Town of Rochester Environmental Conservation Commission
Minutes for: June 13, 2019
Members Present: Judith Karpova, Madeline Russo, Heather Eckhardt, John Messerschmidt
May 18th Trees for Tribs Recap
Judith still has 90 more trees to plant. She is repotting trees to keep them alive and auguring planting holes. Everything is on site and ready to go. Anyone can stop by and plant a tree in a hole (ground cover and fencing needed, too).
Community Composting Program
6 month pilot program under way – getting the word out and making this a successful program to be permanently adopted by the Town is priority for ECC. Handouts available at the Transfer Station, but not sure how many are left. ECC members should distribute handouts as well if possible.
Currently on hold. No June speaker lined up at the moment. Need to have first three speakers lined up and ready to go before starting.
Recycling/composting speakers up first as soon as we can confirm that Mikala’s recycling flyer is OK with Mike Baden so that this coincides with pilot composting program launch.
Permaculture presentation by Andrew Faust/RWA would follow the recycling/composting talk.
Possible third speakers: Mohonk staff for conservation/cultural landscape talk, or the person who gives “Geology and Artifacts” talks at Gardiner schools (will seek out his name)
Mikala has designed placeholder flyers that are ready to fill in once we have speakers lined up.
Upcoming Event: June 29th Tire Brigade
This is an ECC-sponsored event to follow up on the enthusiasm and success of the Riversweep. Riverkeeper is not involved in this. We are only focusing on tire-collection. John is expecting 10-15 people and at least 3 double kayaks. John has selected a section of the river that is safe for beginners in kayaking/canoeing.
Snacks and water will be made available, but not certain who will provide.
Mikala will work with John to create a promotional flyer for social media and community distribution.
UCEMC Request for Best Replicable Projects
Group agreed that we should send information on our past Riversweep events, road and railtrail cleanup events, speaker series progress, inventory/open space index information.
PRESENTATION: John Mickelson of Geospatial & Ecological Services presents to ECC on the Natural Heritage Plan and GIS data
The Natural Heritage Plan is posted online and is a useful tool for ECC prioritization and strategy. The digital files have also been shared with the group via email.
It is important to stay ahead of development and understand resources. There is a map library/ open space index. There is parcel-level data (conservation open area maps and geospatial data catalogs). The Critical Environmental Areas will get a harder look if development is suggested there.
Colony Farm plan: Corridors are important for wildlife. A over/under pass would be ideal. Will require collaboration with Warwarsing ECC.
We have a very small budget, but can apply for some money. Look at Hudsonia and possibly apply for a Hudson River Estuary Grant. It was suggested Andrew Faust could help with a grant.
John offered a free (or low-cost, to ensure attendance) half-day Google Earth training in the fall, if people are interested.