Charlestown Township
Environmental Advisory Committee (EAC)
Meeting Minutes
Monday, February 13, 2023

Meeting was held at Township Office 11 General Warren Blvd., Suite 1. Armstrong opened the meeting at 7:02.

Carol Armstrong, (Chair), Dan Walker (Vice-chair), Meg Solomon (Secretary), Pete Goodman, Stephanie Yocum, Ashley Piatek. Visitors: Anu Soundararajan

Note: Chris Heleniak is our township manager.

January Organizational Meeting minutes were approved.
January EAC Monthly Meeting minutes were approved.

Welcome Ashley Piatek!!

Place Holders:

1) All - Reminder of EAC-initiated projects for next 6+ months: Brightside Farm Riparian Buffer Planting, Deerfield Riparian Buffer; Stream Naming (un-named tributaries), Earth Day; Charlestown Bird Town; Battery Recycling Program, Education Series, New developments for review, EAC website on where residents can dispose of household items; Friends of website; Weed Warriors; Kendig and Jenkins conservation parks.

New Business

  1. Recruitment and Candidates for EAC board - Ashley Piatek nominated and approved to be an alternate member of the EAC board.
  2. RES Meeting with EAC and the Public - There were several members of the EAC that attended both meetings on February 8. We need to be apprised of the dates they are coming to start their work. Armstrong will let township know.
  3. Birdtown- We are officially the 37th Birdtown in PA. Need to establish a public presence for Birdtown. Recommendation was made to put a link on the main township website page that would link to Audubon’s Birdtown information. Signage - Goodman will work on where it should go (the first 2 signs, which are free).
  4. Pennsylvania Native Species Day, May 18th, 2023- we need to educate Charlestown residents about native species to protect in our area. Include birds, animals, water species, plants/trees. Goodman, Green, and Armstrong will host a sub-committee to address. Armstrong suggested asking RES to be doing some work at Brightside this day.
  5. Proposal for synthetic turf fields at Charlestown Park (Artificial Turf or AT) - Armstrong sent a report and summary of the EAC’s assessment to the BoS. She has not heard back. Also sent to Dan Wright.
  6. Naming of headwater tributaries at Charlestown Park - perennial stream that starts at Charlestown Park. There is a process for naming. Armstrong researched historical records. No reference anywhere to the name Coldstream. Tom Committa recommended Foster Run. Another possibility is Wagoner. Armstrong started to research. She is working to get a contact at the GSPS for historical information.
  7. Nature News -January issue sent to mailing list. Next issue April. We need to get a copy onto our Facebook page. Solomon will talk to Csete - who owns/administers the FB site and who can post on the site. Possible topics for next issue in April- Nomowmay, garden transitioning from spring and summer. Solomon will ask Csete if we can put a link in weekly email and on the website. NN needs more visibility.
  8. EAC Website - Section on information about discarding household items -on hold. No time to do research. Will move to placeholders.
  9. Keep PA Beautiful - Charlestown 2023 budget approved. Walker will get started with the road clean-up project details.
  10. Mushpekat Creek - Goodman still working on completing the application for official naming - the USGS contacted him. More is required because it is an Indigenous name. Goodman has written letters to organizations who can give permission to use this name. Has received no responses.
  11. Battery Collection - Armstrong shared pictures of battery collection receptacles. Proposal is to place Indoor bucket in foyer of township building. BoS concerned about putting outdoor one in Charlestown Park due to vandalism. Suggestion was made to put one at Valley Forge University. Armstrong contacted them but didn’t hear back. The Devault Post Office is willing to have one. Soundararajan will check with Charlestown Meadows to see if they would be willing to put one in their club house. Also take one to Charlestown Day.
  12. Township Newsletters - (1/15, 4/15, 7/15, 10/15): Csete suggests we shorten our articles to a page. Our next submissions will be about the wildlife sanctuary and about salination of our waterways. Future topic ideas include:
    1. what to do when you hit a deer (good topic for fall).
    2. Goodman to submit Hummingbird article for April.
    3. Tour of Invasive Species.
  13. Community Education - no update. Piatek suggested reaching out to community to educate kids. We have tried getting into the schools but have had no luck. She will dig around with people at different schools to see if we can build some relationships that might help us get visibility.
  14. White Pine Disease - Line of white pines along Whitehorse Rd around post office that are not looking well. Armstrong did contact Jim Thompson. No response yet.
  15. Brightside and Deerfield riparian buffers- Need to have a workday to clean them up and do a status check. Goodman needs to contact Deerfield about mowing the meadow in March. Goodman and Walker to contact Helniak to get permission about mowing at Brightside so the EAC can work on riparian buffer phase 1. Charlestown riparian buffer opportunities - we can go look at the site in Charlestown Park near the playing fields. Need to pick a date at the March EAC meeting.

Meeting adjourned at 9:10.