NVSWCD Board Meeting Minutes January 25, 2011



Fairfax County Community Development Center (Herrity Building), Room 941
12055 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax, Virginia 22035
January 25, 2011


(As approved by the Board of Directors on March 1, 2011)

Mrs. Packard called the meeting to order at 9:40 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-Extension, NVSWCD
  • Bob Kohnke, Associate Director, NVSWCD
  • Harry Glasgow, Associate Director, NVSWCD
  • Jerry Peters, Associate Director, NVSWCD
  • Charles de Seve, Chair, LBWID Trustees
  • George McLennan, Trustee, LBWID
  • Gerry Mendenhall, Treasurer, LBWID
  • Davis Grant, Operations Director, LBWID
  • 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
  • Adel Kuo, Intern, George Washington University
  • Devy Jagasia, Intern, George Mason University
  • Greg Evans, former NVSWCD Director

District Interns.  Ms. Whitesell said the District was pleased to have two graduate students interning for the spring semester.  Adel Kuo is studying Sustainable Landscape Design at George Washington University and Devy Jagasia is pursuing a masters’ degree in Environmental Science and Policy at George Mason University.  Both are working on a project to bring more than 100 Conservation Currents web articles into the newer Fairfax County web template.  As time permits, they will help with using the County’s RSS feeds system to publicize Conservation Currents articles.  They also will assist with development of the District’s web-based checklist and trouble-shooting guide for drainage and erosion problems.  Dan Schwartz said the District also is pleased to have Jennifer Beidel, a student at George Mason University, as a District intern.  She has been helping with the volunteer stream monitoring program, including leading training sessions.  She also will be helping with the Envirothon program. 

Approval of Minutes. Mrs. Gagnon noted a correction on page 3 under “VASWCD” of the November 23 minutes:  A meeting was scheduled on November 30 (not December 30).  A motion (Gagnon-Lamb) passed (5-0) to approve the Minutes of the November 23, 2010 Board Meeting, as corrected.   Later in the meeting, Mrs. Gagnon noted another correction: the meeting was with Senator Whipple (not Senator Ticer).  This correction will be made to the minutes.

Treasurer’s Report.  A motion (Lamb-Peterson) passed (5-0) to accept and file for audit the Treasurer’s Reports for November and December 2010 and for the second quarter of FY 2011.

Election of Officers.  Ms. Bordas reported that she had spoken to the current officers about continuing to serve.  She presented a slate of officers for calendar year 2011, which was the same as those serving in 2010.  A motion (Bordas-Gagnon) passed (5-0) to elect Jean Packard as Chair, John Peterson as Vice Chair, Johna Gagnon as Secretary and George Lamb as Treasurer.

Lake Barcroft Watershed Improvement District (LBWID).   Charlesde Seve, Chair, LBWID Trustees, gave an overview of the work of the LBWID, which includes an annual mapping of the contours of the lake bottom, an on-going in-house dredging program, a tree replacement program, installing biologs to stabilize and help re-vegetate eroding banks, distributing no-phosphorus fertilizer, making dock improvements, maintaining Smith Island as a natural area, invasive species removal, and the operation and maintenance of the dam.  He noted that the WID removes almost a ton of debris from the lake on a daily average.  The community is very supportive of the ten-year dam renovation project, which is proceeding as planned.  The LBWID and the Lake Barcroft Association work cooperatively in many ways to protect the lake and the lake environment.  This includes beach maintenance, fallen tree removal from the lake, and a demonstration native plant garden.  The LBWID also works cooperatively with Fairfax County.  The County assists the WID with the disposal of trash and debris removed from the lake, as well as the disposition of dredged materials. 

LBWID FY 2012 Budget.  Mr. de Seve credited Treasurer Gerry Mendenhall for a simplified budget presentation and a more complete initial summary sheet.  The new format makes it easier to distinguish all budget elements.  Also, instead of presenting the operating budget and the three reserve funds separately, there is a single General Fund Balance that includes the reserve allocations.  Mr. Mendenhall reviewed the current budget and the proposed 2012 budget, which includes revenue, operations expenditures (personnel, administration, overhead, environment, maintenance and equipment) and reserve account expenditures (dredging and silt disposal, capital expenditures, and dam renovation).  The anticipated balance at the beginning of FY2012 is $1,081,008.  This includes $931,008 in the three reserve funds.  Income for FY 2012 is estimated at $942,360, with $939,360 anticipated from tax receipts.  A 3% increase in 2012 has been proposed in order to keep pace with inflation.  $519,000 is budgeted for operating expenditures, $614,026 for dam renovation, $65,000 for dredging and $40,000 for capital expenditures.  Mr. Mendenhall said the WID is in sound financial condition and on track for the ten year plan.  He noted that the WID is considering changing the no-phosphorus fertilizer program from a give-away program to an outreach and education program.  NVSWCD will approve the LBWID budget at its February board meeting.

Soil and Water Quality Conservation Plans.  Mr. Woode presented three conservation plans.  One plan was prepared for the Frying Pan Park farm operation in Herndon, which has both traditional and equestrian uses.  It has an average of 75 horses during peak season.  The key elements of the plan address the tillage operation and the management of animal waste.  The plan recommends no-till cropping and wind row composting.  The plan for Vic Price was a special case for which a RPA restoration plan was requested by Fairfax County’s Code Enforcement Division; the property is in Great Falls and was in violation of permissible RPA use.  The plan for the Jeanne Libit property is a small horse-keeping operation in Great Falls that was in Code violation because of illegal importation of fill material (soil).  The latter two plans represent an increasing collaboration between the District and Code Enforcement.  Code Enforcement staff believe, and the District agrees, it is better to correct a violation rather than go through litigation.  A motion (Peterson-Gagnon) passed (5-0) to approve the Soil and Water Quality Conservation Plans for Frying Pan Park farm operation in the Hunter Mill District (94 acres on 4 parcels and 140 linear feet of RPA), Vic Price in the Dranesville District (5 acres on 1 parcel with 1,030 linear feet of RPA), and Jeanne Libit in the Dranesville District (5 acres on 1 parcel).

