NVSWCD Board Meeting Minutes April 28, 2009



Fairfax County Community Development Center (Herrity Building), Room 941
12055 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax, Virginia 22035
April 28, 2009


(As approved by the Board of Directors on May 26, 2009)

Mrs. Packard called the meeting to order at 9:45 a.m.   Those present were:

  • Jean Packard, Chairman, NVSWCD
  • John Peterson, Vice Chairman, NVSWCD
  • Johna Gagnon, Secretary, NVSWCD
  • George Lamb, Treasurer, NVSWCD
  • Adria Bordas, Director, NVSWCD
  • Bob Kohnke, Associate Director, NVSWCD; representative to the ESRC
  • Harry Glasgow, Associate Director, NVSWCD; representative to the Tree Commission
  • Jerry Peters, Associate Director, NVSWCD
  • Bob Jordan, Associate Director, NVSWCD
  • Debbie Cross, Conservation District Coordinator, VA-DCR
  • Larry Wilkinson, District Conservationist, USDA-NRCS
  • Michelle Brickner, Land Development Services, DPWES
  • Jim McGlone, Urban Forest Conservationist, VA Department of Forestry (10:45)
  • Christin Jolicoeur, Watershed Specialist, NVSWCD
  • Asad Rouhi, Urban Conservation Engineer, NVSWCD
  • Dan Schwartz. Soil Scientist, NVSWCD
  • Nick Kokales, Administrative and Technical Assistant, NVSWCD
  • Willie Woode, Senior Conservation Specialist, Agricultural Water Quality Specialist, NVSWCD
  • Diane Hoffman, District Administrator, NVSWCD
  • Gabriel Ritter, Regional Science Fair winner
  • Mr. Ritter, parent

The Effect of Greywater on Plants.  Gabriel Ritter, a tenth grader at Marshall High School, received the District’s first place award at the Fairfax County Regional Science Fair for his project, The Effect of Greywater on Plants.  He grew lima beans in different types of greywater for 68 days to see which type of water would cause the greatest mass growth.  The plants grown with shower and laundry water had the best growth, and the plants with dishwashing water grew the least.  Water testing showed that laundry and shower water had high ammonia levels, which probably is why it promoted the best growth.  Dishwashing water had high levels of ammonia as well, but also had a very high pH, which is damaging.  Mrs. Packard congratulated him on his excellent project and presented him with a check and a copy of Aldo Leopold’s book, A Sand County Almanac.  He also was given an opportunity to apply for District sponsorship to the VASWCD Youth Conservation Camp in July.  Mrs. Packard thanked the District’s panel of judges, Christin Jolicoeur, Asad Rouhi, Harry Glasgow, Judy Okay and John Okay. 

Approval of Minutes.  Mrs. Gagnon said she recommended approval of the minutes.  A motion (Gagnon-Bordas) passed (5-0) to approve the minutes of the March 24, 2009 board meeting.   

Treasurer’s Report.  Mr. Peterson said he had reviewed the Treasurer’s Reports and found everything in order.  A motion (Peterson-Gagnon) passed (5-0) to accept and file for audit the Treasurer’s Reports for March 2009 and for the Third Quarter of FY 2009.   

Treasurer.   Mr. Peterson, who currently holds the positions of Vice Chairman and Treasurer, asked to resign as Treasurer and recommended electing Mr. Lamb as his replacement.  The Board accepted Mr. Peterson’s resignation.  A motion (Peterson-Gagnon) passed (5-0) to elect George Lamb as Treasurer for the remainder of 2009. 

Seedling Sale.  Mr. Kokales reported 413 packages and were sold.  Also, extra seedlings were sold separately.  The sale of the packages and extra seedlings netted a profit of approximately $4,800.  A total of 6,500 seedlings were distributed.  He shared several emails from satisfied customers.  Mrs. Packard thanked those who helped bundle the packages on April 15:  Willie Woode, Asad Rouhi, Dan Schwartz, Nick Kokales, Diane Hoffman, Christin Jolicoeur, Bob Kohnke, Bob Jordan, John Peterson, Jim McGlone, Josh Petit, who helps with the stream monitoring program, and two Master Naturalists, Karen Munroe and Helaine Krob.  Mrs. Hoffman said extra seedlings were given to Earth Sangha, Fairfax ReLeaf and the Park Authority. 

Land Development Services - DPWES.  Ms. Brickner said DPWES staff who have been exploring the issues of requiring buffers around headwater streams will make a presentation to the Planning Commission’s Environment Committee on April 30.  Land Development Services and Stormwater Planning staff are meeting to discuss changes to the County Code and PFM to incorporate the 2008 General Assembly action on legislation for dams.  One provision is to require downstream development to contribute to dam improvements if the development causes the class of dam to change.

