NVSWCD Board Minutes October 25, 2011



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


(As approved by the Board of Directors on November 22, 2011)

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

2011 Cooperator of the Year – Fairfax Chapter of the Virginia Master Naturalists. Mrs. Packard presented the NVSWCD 2011 Cooperator of the Year award to the Fairfax Chapter of the Virginia Master Naturalists. The award recognizes the many ways the Master Naturalists have worked with the District to conserve and protect the natural resources in Fairfax County. These include the Watershed Friendly Garden Tour, stream monitoring, storm drain marking and science fair judging. She said the District is indeed fortunate to have the Fairfax Master Naturalists as a partner. Ms. Booker thanked the District for the award. She said there currently are 141 Master

  • Jean Packard, Chairman, NVSWCD
  • John Peterson, Vice Chairman, NVSWCD
  • Johna Gagnon, Secretary, NVSWCD
  • George Lamb, Treasurer, NVSWCD
  • Adria Bordas, Extension Director, NVSWCD
  • Bob Kohnke, Associate Director, NVSWCD
  • Jerry Peters, Associate Director, NVSWCD; member of Fairfax Master Naturalists
  • Harry Glasgow, Associate Director, NVSWCD; member of Fairfax Master Naturalists
  • Reese Peck, Director, Stormwater Management, DCR
  • Michael Foreman, Conservation Programs Director, Stormwater Management, DCR
  • Debbie Cross, Conservation District Coordinator, DCR
  • Jim McGlone, Virginia Department of Forestry (until 10:50)
  • Larry Wilkinson, District Conservationist, NRCS
  • Diane Hoffman, Administrator, NVSWCD
  • Asad Rouhi, Urban Conservation Engineer, NVSWCD
  • Willie Woode, Senior Conservation Specialist, NVSWCD
  • Dan Schwartz, Soil Scientist, NVSWCD (arrived at 10:30)
  • Nick Kokales, Administrative Assistant, NVSWCD
  • Tom Cranmer, Visitor
  • Judi Booker, President, Fairfax Master Naturalists
  • Marilyn Schroeder, member of Fairfax Master Naturalists
  • Greg Evans, member of Fairfax Master Naturalists
  • Eva Pappas, member of Fairfax Master Naturalists

2011 Cooperator of the Year – Fairfax Chapter of the Virginia Master Naturalists. Mrs. Packard presented the NVSWCD 2011 Cooperator of the Year award to the Fairfax Chapter of the Virginia Master Naturalists. The award recognizes the many ways the Master Naturalists have worked with the District to conserve and protect the natural resources in Fairfax County. These include the Watershed Friendly Garden Tour, stream monitoring, storm drain marking and science fair judging. She said the District is indeed fortunate to have the Fairfax Master Naturalists as a partner. Ms. Booker thanked the District for the award. She said there currently are 141 Master Naturalists and during the past year they provided more than 3,000 hours of volunteer service in Naturalists and during the past year they provided more than 3,000 hours of volunteer service inNaturalists and during the past year they provided more than 3,000 hours of volunteer service in citizen science, stewardship and education and outreach projects.

Completion of Marymount Rain Garden. Mr. Rouhi described the design and construction of a 600 sq. ft. rain garden, which was installed next to the library at Marymount University. It controls runoff from 1.2 acres of pervious and impervious surfaces. The project was a partnership with Marymount University and Arlington County. The contractor was Angler Environmental and a grant helped to fund the project. The air conditioners on the roof of the library generate a large amount of runoff which is piped to the rain garden. A plunge pool was added to dissipate energy as water is received from the roof and steep slopes. Mr. Rouhi said that hurricane Irene hit when construction was nearly complete, resulting in sediment deposition in the rain garden. The next day, the top several inches were removed by hand and replaced with the design soil mix. Sod was used to finish the edges and to create a shape with curves. Students installed the plant materials. Students will collect monitoring data from automated monitoring equipment in the rain garden. Research will be conducted on the performance of the facility over time. Mr. Rouhi said the rain garden has functioned very well since completion, including during tropical storm Lee and several other large storms. The University will be responsible for carrying out the maintenance plan.

Completion of Little Pimmit Run Sanitary Sewer Stabilization and Stream Restoration. Mr. Rouhi described the recently completed project in Little Pimmit Run to stabilize a sanitary sewer line by restoring the stream segment and stabilizing a drainage ditch across private property, which had been contributing to the streambank erosion. Immediately upstream of the project is a gabion wall the County installed several years earlier to stabilize a breached line. Just downstream from the project are two projects the District completed in 2007 with several partners – a stream restoration, funded mainly by homeowners, and a streambank stabilization funded by Wastewater Collection Division. The current project was funded by two divisions of DPWES-Maintenance and Stormwater Management and Wastewater Collection. NVSWCD was responsible for design, permitting, and construction. Also, the District facilitated the support and permission of the property owners, since both the project and construction access were on private property. VHB was hired as a consultant and Angler Environmental as the contractor. The project included a large rock vane and j-hook that angles gradually up the bank to a bankful bench where it connects to the floodplain. It functions to control the flow and energy of the large and active stream. The previously exposed sewer line is now buried within the restored area. Stabilization of the 100 ft. drainage tributary included eight step pools, three grade controls and re-aligning the channel to safely discharge into the stream. The floodplain and graded slopes have been vegetated. The project functioned as designed and performed well during subsequent storms, including hurricane Irene and tropical storm Lee. The project also was a success in terms of time and cost. From inception to completion the project took three months and the cost was approximately $82,000.

