Charlestown Township
Environmental Advisory Committee (EAC)
Meeting Minutes
Thursday, April 16, 2020

Due to CoVid pandemic in-shelter orders, the meeting was held remotely via CiscoWebex

Members present were:
Pete Goodman, Daniel Walker, Carol Armstrong, Meg Solomon, and Veda Maany. Linda Csete and resident, Bob Greiser.

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

Minutes of the previous March meeting were adopted after minor revisions were made following a motion to approve by Walker seconded by Goodman.

February minutes were adopted following a motion to approve by Armstrong seconded by Walker.

The official EAC mission statement was brought forth to be adopted officially by all members. Walker made a motion to approve, seconded by Solomon, and approved by all members.

Green Business Award

Per Armstrong, we have received only one reply for a Green Business Award. It was from Charlestown Playhouse school. Armstrong was satisfied with the interview, and led a discussion on how the interview questions could encompass more types of sustainability. There is also the issue on how to quantify and compare the results in order to determine the recipient of the award. It was decided that a subcommittee consisting of members, Armstrong, Walker and Maany be formed to review applications and make a recommendation to all EAC members for award recipients. The subcommittee would also discuss further on whether to use a rating scale or a minimum set of criteria. Next step would be reaching out to businesses again informing them of a deadline for responses. We did acknowledge that this interface with local businesses is beneficial as a gesture regardless of results as we are introducing the idea of incorporating sustainability in their respective practices. This is more a motivational endeavor rather than a competition.

Request for Letter of support to Charlestown Playhouse

Charlestown Playhouse, which is a non-profit cooperative preschool/kindergarten, has asked the EAC if they would be willing to write a letter of support in pursuit of their grant applications to fund a plan to improve stormwater runoff on their property by installing a raingarden. Their specific plan is currently under development and Armstrong will share the specifics once finalized. We agree that we could draft a generic letter of support for the concept of addressing stormwater runoff. Goodman will write a draft and distribute to members for review via email.

Brightside Farm Park

Given current pandemic situation and shelter in place order, it is difficult to assess the current condition of recent tree and shrub plantings. Question was raised about the exact amount and specific recipient of the Conservation District Grant. Goodman will clarify and inform us.

Earth Day

Charlestown Township’s Earth Day activities have been cancelled due to the Governor’s recommendations for reducing health risks from the covid epidemic.”.

Community education series

”Trees as your friend” presented by Lori M. Hayes, Director of Urban Forestry Philadelphia Parks and Recreation” will be postponed until fall. Goodman or Findlay will stay in touch with Lori Hayes to reschedule.

Riparian Buffers: township and state compliance

Last meeting, Goodman made a presentation of the Ed Theurkauf Power Point on improvements to the Charlestown Riparian Buffer ordinance. Goodman will share the presentation to review again with all EAC members and explain the proposed amendment. He also needs to clarify details of the PA Clean Streams Law that was modified by Act 162 of 2014. After that we take the recommendations to update the current ordinance for review by the Planning Commission before presenting to the BoS.

Online Presence

Solomon worked with Linda Csete to successfully revise and finish our website. The volunteer list has been finalized.

Newsletter Articles

Next deadline is July 15th. Armstrong will consider writing an article about planting pollinators.

DCNR Pollinator Program

Armstrong is requesting reimbursement to purchase native grass and wildflower seeds to plant at Brightside Farm. She will get a quote after estimating the plot size for plantings. We unanimously agreed to this project.

New tree Plantings on township-owned properties project now on hold. Goodman has received an inventory of properties from Linda Csete and will share with members a spreadsheet.

Next scheduled meeting in May: location to be determined pending current pandemic situation.

Meeting was adjourned at 7:54 pm.