NVSWCD Board Meeting Minutes March 24, 2009



Fairfax County Community Development Center (Herrity Building), Room 941
12055 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax, Virginia 22035
March 24, 2009


(As approved by the Board of Directors on April 28, 2009)

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

  • Jean Packard, Chairman, NVSWCD
  • John Peterson, Treasurer, NVSWCD
  • Johna Gagnon, Secretary, NVSWCD
  • George Lamb, Director, NVSWCD
  • Adria Bordas, Director, NVSWCD
  • Col. Bill Smith, Associate Director, NVSWCD
  • 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
  • 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

Approval of Minutes.  Mrs. Gagnon said she recommended approval of the minutes and the attached summary of the mid-year review.  A motion (Gagnon-Peterson) passed (5-0) to approve the minutes and mid-year review of the February 24, 2009 board meeting.   

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

Approval of Soil and Water Quality Conservation Plans – 3rd Quarter.  Mr. Woode presented plans for 5 cooperators.  The plans comprise 21 parcels on 276.1 acres and include 21,099 linear feet of Resource Protection Area.  One plan is a requirement for renewal of the Kincheloe Agricultural and Forestal District.  The Jankowski plan is in response to an Agricultural Stewardship Act complaint about cutting trees and storing manure in an RPA.  The Myrah and Thompson plans are in response to citations from the County’s Code Enforcement Branch for pollution problems in RPAs.  The Gration plan is for a standard horse operation.  A motion (Gagnon-Lamb) passed (5-0) to approve soil and water quality conservation plans for Kincheloe (262 acres on 17 parcels in Clifton with hay production and 3 horses and 18,154 linear feet of RPA); Richard Jankowski (2.8 acres on 1 parcel in Clifton with 3 horses and 1,130 linear feet of RPA); Diana and John Myrah (2.5 acres on 1 parcel in Vienna with 6 horses and 220 linear feet of RPA); Theresa and Lawrence Gration (2.5 acres on 1 parcel in Reston with 2 horses and 460 linear feet of RPA); and  Donna Thompson (6.3 acres on 1 parcel in Fairfax Station with 6 horses and 1,135 linear feet of RPA).

Welcome.   Mrs. Packard welcomed Louise Woode, who is visiting from England and spending a week with District, learning about the work of the conservation district as part of a work-study program.

Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board Meeting – March 19.  Mrs. Packard reported the Lake Barcroft WID budget for 2010 was approved by the Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board on March 19.  The Board also approved regulations for general permits for stormwater, including an amendment that will make it less difficult for the general public to understand stormwater pollution prevention plans.  Ms. Brickner said that the technical criteria part of the stormwater regulations will need board when it is completed.

Appointment of Associate Director – Bob Jordan.  Mrs. Packard said that Bob Jordan has expressed an interest in becoming an associate director and would be an excellent asset for the District.  A motion (Peterson-Lamb) passed (5-0) to appoint Bob Jordan as an Associate Director.  Mr. Jordan said he looked forward to working with the District.

Potomac Watershed Roundtable – April 3.  Mrs. Hoffmansaid the Potomac Watershed Roundtable will meet in Reston on April 3 and will focus on urban stream restoration.  Wetland Studies and Solutions and Reston Association will make a presentation on the Northern Virginia Stream Restoration project.  Mr. Rouhi will make a presentation on the Little Pimmit Run Project.  The afternoon will include a tour of stream restoration projects completed on Snakeden Branch.

Green Breakfast.  Mr. Peters reported that more than 60attended the March 14 Green Breakfast, which featured a presentation by Alan Ford, President of the Potomack Chapter of the Virginia Native Plant Society.   The May 9 Green Breakfast will mark a change in venue to Brion’s Grill at Route 123 and Braddock Road, across from George Mason University.  The Board asked staff to seek a presenter on the topic of birds and creating bird habitat.

Seedling Program.  Mrs. Hoffman said the number of packages ordered is about the same as it was at this time last year.  The seedling packages will be bundled on April 15 and distribution will take place on April 17 and 18. 

Seminars for Horse Operation Managers.  Mr. Woode said that the District, in partnership with the Saddlery in Great Falls, is sponsoring a series of seminars for managers of horse operations.  On March 22, he conducted a seminar on pasture management at the Great Falls Library.  The next seminar will focus on horse waste management.  It will be an all-day event on April 23 at Gunnell’s Run Farm.  It will include guest speakers from Virginia Tech and the MARE Center and a tour of the newly constructed manure composting facility.  The District built the facility as a demonstration  project, with funding from a WQIF grant.  The third seminar will be on site planning for horse operations. 

Geese Peace Training – March 25 and 28.  Mrs. Hoffman said the District is partnering with Fairfax County Park Authority and Geese Peace to offer two training sessions on the management of geese populations.  The Geese Peace Program has three components: the timing and proper procedure for oiling eggs with corn oil; site aversion techniques; and public education.  

Invasive Plant Removal Day – May 2.  Virginia’s first Invasive Plant Removal Day is Saturday, May 2.  Information can be found on line at www.virginiamasternaturalist.org/invasives/   The Fairfax County Park Authority Natural Resource Management Division is coordinating several events locally, with a focus on removing garlic mustard. 

Conservation Currents.  The board congratulated Ms. Jolicoeur on the recent publication of the District’s newsletter.  It included information about the Land Conservation Awards, the Potomac River trash cleanup, the native plant seedling sale, and planting yards to attract and feed songbirds. 

