NVSWCD Board Meeting Minutes July 27, 2010



Fairfax County Community Development Center (Herrity Building), Room 941
12055 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax, Virginia 22035
July 27, 2010


(As approved by the Board of Directors on September 28, 2010)

Mrs. Packard called the meeting to order at 9:30 a.m.   Those present were:

  • Jean Packard, Chairman, NVSWCD
  • John Peterson, Vice Chairman, NVSWCD
  • Johna Gagnon, Secretary, NVSWCD
  • Adria Bordas, Director-Extension, NVSWCD
  • Bob Kohnke, Associate Director, NVSWCD
  • Harry Glasgow, Associate Director, NVSWCD
  • Jerry Peters, Associate Director, NVSWCD
  • Jim McGlone, Virginia Department of Forestry
  • Larry Wilkinson, District Conservationist, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service
  • Asad Rouhi, Urban Conservation Engineer, NVSWCD
  • Nick Kokales, Administrative and Technical Assistant, NVSWCD
  • Willie Woode, Senior Conservation Specialist, NVSWCD
  • Dan Schwartz, Soil Scientist, NVSWCD
  • Lily Whitesell, Outreach and Watershed Programs Coordinator, NVSWCD

Service Award – Nick Kokales.  The Board presented Mr. Kokales, Administrative and Technical Assistant, with a letter and plaque recognizing him for ten years of service and in appreciation for his support, cheerful demeanor, excellent customer service and commitment to natural resource protection.  He also received a gift certificate and was granted two additional days of leave.

Approval of Minutes. Mrs. Gagnon asked that the June Minutes be amended to reflect that she was present, arriving at 10:20 a.m.  A motion (Peterson-Bordas) passed (4-0) to approve the Minutes of the June 22, 2010 Board Meeting, as amended, listing Mrs. Gagnon as present.

Treasurer’s Report.  A motion (Peterson-Gagnon) passed (4-0) to accept and file for audit the Treasurer’s Reports for June 2010 and the Fourth Quarter of FY2010.  

Lake Barcroft Watershed Improvement District (LBWID) Trustees.  A letterwas received from Charles deSeve, LBWID Trustees Chair, nominating Gerald Mendenhall to fill the vacancy caused by Peter Silvia’s resignation as a LBWID Trustee.  He noted that the LBWID and Lake Barcroft Association used the collaborative process outlined in the Policy for Appointment of New WID Trustees, which was developed by the two organizations and accepted by the NVSWCD.  It includes a recruitment plan and the establishment of renewable five-year terms.  A motion (Peterson-Bordas) passed (4-0) to accept the resignation of LBWID Trustee Peter Silvia and to appoint Gerald Mendenhall to the position of LBWID Trustee for a term of five-years.  This action will be forwarded to the Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board for its approval in September, after which Mr. Mendenhall’s term will begin.

Approval of Soil and Water Quality Conservation Plan.  Mr. Woode presented a revised plan for Mr. and Mrs. Knauf for their property which is called The Station at Fairfax (formerly the Boley A&F District).  They are seeking renewal of its designation as an Agricultural and Forestal District, which requires a current conservation plan.  Mr. Woode said that overall, the property is well managed.  It is comprised of 28 acres with both pasture and woodlands and has 800 linear feet of RPA.  It is in Clifton, in the Springfield District and the Johnny Moore Creek Watershed.  A motion (Peterson-Gagnon) passed (4-0) to approve the soil and water quality conservation plan prepared for Mr. and Mrs. Knauf for The Station at Fairfax.  Mr. Woode said the plan also meets the agricultural land use requirements of the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Ordinance.

Cooperator of the Year.  Mr. Schwartz said the staff recommended Bijan “BJ” Sistani as the District’s Cooperator of the Year.  Mr. Sistani formerly held a geotechnical position with DPWES Plan Review and now is with Code Analysis.  He also is the coordinator for the engineering Standards Review Committee.  He worked closely with the District Soil Scientist during the lengthy process to integrate the new soil survey into the County’s Codes and Ordinances.  He also partnered with the District, as well as others, to organize a two-day Soil Morphology Training for engineers.  Those passing the certification test at the end of the course are allowed to determine the water table at any time during the year.  Mr. Sistani also accompanies District staff on homeowner site visits, when asked, and provides valuable input.  On occasion, staff would like to have someone familiar with geotechnical issues and regulations to assist with advising a homeowner on how to solve a problem, especially when dealing with problems associated with high shrink-swell clay soils.  A motion (Bordas-Gagnon) passed (4-0) to name Bijan Sistani as the NVSWCD 2010 Cooperator of the Year.

FY 2011 Annual Plan of Work.  Mr. Woode gave an overview of the FY 2011 Annual Plan of Work.  It is based on the District’s five major goals and includes both a continuation of current and on-going programs and activities as well as new initiatives.  The Board commended the staff on developing the draft.  A motion (Peterson-Gagnon) passed (4-0) to approve the FY 2011 Annual Plan of Work as presented. 

Green Breakfast.  Mr. Glasgow reported that 40 people attended the July 17 Green Breakfast. Jim Zook, Director of the Department of Planning and Zoning, gave a very interesting talk about Managing Growth in Fairfax County, including past, present and future land use planning, and an update on the plan for Tyson’s Corner.  The next Green Breakfast will be held on September 11 from 8:30 to 10:00 at Brion’s Grille in Fairfax.  Cliff Fairweather, Environmental Education Coordinator and Naturalist with the Audubon Society of Northern Virginia, will make a presentation about Bringing Native Plants and Wildlife into the Managed Landscape. 

