Charlestown Township
Environmental Advisory Committee (EAC)
Meeting Minutes
Monday, September 13th, 2021

Meeting was held in Great Valley Middle School, Chorale Room, Room 154.

Attendees present:
Carol Armstrong (Vice Chair), Veda Maany (secretary), Ester Estes and Sharon Richardson, Meg Solomon, Daniel Walker. Absent: Pete Goodman.

Armstrong opened the meeting at 7:32 pm.

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

Northern ChesCo EAC group interest in creating pesticide ordinances for townships

Maany reports that the township does not have an ordinance and that no previous attempts have been made to create one. She will investigate state ordinances first, then make list of what is considered a pesticide, and look at other ordinances.

Survey of environmental interests and concerns by township residents

Armstrong proposed a survey community interest in environmental issues. What would be in the survey- list topics and have them rank them or ask them what is not a concern? What is important for Charlestown residents? How about in 10 years? What about trying it out on Charlestown Day? Stormwater management has become a popular issue. Purpose of such a survey would be seeing what engages residents. The majority opinion was that this was not a project for our EAC at this time. Another suggestion would be to reach out to our mailing list to solicit help on our projects already going on.

Environmental Passport

Richardson expounded on this concept that we could execute on a future Charlestown Day or Earth Day. Example- attend an EAC sponsored event, take a hike and identify native species, prepare a meatless meal, etc. Aim to debut this for next Charlestown Day- start putting out announcements for April and July newsletter/Nature News. We could send the passport electronically.

Review of Plastics Recycling Conference

Solomon gave her summary of the conference. There were technical difficulties during the 2 day conference. Had break out rooms with specialists. The take home message was Emphasis on EPR (extended producer responsibility) - the desire to have producers of packaging materials take more responsibility and incur the cost. There was private sector and academia present. Still a lot of confusion about what is actually recyclable. Linda Csete reported at the last Board of Supervisor meeting that she was advised by the PA Department of Environmental Projection that our recycling ordinance is not meeting all state requirements. An EAC suggestion was for the township to consider putting compliance stickers on residents containers, but this requires staff that the township does not have. Armstrong offered EAC assistance to Csete.

Charlestown Day: Sept. 25, 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Getting educational posters from Penn State Ext. to be displayed and other materials. Bringing handouts? We will do shifts - Richardson 9-12, Ester 12 to 2, and Maany and Armstrong will arrive to set up and stay for the day. Maany will ask for donated native pollinator plants from Donald Pell, a landscaper designer, who has in the past donated plants for our Environmental Question Program that we conduct each year at Charlestown Day. Maany will also review the questions. Estes recommended to give away mosquito control dunks, which she reported were environmentally safe. Richardson agreed to contact the ChesCo Health Dept. for donations of tick removal tools and info on Lyme disease. Armstrong and Richardson are picking up enviro-educational materials from the Penn State Ext. office in West Chester.

Purdue Global’s “45 Sustainability Resources You Need to Know” guide link to the Charlestown Twp. EAC website.

Richardson states Csete stated it was OK to post.

Update on riparian buffer project – Pigeon Run on Brightside Farm Park

Armstrong collected water samples measuring nutrients, ions, cations, and oxygen, and suspended solids. This is done monthly. Also there is a measure rate of stream flow and macroinvertebrates survey.

EAC bylaws

The committee (Solomon, Goodman, Armstrong) to write our bylaws for EAC approval will convene when Goodman returns.

Beautification of basins along Route 29 near Turnpike

Armstrong reported that at the last Board of Supervisor’s meeting there was a presentation about proposed design and plantings. As of now it is a matter of reviewing the expenses.

Township newsletter articles

(1/15, 4/15, 7/15, & 10/15). Discussed some topics. Armstrong will write one on energy efficiency and individual actions to reduce personal carbon emissions.

EAC budget

Looked at our current budget which is in place until the end of calendar year. We have remaining money. Revisions were discussed as EAC budget request for 2022 is due to Csete by Oct. 15. Voting on the budget will occur at the next EAC meeting on October 11. We generally discussed the possible budget categories for next year. Armstrong will send the budget to Goodman for his review before the Oct. 11 EAC meeting.

There was discussion of:

  1. Estes suggested we buy mosquito dunks that were discussed in Doug Tallamy’s talk because they are good giveaways and inexpensive. Armstrong made a motion to spend $25.00, and Solomon seconded the motion. All accepted. Estes will purchase.
  2. Solomon made a motion to buy native plants for giveaways at Charlestown Day with a spending limit of $50.00. Estes seconded. All approved. Armstrong offered to buy the plants if no plants are received from Pell.

Community Education series

The Community Education Series talks have not been well-attended in 2021 despite the excellence of the presentations. We discussed possible reasons – topic, day, time, location. We discussed the need for something catchy and more interactive such as a live tree identification session or walk, and the same for invasives and fungus. Goodman had volunteered to give a presentation on the streams of Charlestown and Walker suggested changing the topic to “Fishing in Charlestown Streams” as well as presenting on the streams themselves. Armstrong will talk to Goodman. Another idea was a movie with subsequent discussion. We have to see what bringing a movie in-house would cost. Solomon will look into it.

Jenkins property

Estes reported from the Parks & Rec meeting that 15 acres are to be developed into a park on Valley Hill Rd. Parks and Recreation brought in a landscape architecture firm with Kelsey Stanton. Esther sent an email to everyone with pictures of the 3 options initially presented. She labeled them A, B,C:

A is most minimal – more natural, not much tree removal.

C is most developed and would require a lot of trees to be taken down.

Parking planned for 15 cars – Walker questioned whether this would be sufficient.

There will be a paved path, playground, 9 hole disc golf.

A is favored due to more natural option with the addition of connecting the park to the McDevitt trail. Architect will revise the plan and it will be on the next P&R agenda.

The three plans are shown on the next pages.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:47.

Map displaying Option A
Map displaying Option B
Map displaying Option C