Meeting held on May 21, 2012

The Newtown Township Environmental Advisory Council met on Monday, May 21, 2012 at the Newtown Township Building. In attendance and voting were: Chairman Autumn Thomas, Vice Chairman Perry Katz, and members Sanford Bender, Shannon Escalante, Pam Fitzpatrick and Eric Korn. Also in attendance was Planning Commission Liaison Dennis Fisher.

Call to Order: Ms. Thomas called the meeting to order at 7:30 PM.

Approval of Minutes: Ms. Thomas moved to approve the minutes of April 23, 2012. Ms. Escalante seconded and the motion passed 6-0.

New Business

Quarterly Forum Planning: Ms. Escalante reviewed the agenda for the June 2, 2012 quarterly forum, which will include presenters Stephen Donohue on Greenscapes, Laura Grant on Bird Town, and an unconfirmed speaker on organic gardening. Mr. Bender offered to speak to an organic gardening organization he belongs to about a speaker. If he is unable to confirm someone, Ms. Thomas can present a PowerPoint on this topic.

Ms. Escalante said she had sent advertisements about the event to the Newtown Advance and the Newtown Patch. She had also placed a notice on the Township Web site and Teleprompter. She would arrive at 9:30 AM for set-up. She asked for a projector and screen. Room set-up would be the same as for Supervisors meetings.

Liaison Reports

Newtown Creek Coalition: Ms. Fitzpatrick reported that the Coalition held a clean-up day on May 19, 2012. A dumpster of trash and debris was filled.

Planning Commission: Mr. Fisher reported that the Planning Commission reviewed three zoning applications; one involved an increase in impervious surface for a pool and patio. The Commission encouraged the applicant to address additional run-off. He also spoke to the Township engineer about the proposed stormwater pamphlet. The engineer indicated she was awaiting an update from the EAC for further review.

Mr. Fisher said that he has asked the Planning Commission to allow the EAC to have involvement in selection and location of replacement trees as part of land development. This will be considered, however he noted that the Ordinance does have certain specific requirements on this.

Park and Recreation Board: The recording secretary reported that the Park and Recreation Director was given an award by Council Rock School District for her work in partnership with a life skills class at Council Rock High School. The class has been helping at Clark Nature Center, spreading mulch around trees and trails and planting an organic vegetable garden in the small fenced yard. The class is learning how to do landscaping tasks while at the same time providing much needed maintenance in the park. The class also packaged bird feeders for the annual Candy Cane Hunt as part of the Bird Town promotion.

Bird Town: Ms. Thomas said that the Welcome Day table earned $100 through sale of toy birds and tee shirts. She was able to start a list of interested residents to participate in Bird Town training in the fall. She would like to register their yards for the program.

Mr. Katz suggested spreading information about Bird Town through the School District’s e-Friday folders. He offered to contact the Superintendent’s office to learn whether this would be permitted.

Mr. Korn said that perhaps the EAC could gain some financial support as well as spread the word among residents through places that sell large bags of birdseed and bird houses. The customers purchasing these large bags are probably bird watchers and counters who might be interested in the program. Mr. Korn said he would follow up on this. He would also see if Newtown Borough’s EAC would be interested in partnering on the project.

Clark Stewardship Plan: Mr. Katz said that he would like to move forward with forming a “Friends of Clark Nature Center” group. He would speak to Mrs. Pawlenko and the Park and Recreation Board about moving ahead with this idea.

Green Corner: The recording secretary reported that the Township Newsletter did not publish this winter. It would be incorporated into the next Park and Recreation program guide and going forward would publish together. The winter articles have been updated and are included in this next publication.

Member Comments

Ms. Fitzpatrick reported that she had attended an EAC workshop in Doylestown last week where she saw a presentation on public recycling containers for parks and other public spaces. Other presentations focused on promoting environmental issues within communities. The other attendees discussed partnerships of municipal EAC’s with school districts.

The recording secretary reported that the May 19 electronic recycling day co-sponsored by the Township and Leck & Son had over 100 participants and recycled 12,000 pounds of electronic waste.

The meeting adjourned at 9:15 PM.

The meeting adjourned at 8:45 PM.

Respectfully submitted by:


Mary Donaldson, Recording Secretary