Charlestown Township
Environmental Advisory Committee (EAC)
Meeting Minutes
Monday, February 8th, 2021

Due to COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, the meeting was held remotely via Zoom.

Attendees present were:
Pete Goodman (Chair), Carol Armstrong (Vice Chair), Veda Maany (secretary), Daniel Walker, Meg Solomon, Esther Estes, and Sharon Richardson. Ashlee Byer (Parks and Recs), and the resident Larry Feiner.

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

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

Discussion about Charlestown Earth Day scheduled for Saturday, April 10th (rain-date Saturday April 17th). Actual Earth Day is April 22. How to engage residents for Earth Day activities. Organize small group/family units for clean-ups. Post a request for an unofficial poll of focus areas for clean-up on Ask Linda to post it on newsletter as well. Other ideas are wildflower walks, “treat” bags with seeds and info on top 10 things to do on your property. These bags could be picked up at the Township bldg. Another activity would be groups to remove invasives (Ashlee Byer is good at identifying them). Richardson suggests contacting Bartlett (or Davies) to see if they are giving away native tree springs this year.

Action: Maany start Earth day cleanup plans. Parks and Rec will also be involved. Armstrong will help as well organize Earth day events with Maany.

Other days to note on calendar where these activities could be organized around:

For Arbor day we should consider creating small wallet sized card listing recommended top native plants for pollinators in PA for residents. We could use our budget to purchase. It’s good to have something in your wallet for when you are out buying plants. Richardson was trying to find a sample and source.

Goodman thanked Chris Lawrence from Parks and recs for work on herbicide and fertilizer issues in Township landscaping contract (up for bid -“scope of work”). What was the final document outcome that was approved by BoS? Manual weeding was removed. Herbicide application needs township approval. What was the point of having EAC input? Byer shared final document that was approved by BoS.

Goodman discussed issue of erosion on edge of Pickering. It has resulted in having to move the trails on steep banks away because they keep collapsing. It is becoming increasingly severe.

Daniel Stoudt development

on Merlin road will require replacement of 55 trees. Since it is a fully wooded lot, there is no place for the trees to be planted. The owner’s engineer proposed giving money ($2500) in lieu of the trees, but supervisors would like the trees rather than the money. Park & Rec said there was room for perhaps 25 trees in Charlestown park, and Brightside Park (riparian buffer) could take some as well as Deerfield buffer (which is not public property). 3 inch caliber trees are specified which we might not want because of potential root damage even up to a 2.5 inch tree.

The Jenkins tract

on Valley Hill Road is a piece of property for sale by the township for 10 years. It has a subdivision plan on it. One part was supposed to be a park with 3-4 lots down the hill. Since there has been no interest the township may consider making the whole property into a park. They have asked Chris Lawrence to look into it as a park. Across the street there is a 9-acre lot that may become a preserved piece of land. We may then 2 parcels on Valley Hill Road that will be open protected space. The one that is on the southern side of valley hill doesn’t connect with piece from Spring Ridge Management company that township has purchased.

Green business award

unfortunately has had no progress is this investment of time worth it? Armstrong suggests we could go to Chester County Economic Development Council for their input. Armstrong has reached out to a couple business to no avail. For now we all agree that we should put this project in hold until after COVID-19 restrictions

Deerfield Spring Riparian Buffer Project:

Goodman announces he is applying for 2 grants: National Fish and Wildlife federation grant and Cold water heritage grant (50% matching funds. Could use one grant for matching funds and the other for the balance. We should start recording volunteer hours which will help our grant status in general.

We reviewed our budget details. Estes proposed planting dedicated trees- could EAC be engaged in fundraising activities?

ACTION: Goodman has to check– we may need to make a special account separate from township funds–

Brightside Riparian Buffer –

no updates- Armstrong states everything is stable.

Community education events:

Solomon has been working on her presentation on recycling and composting webinar date scheduled for April 19th.

Next edition of Nature News is due in April as well- spring flowers as a topic?

Other topics discussed for nature news vs. township newsletter: Solid waste authority & their zero waste program for 2021. Talked about approaching schools. Richardson could write something for summer newsletter on tomato horn worm and pawpaw tree festival (takes place in September). We could do a pawpaw tree tour in Charlestown Township.

Armstrong could write something on grasses and other plants that could compete with invasives. Solomon will take any written donation to nature news so send them her way.

Armstrong did a second planting of wildflowers near the community garden at Brightside- she also dug up multiflora roots. This will take some time to see progress without using chemical methods.

Inventory for township owned property:

Goodman still needs to meet with Linda

Ailanthus trees along Horseshoe Trail:

still in progress

PA Turnpike Sound Walls –

on hold

Watershed-Friendly Property Certification program:

Armstrong is now able to present this to public.

Pollinator program:

Richardson has information regarding different pollinator programs they are self-reporting certification programs. Can put something in Nature News for April- to let people know where/how to apply to get certified.

EAC bylaws –

awaiting multi municipality EAC meeting to share bylaws- northern EAC consortium is Feb. 24th. Have to clarify the date and time.

Project Wingspan –

nothing new

Congrats Estes on her appointment as township tax collector.

Next meeting date is Monday, March 8th, 2021.

Meeting adjourned at 8 pm.