Virginia Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts (VASWCD) Annual Meeting.  Mr. Peterson reported the VASWCD annual meeting was held December 5-8 in Roanoke.  One positive outcome was a confirmation by DCR that all of the dam break inundation studies will be funded.  Ed Overton was elected as president, Lou Ann Wallace as first vice president, Linda Campbell as second vice president and Don Wells as treasurer.  Mr. Peterson said he was surprised and pleased to have received the Bobby Wilkinson award.  He also said he is very pleased with the outlook for both VASWCD and the Educational Foundation. 

VASWCD Legislative Day.  Mrs. Gagnon said that she and Mr. Peterson had a very good meeting with Senator Whipple on November 30.  On January 17, Mrs. Gagnon joined with other members of VASWCD to attend Legislative Day in Richmond.  In three hours, she was able to leave the VASWCD legislative agenda and her card with either the legislator or an aide in all 27 legislators’ offices that NVSWCD normally visits.  She also was invited to leave information in the offices of two Prince William County legislators.  She said the letter and attachment that Mr. Peterson sent to all of the legislators on December 29 was well-timed.   

Land Conservation Awards.  Mr. Lamb said the Land Conservation Awards ceremony on January 21 went well.  He made brief remarks on behalf of the District.  Mr. Woode gave an excellent presentation on the sites that won awards for excellence in Erosion and Sediment Control.  Mr. Glasgow presented the Tree Preservation awards.  Mr. Woode thanked Mr. Rouhi for leading the judging panel and for his work on the PowerPoint presentation. 

2011 Seedling Sale.   Mr. Kokales said there will be two packages for sale.  One package of 10 seedlings is a selection of 5 species of deer resistant shrubs and small trees for $15.95.  A second package of 6 consists of 3 species of trees for $10.95. 

Green Breakfast.  Mr. Glasgow said former Delegate Margi Vanderhye gave a very interesting presentation at the January 8 Green Breakfast.  He noted that everyone was sent a list of the past 48 Green Breakfast topics, as well as the list of suggestions for future programs.  Mrs. Packard suggested that Mr. Glasgow and Mr. Lamb look over the list and choose the topic for March 12.

Tree Commission.   Mr. Glasgow said he gave the Tree Commission’s annual briefing to the Board of Supervisors at its Environment Committee meeting on January 18.  He introduced the concept of trees as infrastructure, and as such, it would be appropriate to fund this infrastructure through bonds.  The Tree Commission’s Tree Stewards program will hold its first class on February 15.

Pohick Creek Watershed PL-566.  Mr. Kohnke said he attended a briefing about the Huntsman rehabilitation, which was held on December 9 in the Springfield District Supervisor’s office.  Also, he reported that the spillway rehabilitation and dredging at Lake Barton has begun.  Mr. Peterson said the abstract he submitted for the National Watershed Coalition meeting in May in Oklahoma City has been accepted.  He will make a presentation on the rehabilitation of Royal Lake and Woodglen Lake. 

National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD).  Mr. Peterson announced that Mr. Schwartz will make a presentation on February 1 at the NACD annual meeting in Nashville on the Rain Garden Study that he and Mr. Rouhi conducted.  The Virginia Association of Soil and Water Conservation District Employees is contributing $300 to help defray the expenses. 

Chesapeake Bay Restoration Grants.  Mrs. Packard welcomed former NVSWCD Director Greg Evans.  Mr. Evans said that his term on the committee that evaluates the applications for the Chesapeake Bay Restoration Fund grants is expiring soon.  He said the precedent has been set that his position is one representing conservation districts and he suggested that a district-friendly person be encouraged to fill the vacancy.  Mr. Peterson said that he would follow up with the VASWCD. 

Land Development Services.  Mrs. Gagnon congratulated Michelle Brickner on being appointed as Director of Land Development Services.  

USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.  Mr. Wilkinson said the January JED training was replaced by the Woodlands Conference, held at Weyers Cave, which was excellent.  The VANTAGE conference (Virginia No-till Alliance) will be held on February 8 in Harrisonburg.  Updates to the CREP program will be the topic of the February 16 JED training.  Agricultural Basics for Organics will be the focus of the March 8 training.  The April training will focus on heavy-use areas.  

Department of Conservation and Recreation.   Mrs. Cross submitted a written report that included the following: 

  • DCR announced a special $4 million allocation for the Agricultural Cost-Share program.
  • The VASWCD Area II Chair is Jim Christian and the Area II Vice Chair is Steven Meeks.
  • SWCD Dam Owners Workgroup meeting will be held February 24 in Charlottesville at DOF.
  • The VASWCD Education Committee is holding two Director Training workshops:  March 2-3 in Charlottesville and April 5-6 in Blacksburg.
  • The Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board will meet quarterly: March 8, June 9, September 8 and December 7.
  • The Virginia Environment Conference will be held April 5-7 at VMI.
  • The Land for Tomorrow Conference will be June 1-31 at Longwood University in Farmville.

Composter Workshop.  Mr. Schwartz said the District’s first Composter Workshop was held on January 9 at the Mason District Government Center.  Participants built 14 composters using the same type of barrels as those used for rain barrels.  Two more workshops are being planned for the spring and summer. 

Mrs. Packard adjourned the meeting at 11:40 a.m.

Respectfully submitted, Diane Hoffman's signature
Diane Hoffman

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