Meeting held on November 22, 2010

The Newtown Township Environmental Advisory Council met on Monday, November 22, 2010 in the Township Building. In attendance and voting were: Chairman Jay McGuigan, Vice Chairman Pam Fitzpatrick, Dennis Annarelli, Walt Leck and Autumn Thomas, members. Also in attendance was Planning Commission Liaison Dennis Fisher.

Call to Order

Chairman McGuigan called the meeting to order at 7:30 PM.

Approval of Minutes: Mr. McGuigan moved to approve the minutes of September 22 and October 25, 2010. Ms. Thomas seconded and the motion passed 5-0.

New Business

Ms. Thomas reported that she had attended a presentation by the Audubon Society about a program called “Birdtown” a bird habitat recognition program through which municipalities throughout Pennsylvania work to develop sustainable landscaping practices by utilizing open and other public space, new construction, and ecologically-friendly ordinances to provide habitats birds. The program costs $850 to join. The goal is to improve the ecological community. Ms. Thomas provided the members with copies of the Birdtown literature and asked the members to review it before the January meeting. She said that if the members are interested, she would arrange for a presentation at the February meeting. She noted that in the literature there is reference to fundraising activities to cover the membership costs as well as payment options and plans.

Mr. Leck said that he and his business might be interested in contributing or co-sponsoring this program.

Liaison Reports

Newtown Creek Coalition: Ms. Fitzpatrick reported that the Coalition had canceled its fall clean-up because of the weather. The group is continuing its efforts to secure non-profit status. The group is also looking at ways to promote and enhance creek access for the community.

There has recently been an oil leak in the creek near the bus depot. The DEP has been involved in that clean-up and it seems to have been controlled.

Planning Commission: Mr. Fisher reported that he spoke to the Township Planner and Engineer about PECO’s tree trimming practices. He learned that PECO can trim any trees in the right of way, regardless of the appearance of the trees or the objections of homeowners.


Wildlife Management: Mr. McGuigan reported that he has forwarded information on the Tyler hunt to Eccologix so that Eccologix can coordinate its efforts at Clark Nature Center with the Tyler event. He will have a report on the results for the January meeting.

Energy Conservation: The recording secretary reported that the wind turbine will be installed shortly. First the cement pad must be installed then the turbine will be delivered. Installation is dependent on the weather as public works personnel will be doing the cement work.

Member Comments

Mr. McGuigan urged the members to consider the EAC’s charge to educate residents on environmental topics. He asked that going into the new year, each member champion a project and take the lead on it. For example, he would like the EAC to begin working on a pamphlet about stormwater management to be distributed to residents contemplating home improvement projects involving increased impervious surface. The recording secretary had provided sample pamphlets from other municipalities to be used as a starting point.

Ms. Thomas moved to adjourn at 9:00 PM. Mr. Leck seconded and the motion passed 5-0.


Respectfully submitted by:


Mary Donaldson, Recording Secretary