Alice Ferguson Foundation Annual Potomac River Cleanup.  Mr. Schwartz reported the annual Potomac River Cleanup was very successful, with122 sites registered in Fairfax County.  He said that 150 tons of trash removed from the entire Potomac watershed has been reported so far.  It is anticipated that the total will be about 300 tons.  The Park Authority and Solid Waste are very helpful with disposing of the trash.  Mr. Schwartz participated with REI at an old automotive dump site on Holmes Run where 3 cars worth of material and 56 tires were removed last fall.  While more trash was found at the site this year, it becomes less with each cleanup.  The Alice Ferguson Foundation maintains information about designated trash hot spots.  Also, the County has a dump site removal program.  Mr. Schwartz said a prize will be awarded to a winning site leader.  The prize includes a ride on a County trash truck and a tour of the waste to energy recovery facility, t-shirts and other items.

Envirothon.  Mr. Schwartz said the regional Envirothon competition took place on April 22 at Montpelier.  The Albemarle High School team placed first.  The local Hidden Pond team placed second and also will compete in the state competition on May 17-18.  He said that both the Hidden Pond and Madison High School team coaches are moving on, but new coaches are being recruited so that the teams can continue to compete.  He also hoped that a few new teams will be formed. 

Green Breakfast.  Mrs. Hoffman said the May 9 Green Breakfast will feature Steve Pyne, owner of the Wild Bird Center of Burke and supporter and educator for the Audubon Society of Northern Virginia, who will discuss Birds of Northern Virginia and Creating a Bird-friendly Home Habitat.  It will be held at Brion’s Grill at Route 123 and Braddock Road, across from George Mason University.  The Board asked associate director and birder Harry Glasgow to emcee the event.  The Board will review the current list of possible topics and decide next month on a topic for the July meeting.  Also, it was suggested that those on the Green Breakfast email list be asked for ideas for future meetings. 

Engineering Standards Review Committee (ESRC).  Mr. Kohnke reported on the April 2 ESRC meeting.  The Committee reviewed the future soil classes, which will make Fairfax County’s grading for development compatible with those of surrounding counties.  In place of the current “A,” “B,” and “C” ratings, the ratings will be “1,” “2,” and “3,” with “3” being soils with the most severe problems.  Additionally, ratings unique to Fairfax County will be “4a” (disturbed class 3 soils) and “4b” (disturbed class 1 and 2 soils).  The ESRC also reviewed early drafts of proposed PFM amendments.

Pohick Creek – Royal Lake.  Mr. Kohnke reported that he has visited Royal Lake twice during the past month, including an inspection with NRCS inspector Jerry Wright, John Peterson and County staff.  The rehabilitation of the auxiliary spillway is nearly completed.  The Articulated Concrete Blocks have been covered with soil and sod. 

Tree Commission.  Mr. Glasgow said the Fairfax County Earth Day – Arbor Day celebration, held on the Northern Virginia Community College campus, was a successful event.  Dane Kielsgard received a Friends of Trees award.  The Tree Commission is engaging in strategic planning.  Also, it would like to make an oral report to the Board of Supervisors, beginning this year at the Board’s Environment Committee meeting on June 15.   

John Peterson’s Items.  Mr. Peterson’s comments included the following:

  • On April 16, he conducted a tour of Royal Lake and Lake Braddock for George Lamb and Bob Jordan.
  • The Lake Barcroft WID annual Spring Meeting was held on April 21.
  • Three guests from VASWCD will attend the May 26 board meeting.
  • He provided copies of a brochure for the 4th National Conference on Grazing Lands,December 13-16 in Nevada.
  • He provided to staff several copies of Design Guidelines for Buffers, Corridors and Greenways, which was developed by the U.S. Forest Service. 
  • He noted that reference to NVSWCD for environmental information was made a recent bulletin at his church.
  • He has been asked to invite Asad Rouhi and Dan Schwartz to speak to the mid-Atlantic chapter of the International Erosion Control Association at its meeting in Timonium, Maryland on September 23. 
  • Rob VanLier, DCR District Engineer based in Warrenton, visited Huntley Meadows and the site of the proposed low-head dam to help restore the wetlands. 

Stewardship Week, April 26 – May 3.  Mrs. Packard announced the theme for this year’s Stewardship Week, sponsored by the National Association of Conservation Districts, is Dig It! The Secrets of Soil.  She said this would be a good time for everyone to visit the soils exhibit at the Smithsonian’s Museum of Natural History.

