NVSWCD Board Meeting Minutes March 22, 2011



Fairfax County Community Development Center (Herrity Building), Room 941
12055 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax, Virginia 22035
March 22, 2011


(As approved by the Board of Directors on April 26, 2011)

Mrs. Packard called the meeting to order at 9:40 a.m.   Those present were:

  • Jean Packard, Chairman, 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
  • Debbie Cross, Conservation District Coordinator, DCR
  • Larry Wilkinson, District Conservationist, USDA-NRCS
  • Diane Hoffman, Administrator, NVSWCD
  • Lily Whitesell, Outreach and Watershed Programs Coordinator, NVSWCD
  • Dan Schwartz, Soil Scientist, NVSWCD
  • Nick Kokales, Administrative and Technical Assistant, NVSWCD
  • Willie Woode, Senior Conservation Specialist, NVSWCD

Department of Conservation and Recreation.  Mrs. Cross said Districts and the Association should be commended for their efforts during the General Assembly session to obtain an additional $1 million in state funding for SWCD district operations for FY 2012.  This is good news following the past ten years of cuts.  Her report also included the following:

  • Approximately $20 million is anticipated annually for Virginia Agricultural BMP Cost Share Program funding in FY2012 and FY2013. 
  • Quarterly reports are due on April 15 and Districts should perform the usual end of year tasks. 
  • The Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board met in March.  Quarterly meetings for the remainder of the year are scheduled for June 9, September 8 and December 7.  The Board has been expanded with three new members whose qualifications include experience or knowledge about stormwater.  They also are subject to the other parameters that are placed on Board members, e.g., because the Board deals with permitting issues, members may not derive more than 10% of their gross annual income from sources that are permitted (or 50% if they are retired).  In another change, the Director of DCR will no longer be a voting member. 
  • The Virginia Association of SWCDs will meet on March 30.  Planning for the Annual Meeting is underway.
  • The Potomac Watershed Roundtable will meet on April 1 in Fairfax.
  • The VASWCD Area II meeting will be held on May 6 in Charlottesville.
  • The SWCD Director election filing deadline has been changed to August 23, 2011.  Information and forms (Certificate of Candidate Qualification-Local Office, Declaration of Candidacy, and Petition of Qualified Voters) are at www.sbe.virginia.gov/cms/Index.html  Of importance, the Petition of Qualified Voters must be on legal-sized paper, copied front and back, and have signatures of registered qualified voters (residency within the NVSWCD).

Approval of Minutes. It was noted that the February Board of Directors meeting, originally scheduled for February 22, was postponed and held on March 1.  Ms. Bordas noted the beginning time for the meeting should be changed to 4:00 p.m.  A motion (Bordas-Lamb) passed (3-0) to approve the Minutes of the March 1, 2011 Board Meeting, as corrected. 

Treasurer’s Report.  A motion (Lamb-Bordas) passed (3-0) to accept and file for audit the Treasurer’s Report for February 2011. 

Approval of Amendment to Pohick Creek Watershed Agreement (Woodglen extension).  Mrs. Hoffman said the County would like an extension of the deadline for completing the rehabilitation work at  Woodglen (Pohick site #3) from March 31 to August 30, in order to complete processing the paperwork and payment associated with the contractor’s testing of the articulated concrete blocks.  NRCS has agreed with this request.  A motion (Lamb-Bordas) passed (3-0) to approve the amendment to the Pohick Agreement for the extension of the project deadline to August 30, 2011 for the rehabilitation of Site #3. 

Approval of Soil and Water Quality Conservation Plans.   Mr. Woode presented two plans for approval.  Both are for horse-keeping operations in the Springfield District.  One is for an existing operation (Marachetti) and the other for a proposed plan (Wallington) that involves clearing approximately two acres of wooded area to make room for the pasture, sacrifice (heavy-use) area, and manure management area, while preserving selected trees and maintaining a buffer.  Neither operation has Chesapeake Bay Resource Protection areas on site.  Approval of the plans will put the existing operation in compliance with the Fairfax County Chesapeake Bay Preservation Ordinance and will help the proposed operation meet part of its requirement for permission to establish a horse operation at the specific location.  A motion (Lamb-Bordas) passed (3-0) to approve soil and water quality conservation plans for Leslie Wallington (5 acres on 1 parcel in Fairfax Station) and Mary Marchetti (6 acres on 1 parcel in Clifton).

Mid-Year Program Review.  Mr. Schwartz reported on accomplishments during the first half of FY 2011, from July 1, 2010 through December 31, 2010.  Both ongoing and new activities were reported for five strategic goals, including: (1) Providing leadership in natural resource conservation by working collaboratively with the county and other stakeholders to strengthen policies and practices that encourage natural resource protection, by introducing innovative best management practices, and by spearheading citizen involvement;  (2) Providing high quality technical assistance to constituent groups, including government, agriculture, development, and the general public, and moving ahead with transitioning to the new Soil Survey; (3) Maintaining strong public education and outreach programs,  including the volunteer stream monitoring, storm drain marking and rain barrel programs, workshops, presentations, exhibits, the newsletter, and the website; (4) Continuing to strengthen cooperative relationships with a broad array of partners; and (5) Developing plans and implementing practices to ensure a strong organization.  These actions support the District’s Vision–Fairfax County with clean streams and protected natural resources– and Mission–to lessen the impact of urban/suburban activities on our land and water resources in Fairfax County.  Mrs. Hoffman noted that most programs and projects support several of the goals.

