Charlestown Township
Environmental Advisory Committee (EAC)
Meeting Minutes
Monday, February 12, 2024

Armstrong opened the meeting at 7:04

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

January minutes amended and approved.

Place Holders

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

New Business

  1. Annual cleanup of Valley Creek Park by Trout Unlimited. All volunteers welcome. Meet on April 6th at 9:00 AM at Valley Creek on Route 29.
  2. Facebook - there is a ’volunteer opportunities in 19355’ Page.

Ongoing Business

  1. EAC Membership - Green suggested a get together for a representative or 2 from each Homeowners Association (HOA) in Charlestown to increase our visibility, solicit members, and attract volunteers. Another idea is to get on an agenda of HOA meetings. Everyone was in favor of pursuing one of these ideas. We voted on sending something to the HOAs. Armstrong/Green to draft a letter to give to Csete for distribution.
  2. EAC Logo - no update
  3. Recycling of Food and Waste in Charlestown - Solomon to contact Buck, Back to Earth Compost, Malvern Borough, meeting with Rachel Griffith.
  4. Adoption of Charlestown Road for cleanup for PennDOT - next cleanup on April 20th with rain date on 21st. Armstrong will ask Township if we can switch the cleanup date to April 13th. Need to lock in date and update marketing materials. Walker to do marketing materials and get in touch with Flagger Force.
  5. We ConservePA statewide conference February 24th - virtual conference - Armstrong presenting on our battery program. Armstrong to send us her slides.
  6. Nature News topic for April - keep the topic on sustainability. Email Csete about printing part of Jan Nature News in next Newsletter by April 15th.
  7. Tour of Invasive Plant Species - possibly pick x number of homeowners and offer to come to their properties to identify invasives. Do this instead of offering them a native plant to replace an invasive on their property.
  8. Native Species Day - repeat kids art contest. Last year was very successful.
  9. Bird Town program - Motel suggested presentation by PA Audubon on woodpeckers. EAC supports this. No date yet. Goodman filed the annual report for Bird Town. Great Back Yard Bird Count starts Friday the 16th and runs through Monday the 19th.
  10. Parks for a Sustainable Future - BoS interested and agreed on the 2 sites - Charlestown Mill and Charlestown Park and were agreeable to our plan. Next step: meet with Beyond Pesticides to get contacts on others who have used their resources successfully. They want to know what we presented to the BoS. Charlestown Mill landscaping company is using chemicals. Soil tests usually cost 500 - 900 dollars per site. Township must pay for the soil sampling. Once we get the data back, we can plan what needs to be done with Beyond Pesticides and Osbourne Organics.
  11. Township Newsletters - (due dates are 1/15, 4/15, 7/15, 10/15.) Solomon to pick a piece of NN and Goodman will do one on Bird Town.
  12. Riparian buffer maintenance - Phase I was completely mowed and cleared; need plan for early summer to include; clearing of pathways to fruiting trees, and maintenance of Phase II. Armstrong, Goodman, and Walker walked phase 2 of Brightside with Cori Trice. About 85% in good condition.
  13. Review of PA Outdoor Corps to help with invasive removal in riparian zone of Brightside Park - No adult teams available to Charlestown for 2024. Discussion of request for consultant to dig out invasives. Helniak offered to hire someone to dig up invasives in Brightside. Armstrong will contact Helniak to schedule a date in May. Goodman suggested overseeding with natives that RES is planting. Armstrong suggested scheduling a time to do buffer maintenance such as tubes, getting rid of vines, caging. Walker, Anu, Goodman, and Armstrong interested.
  14. Battery Collection Program - no update
  15. Increasing Stream Temperatures - Information for PC on increasing stream temperature-Armstrong has materials but doesn’t currently have time. Will try to get to it by end of June.
  16. Community Education - no updates, future ideas include:
    1. Bird Town programs
    2. Tour of invasive species in township
    3. Watershed friendly property certification - Armstrong
  17. Single Use Plastic bags/items ban - pending ordinance review by Planning Commission and BoS. Anu to follow up with BoS to get a status and to advise that we be included in a meeting with the businesses.
  18. Sound Wall non-profit - started by Goodman and Walker and Peggy Gallagher is being shut down.
  19. Christine Howard newsletter - article called Conservation Corner- offers help to homeowners to improve their property (to make it more attractive to wildlife.). The program is offered by the PA Game Commission.

Meeting adjourned at 9:00.