Fairfax County Stewardship Award.   Mrs. Packard congratulated Dan Schwartz, Christin Jolicoeur and Asad Rouhi for receiving a Stewardship Team Award from the Natural Resources Management and Protection Division of the Fairfax County Park Authority.  The Award recognized their work to solve a drainage problem at Ft. Willard Park and a solution that saved the Park Authority a significant amount of money.  Mr. Schwartz said that after making preliminary soil tests, they dug 10 holes to reach a more permeable layer, inserted PCV pipes and filled them with pea gravel.  The cost for supplies and equipment was approximately $300. 

Green Expo – April 16.  Mrs. Jolicoeur said that she and Stormwater Planning Division staff partnered to man an exhibit at the Town of Vienna’s Green Expo, which was a well-attended event.  She distributed information about the District.

Horse Waste Management Seminar – April 23.  Mr. Woode said the Horse Waste Management seminar, held at Gunnell’s Run Farm on April 23, went well.  It was the second in a series of seminars conducted in partnership with the Saddlery in Great Falls.  The day included speakers from Virginia Tech and the MARE Center in Leesburg and a tour of the newly constructed manure composting facility, which was built as a demonstration, using WQIF grant funds. 

Hilltop Project.  Mr. Woode said he reviewed and commented on the rezoning application for the development at Hilltop.  Recently, he received a telephone call from a concerned citizen who lives near the proposed development, asking for his comments on the placement of stormwater management facilities.  Mrs. Gagnon said the Lee District Land Use Committee's recommendation for this project included consulting with NVSWCD regarding the stormwater management plan.  Mr. Woode said normally the County asks the District to comment on a project and the District sends its remarks back to County staff.   However, the District also works directly with developers to improve their plans.  Also, the District has worked simultaneously with developers and County staff to solve problems or improve plans.  He was not sure if the Lee District Land Use Committee’s recommendation was for the developer or the County to contact the District.  Mrs. Gagnon said she would check with the Lee District Planning Commissioner.

Geese Peace Training.  Mrs. Hoffman said about 40 people attended the training sessions on managing populations of resident Canada Geese.  They were held on March 25 and 28 and were co-sponsored by the District, the Park Authority and Geese Peace.  Laminated badges certifying completion of the training, along with an updated field guide, have been mailed to the attendees.  She said the next step will be to work with the large homeowner associations to establish a program to manage conflicts with geese in their communities.  The Geese Peace Program has three components: the timing and proper procedure for oiling eggs with corn oil; site aversion techniques and timing; and public education.  Lake Barcroft has used these components to successfully manage its geese population.  Also, the area around the Herrity Building pond is a demonstration site for the program’s elements. 

Natural Resources Conservation Service.  Mr. Wilkinson said he will send the District his collection of pictures taken during construction of the Royal Lake rehabilitation project.  He announced the next JED training will be on May 12 at the Cubbage Farm.  It will cover spring development, pipe-fitting products and techniques, and information on soils.

Urban Nutrient Management Certification Program.  Mr. Woode said that DCR is developing an Urban Nutrient Management Certification Program, which will include turf and lawn care management.  DCR has asked if several current Nutrient Management Specialists would volunteer to take the course and exam as a way to test the certification program.  Mr. Woode said he has volunteered to participate.  Mr. Peterson said the program may be of interest to the NACD Urban Committee. 

Department of Conservation and Recreation.  Mrs. Cross’ report included the following:

  • The Area II Spring Meeting will be a conference call on April 30 from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. 
  • The District has received a letter from Jack Frye, Director of DSWC-DCR, which outlines the 8% of operational funding that can be requested to carry out the 2010 Agricultural BMP Cost-Share Program.  Since NVSWCD does not administer a large cost-share program, it chose not to request this technical assistance funding.
  • Mrs. Cross distributed new SWCD Directories. 
  • She provided the District with two copies of the Audit Report for the NVSWCD audit that was conducted last fall. 
  • ­  She congratulated Mr. Woode on the recent Horse Waste Management Seminar. 
  • She provided a supply of the brochure, Tips on Keeping Your Lawn Green and Virginia Waters Clean, for both the District and Extension offices. 

Department of Forestry.  Mr. McGlone said the topic of last month’s Northern Virginia Urban Forestry Roundtable meeting was non-native invasive species.  One thing discussed was going forward with smaller group meetings with nursery owners and operators to encourage the nursery industry not to sell so many non-native plants.  He said that Harry Glasgow did an excellent job as the master of ceremonies at the Earth Day-Arbor Day celebration on April 25.

Mrs. Packard adjourned the meeting at 11:15 a.m.  

Respectfully submitted, Diane Hoffman's signature
Diane Hoffman

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