Website.  Mr. Schwartz narrated a brief tour of the updated District website.  Recent modifications make it more inviting and easier to use, including small icons (pictures) to guide visitors to programs and topics.  Ms. Whitesell said because of the work of two interns, the District’s website has no broken links or priority 1 accessibility issues.  Mrs. Packard congratulated Ms. Whitesell on the excellent work on the website . 

Horse Management Seminar.  Mr. Woode invited the board to attend the 4th of a series of Horse Management Seminars, which will be held on Tuesday, April 5 at the Great Falls Library at 7:00 p.m.  The Great Falls Saddlery is co-sponsoring the seminar.  The topic will be successful pasture management and how to locate, size and build a heavy-use (sacrifice) area. 

Polick Creek Watershed PL-566 Project – Lake Barton.  Mr. Kohnke, NVSWCD liaison for the Pohick Creek PL-566 Watershed Project, said he stops by the project on a regular basis.  He plans to participate in a briefing and tour led by DPWES on March 28.  If others are interested in visiting the project, Mr. Wilkinson can arrange a tour at another date, as he did for the Woodglen Project.  . 

Engineering Standards Review Committee (ESRC).  Mr. Kohnke, NSVWCD representative on the ESRC, said the ESRC met in March.  In addition to establishing a nominating committee for officers, the Committee received a briefing on the implications of new design rainfall data, and discussed whether or not the relevant information should be incorporated into the PFM.  Mr. Kohnke said he favored listing it elsewhere, rather than in the PFM.   The requirements for Secondary Street Acceptance, which had been reviewed by the ESRC, are moving forward.  He noted the requirements with regard to street width are viewed differently by different interests, e.g., the fire department’s need for wide streets, the police department’s concern about parking, and environmentalist’s preference for narrower streets in order to reduce the amount of impervious surface.  The Committee was briefed on new requirements for licensed professional soil scientists, which includes a change in the title, from certified professional soil scientist to licensed professional soil scientist.   

Green Breakfast.  Mr. Glasgow said that more than 60 attended the March 12 Green Breakfast to hear a presentation on Demystifying Recycling, given by Pamela Gratton, Recycling Manager, DPWES-Solid Waste.  The next Green Breakfast will be May 14.  One suggestion was an overview of nuclear energy and a briefing on the situation in Japan.  Mrs. Hoffman will follow up.

Tree Commission.  Mr. Glasgow reported he was re-elected as president of the Tree Commission.  The training for Tree Stewards is underway and going well. 

Virginia Cooperative Extension (VCE).  Ms. Bordas reported that overall VCE fared well in the recent General Assembly session.  $500,000 was allocated for the restructuring process, plus an additional $1 million was allocated to help fund 25 extension agent vacancies state-wide.  She anticipated six would be placed in the northern Virginia area and hoped that one would be a 4-H agent in Arlington.  Hence, an anticipated $4.5 million cut in funding was reduced to a $3 million cut. 

Fairfax County Restoration Project.  Mr. Schwartz reported the Fairfax County Restoration Project is working with Mark Thomas in Chairman Bulova’s office in an effort to obtain an umbrella permit from VDOT for all plantings in VDOT right-of-ways. 

Conservation Currents.  Mrs. Packard commended Ms. Whitesell on the excellent issue of Conservation Currents.  The article on enjoying and restoring our streams, by NVSWCD Intern Adele Kuo, was very well researched and written.  Ms. Whitesell said the article on wildflowers was written by Lark Wells, who is with the Environmental Research Group in Arlington.

Seedling Distribution.  Mr. Kokales reported that the native seedling sale was going well.  Bundling will take place on April 13 and the distribution on April 15 and 16.  Ms. Bordas said she has received numerous phone calls regarding deer browse damage, and when responding, has included information about the seedling sale. 

Artistic Rain Barrel Program.  Mrs. Hoffman said the 25 artistic rain barrels will be on display throughout the northern Virginia area until June 1.  They will be auctioned at Green Springs Park on June 11

VASWCD Area II Meeting – May 6.  Mrs. Hoffman said information about the Area II meeting on May 6 in Charlottesville is in the Director’s board notebooks.  Directors, Associates, Staff, local and state elected officials, and County department heads or a designated representative will be invited as guests of the District.

USDA-Natural Resource Conservation Service.  Mr. Wilkinson said the training scheduled for advanced RUSLE 2 (an erosion estimator) has been postponed.  The April Joint Employee Development training will focus on heavy use area protection in animal concentration areas.  

Master Naturalists.  Mr. Peters thanked the District for providing Dan to help train Master Naturalist students.  He said that Mr. Schwartz does an excellent job teaching classes about soils and geology and leading field trips.

Deer Management Initiative – Green Fire.  Mr. Peters said information about the deer control program that he developed for private lands is at www.greenfireweb.com .  While the website can be accessed, it has not been advertised, pending a final decision on how the program will be sponsored. 

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

Respectfully submitted, Diane Hoffman's signature
Diane Hoffman

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