Tree Commission.  Mr. Glasgow said that by the Tree Commission’s September meeting, it will have a new member to fill the position designated for Virginia Cooperative Extension.  He also reported that the Tree Stewards Program, led by Jim McGlone, is moving forward and reaching out to the Park Authority and schools.  The Tree Commission will present its annual report to the Board of Supervisors Environment Committee at its October meeting. 

Engineering Standards Review Committee (ESRC).  Mr. Kohnke reported that the ESRC meet on July 1.  Members received copies of the Public Facilities Manual with the latest revisions.  Also, the Committee reviewed changes, mostly to diagrams, made by Mike Knapp, Director of Urban Forest Management, as requested by the ESRC at its June meeting.  Mr. Sistani presented a new Testing Guidelines for Infiltration Facilities, which uses a soil morphology technique for determining the high water table.  This will allow the determination to be made at any time throughout the year, not just during the wet season from Oct through May.  Hence, plans will no longer be delayed while waiting for the wet season to make the determination. 

Accotink Creek TMDL.  Mrs. Packard discussed the draft TMDL for Accotink Creek, which is based on reducing flow.  Flow is used as a surrogate for sediment as a way to address the aquatic impairment of the creek.  She said that Mrs. Hoffman suggested writing a comment letter, emphasizing several points of particular concern to the District, e.g., using the reduction of flow as the method to restore aquatic habitat.  This, in effect, takes stream restoration out of the water quality improvement tool box, since stream restoration does not reduce flow, but stabilizes streams and restores aquatic habitat by dealing with the current flow.  The District also has a concern about the potential negative impacts to stream valleys and several other issues on which it echoes the County’s concerns.  A motion (Peterson-Gagnon) passed (4-0) to approve sending a comment letter to EPA regarding the draft Accotink Creek TMDL.  Mrs. Hoffman will draft the letter and circulate it among the Board members. 

Upcoming Extension Programs – Raptors and Lawn Weeds.  Ms. Bordas announced the Northern Virginia Raptor Conservancy will make a presentation on July 28 at 7:00 p.m. in the Virginia Room of the Pennino Building.  The Master Gardeners will sponsor a free class on weed identification in lawns and flower beds on August 17 at 6:30 p.m. at Green Springs Park.  Ms. Bordas and David Yost will lead the training, which will include a walk around the park gardens.

International Erosion Control Association.  Mr. Peterson announced the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the International Erosion Control Association will hold its Annual Environmental Conference on September 21-23 in Front Royal.  Mr. Rouhi will make a presentation at the conference about the Falls Hill Residential LID Project

National Association of Conservation Districts.  Mr. Peterson will represent VASWCD at the NACD Southeast Association of Conservation Districts meeting August 8-11 in Nashville, TN.  He noted that funding for soil and water conservation districts is a serious problem in many mid-western states, with some districts being forced to close their offices. 

USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.  Mr. Wilkinson provided photos taken on July 15 of the rehabilitation work at Woodglen Lake.  The pictures include the articulated concrete blocks in the auxiliary spillway and a concrete wall at the end of the spillway that prevents head-cutting of the spillway from the creek.  He also brought a piece of the filter cloth that is put in place before the articulated concrete blocks are placed in the spillway.  The blocks come in 8 by 20 foot pads connected with cable.  Once in place, the blocks are covered with top soil and seeded with grass.  The Board suggested Mr. Wilkinson schedule a tour of the site while it is still under construction.  Mr. said that he would do so, and promised to notify everyone when a date is chosen.

Virginia Department of Forestry (VDOF).  Mr. McGlone announced that VDOF, NRCS and American Tree Farm have signed a Memorandum of Understanding that each organization will accept the other’s forestry plans for their respective programs.

Department of Conservation and Recreation.  Mrs. Cross sent a written report, which included: a reminder about end of FY 2010 tasks; the SWCD dam owners workshop on August 4 in Charlottesville; the Agricultural BMP Technical Advisory Committee meeting on August 19 in Charlottesville; the Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board meeting on September 16; and the Virginia Conservation District Employees annual training August 24-26 at Graves Mountain Lodge.  Agricultural BMP spot checks will be completed by the end of October and the District will be audited this fall for FY 2009 and FY 2010. 

Seminar – Creating a Horse Heaven on Earth – August 19.  Mr. Woode announced the next seminar in the District’s series of horse management seminars.  It will take place on August 19 from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Clifton Meeting Hall.  The Clifton Horse Society is partnering with the District to present Creating a Horse Heaven on Earth.  

Rain Barrel Distribution – July 31.  Ms. Whitesell announced a rain barrel distribution event on Saturday, July 31 at the Falls Church Property Yard from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.  The pre-made rain barrels will cost $60 each.  Both pre-registration and walk-ins are welcome.  This is the last distribution event this year; however, there will be a Build-Your-Own event in August.   

Rain Garden and Stream Restoration Projects.  Mr. Rouhi said that NVSWCD is participating with DPWES-Wastewater Management in a project to build a rain garden at the Noman M. Cole Facility in Lorton.  Construction is scheduled to begin in August.  Also, NVSWCD is partnering with the Park Authority to design and implement a stream restoration in Wakefield Park.  The site is within a Dominion Power easement.   Also, the Park Authority will use $75,000 in mitigation funding from the HOT Lanes project to help fund the project. 

August Board Meeting Canceled.  The Board agreed to cancel the August 23 Board of Directors Meeting.  The next meeting will be  September 28, 2010. 

Mrs. Packard adjourned the meeting at 10:55 a.m.  

Respectfully submitted, Diane Hoffman's signature
Diane Hoffman

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