive.

Next scheduled meeting on Wednesday, January 13th via Zoom.

Meeting was adjourned at 8:04 pm.