Charlestown Township
Environmental Advisory Committee (EAC)
Meeting Minutes
Monday, January 8, 2024

Armstrong opened the meeting at 7:10.

Carol Armstrong (Chair), Dan Walker (Vice Chair), Meg Solomon (Secretary), Anu, Pete Goodman
Jill Green and Hugh Willig

January minutes amended and approved.

Place Holders

(Reminder of EAC-initiated projects for next 6+ months):

New Business

  1. Parks for a Sustainable Future - Zoom presentation by Rika Gopinath- ’Beyond Pesticides Community Policy and Action Manager’. She presented information that could help the EAC with the ’Parks for a Sustainable Future’ Program. Armstrong presented information on this topic to P&R. P&R voted that McKinley Fox will participate with the EAC in creating a parks maintenance policy that eliminates synthetic chemicals. Step 1 - apply for the ‘Parks for a Sustainable Future’ program with Beyond Pesticides- create a proposal with possible grant from Beyond Pesticides. EAC identified 2 targets: Charlestown Park, and Charlestown Mill. After EAC and P&R approvals, and assistance from ‘Parks for a Sustainable Future’ we would provide a proposal to the BoS.
  2. Information on increasing stream temperature for Planning Commission - Willig suggested we include in the document the reasons why increasing stream temperatures are occurring.

Ongoing Business

  1. EAC Membership - no progress to date.
  2. Adoption of Charlestown Road for cleanup for PennDOT - Walker suggested March for next cleanup. Also need to get adoption signage from PennDOT.
  3. Recycling of Food and Waste in Charlestown - Solomon provided a summary of composting projects/trials in other townships within Chester County. Met with Rachel Griffith. She is investigating recommendations from Chester County Solid Waste Management and also availability of grants to fund a composting effort in Charlestown. Meeting next month with the composting manager in Lancaster City. Solomon will contact Back to Earth Composting to see if they have reduced fees for multiple households.
  4. We ConservePA statewide conference - Armstrong gave an update.
  5. Single Use Plastic bags/items ban - pending ordinance review by Planning Commission and BoS.
  6. Nature News topic for January - Sustainability for medical and hazardous home waste.
  7. Township Newsletters - (due dates are 1/15, 4/15, 7/15, 10/15.) Next one due to township on 1/15. Goodman will write one on #8.
  8. Bird Town Programs - Goodman and Walker put 8 new Barn Owl and Kestral boxes at several private landowner locations in Charlestown. Goodman owes report to Bird Town. This effort was initiated by Andy Motel.
  9. Community Education - no updates, future ideas include:
    1. Bird Town programs
    2. Tour of invasive species in township
    3. Watershed friendly property certification - Armstrong
  10. Riparian buffer maintenance - Armstrong requested approval from BoS to mow aisles along the trees in the field near community garden in Brightside to meet Chesco Conservation District requirement for the fruiting trees to be accessible to the community. Phase 2 caging and maintenance is underway. Caging will be sturdier to deter animal access.
  11. Battery Collection - no boxes left for rest of the year. The EAC submitted a larger budget request for 2024. Will purchase more boxes in new year.
  12. RES Update - 2x this year (2023) and 2x in spring - spot treatment of invasives with chemicals and seeding with native grasses and pollinators.

Meeting adjourned at 8:25.