Biennial Report.  The board commended Mrs. Jolicoeur on an outstanding Biennial Report.  Mr. Peterson said it is an excellent tool for showing the work of an urban district.  Mrs. Jolicoeur said she appreciated help from the staff.  The board discussed the importance of keeping local and state officials informed about the District’s ability to solve problems and implement a broad array of programs and projects throughout the County.  Mr. Peterson said he has spoken to Supervisor Herrity about the Pohick dam rehabilitation project.  Recently Mr. Schwartz made two presentations to the Board of Supervisor’s Environment Committee about the integration of the new Soil Survey and the findings of the District’s study of 20 rain gardens in Fairfax County.  Mrs. Hoffman made a presentation to the Environmental Coordinating Committee and to the Environmental Quality Advisory Council about District programs and ways the District leverages other funding and resources to Fairfax County.  The District has good working relationships with the County Supervisors and their offices.  The Falls Hill project and Providence District parking lot retrofit project are two examples.  Supervisor Gross recently asked the District to help solve a drainage problem that required coordination with several agencies.  Many of the District’s activities are included in County reports, such as the annual report on the storm drain marking projects, the Stormwater Report, and the Environmental Improvement Program.

Huntley Meadows.  Mr. Peterson will meet on Friday with Park Authority staff regarding the possibility of building a low-head dam to help restore water in the wetland.  The DCR dam safety regional engineer has been invited. 

Design Guidelines for Buffers, Corridors and Greenways.  Mr. Peterson provided several copies of a new technical guide developed by the Forest Service. 

National Association of Conservation Districts.  Mr. Peterson said that Virginia has been placed on the NACD Legislative Committee, and he will be the representative.  He has asked that he remain on the NACD Urban Committee, on which he currently serves. 

Tips on Keeping Your Lawn Green and Virginia Waters Clean.   Ms. Bordas shared a copy of an excellent new brochure on lawn care.  Mrs. Cross will look into ordering a supply for both the District and Extension offices.  Also, the brochure is available on-line at http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/water_quality/documents/tipsbay.pdf

Alice Ferguson Foundation Annual Potomac River Cleanup.  Mr. Schwartz reported signups are going well, with more than 100 sites in Fairfax County registered so far.  He said that DPWES Solid Waste has done an excellent job of helping to publicize the activity, including placing a full-page ad in the Washington Post

Envirothon.  Mr. Schwartz said the local Envirothon competition will take place March 30.  The Regional competition will take place on April 22 at Montpelier.  Teams demonstrate their knowledge about aquatics, forestry, soils, and wildlife, and make a presentation on a special issue.  This year, the special issue is Biodiversity in a Changing World.

2009 Nonpoint Source Pollution Prevention Conference.  On May 11, Ms. Jolicoeur will make a presentation about the Falls Hill Project at the Nonpoint Source Pollution Prevention Conference in Portland.  This annual EPA-sponsored conference includes NPS pollution, stormwater, education and outreach. 

Rain Barrel Program.  Ms. Jolicoeur introduced Taylor Beach, Environmental Educator, who is working part-time to coordinate the rain barrel program.  In March, 25 people attended a Train-the-Trainer program.  By the time the program ends in September, more than 500 rain barrels will have been distributed at eight workshops and during two distribution events. 

Land Development Services - DPWES.  Ms. Brickner said the Planning Commission is considering making recommendations to the Board of Supervisors for regulations to require buffers around headwater streams.  Staff has been exploring this issue and met with the Planning Commission’s Environment Committee in April.  She said the Committee is leaning toward recommending the use of a specified drainage area for determining where buffers should be required, and a buffer width of 35 feet, with the possibility of a wider buffer in the Occoquan.  A presentation will be made to the Board of Supervisors Environment Committee in June.  Ms. Brickner also reported that DPWES staff is studying enforcement of the E&S regulations for land disturbance of 2,500 sq. ft. or more as they apply to additions and accessory structures to single-family homes.  With consideration given to the cost of required grading plans and conservation agreements, staff is working on recommendations for the Board of Supervisors. 

Williams Lane Project.  Mr. Rouhi said he has been working with DPWES-Stormwater Planning to solve a significant flooding problem that has been occurring for the past 17 years near the intersection of Columbia Pike and Route 7.  Mr. Rouhi has designed a bioretention facility, based on the new PFM requirements, that is both a BMP and meets the requirements for detention.  He also is helping to supervise construction, which is being done by DPWES-Maintenance and Stormwater Management.  Mr. Rouhi is developing a recommendation for a better soil mix.

Natural Resources Conservation Service.  Mr. Wilkinson reported that the Royal Lake rehabilitation project is nearly complete.  The next JED training will be on April 14.  It will cover engineering topics, including composting and animal waste structures.  Following up on his report last month about EQIP funding for air quality, Mr. Wilkinson said recipients must be agricultural producers, i.e., they file a schedule F with federal income taxes.

Department of Conservation and Recreation.  Mrs. Cross reported on the following:

  • The Area II Spring Meeting conference call will take place April 30 from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.  There will be agency updates and a business meeting.  Speakers are being asked to provide their presentations for distribution prior to April 30. 
  • Governor Kaine participated in the presentation of the Clean Water Farm Award to Corotoman Farm in Loudoun County.  The farm also was the Potomac Basin Award winner.
  • Mrs. Cross will contact new SWCD directors and associate directors to schedule an orientation.
  • Training on the new web-based tracking program for the Agricultural BMP Cost-Share Program tracking system will be held on June 10 at Lord Fairfax Community College. 
  • There will be a training session on the Cost-Share Program on May 28 in Charlottesville.  The training will cover changes in the program for the coming year.

Mrs. Packard adjourned the meeting at 11:10 a.m.  

Respectfully submitted, Diane Hoffman's signature
Diane Hoffman

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