Approval of Minutes.Mrs. Gagnon noted one typo on page 3 of the minutes and recommended approval. A motion (Gagnon-Peterson) passed (5-0) to approve the Minutes of the September 27, 2011 Board Meeting.

Treasurer’s Report. Mr. Lamb reviewed the Treasurer’s Reports. A motion (Lamb-Gagnon) passed (5-0) to accept and file for audit the Treasurer’s Reports for September 2011 and the First Quarter of FY 2012.

Agricultural BMP Cost-Share Program. Mr. Woode provided an update on the McCormick cost-share project. He said the NRCS engineer confirmed that a stream-crossing could be designed that would provide direct, protected access to the stream by the horses, as well as provide stream protection fencing that would protect the RPA. By providing access to the stream, an alternative drinking water source will not be needed. This will reduce the cost of materials and labor. Mr. Woode has revised the McCormick plan to include the SL-6 Grazing Land Protection practice. A motion (Lamb-Gagnon) passed (5-0) to approve the revised soil and water quality conservation plan. Mr. Woode estimated the practice would cost $9,060 and recommended approving cost-share and a tax credit for the practice. A motion (Lamb-Peterson) passed (5-0) to approve $6,795 to cost-share for an SL-6 practice on the McCormick horse farm in Great Falls, and a tax credit of up to $566.25 (25% of the maximum approved out-of-pocket expenses of $2,265).

Soil and Water Quality Conservation Plan. Mr. Wood presented a plan prepared for Lindene and Scott Patten in Great Falls. When the plan is implemented, the Pattens will bring in their three horses. There is not an RPA on the property. A motion (Peterson-Gagnon) passed (5-0) to approve the soil and water quality conservation plan for Lindene and Scott Patten (5 acres on 1 parcel in the Dranesville District with 3 horses).

Potomac Council Representative. Mrs. Packard said that terms on the Potomac Council were for one year. She recommended reappointing the District’s current representative and alternate for the coming year. A motion (Bordas-Gagnon) passed (5-0) to reappoint John Peterson as the representative and Diane Hoffman as the alternate representative on the Potomac Council for 2012. Mrs. Hoffman said that the Potomac Council Annual Meeting will be held in Richmond on December 4 at 6:30 followed by the Social at 7:30.

VASWCD. Mrs. Packard noted that Mr. Peterson and Mrs. Gagnon will attend the VASWCD Annual Meeting, December 4-7 in Richmond. Three staff also will attend. Mr. Lamb said he agreed to participate on the VASWCD IT Committee. Recently, he has been asked to chair the committee.

Pohick Creek Watershed PL-566 Project.

  • VIP Tour - Lake Barton. Mr. Peterson said the National Watershed Coalition hosted a two-day watershed tour in Virginia for Congressional staff and others in Washington, DC. The tour included a stop at Lake Barton, where Craig Carinci, Director of DPWES-Stormwater Planning Division did a superb job of explaining the rehabilitation project to the group. Two other SWPD staff, Dipmani Kumar and Matt Meyers, also spoke to the group. Mr. Peterson said of the approximate 10,000 dams across the country that NRCS has assisted in building, those in the Pohick project are some of the best maintained in the United States. He congratulated DPWES for its exemplary maintenance of all six structures.
  • Annual Operation and Maintenance Inspection. Mr. Wilkinson and Mr. Kohnke participated in the annual Operation and Maintenance Inspection. He said only minor maintenance needs, such as brush removal and seeding, were noted.
  • Rehabilitation Projects. Mr. Wilkinson said the four rehabilitation projects are on track. Royal, Woodglen and Barton are completed. The design for Huntsman is underway. Mr. Peterson said NRCS cost-share funds for Huntsman are subject to Congressional funding approvals.

Green Breakfast. Mr. Lamb said that at the last EQAC meeting, Mr. Bartlett expressed an interest in DPWES’ making a presentation at an upcoming Green Breakfast. Mrs. Hoffman followed up and reported that James Patteson, Director of DPWES will make a presentation at the November 12 Green Breakfast about urban stormwater management and regulatory impacts. The breakfast is held at Brion’s Grille, from 8:30 to 10:00. Mr. Schwartz will be the speaker at the January 14 Green Breakfast.

Engineering Standards Review Committee (ESRC). Mr. Kohnke, NVSWCD representative on the ESRC, reported that the ESRC did not meet in October.

Land Conservation Awards. Mr. Kohnke said he participated on the District’s evaluation team for the fall judging session of E&S and stormwater controls on nominated construction sites. The results of the fall and spring judging are compiled to determine winners for the County’s annual Land Conservation Awards. The awards are presented at a ceremony in January.

Conservation Currents. Mrs. Gagnon congratulated Ms. Whitesell on another excellent issue of Conservation Currents. Topics include: learning about stream health through volunteer stream monitoring; an explanation of natural and man-made sources of substances found in streams; fall fertilization and lawn care tips; and about the coming of electric cars. The newsletter is available on the District’s website, www.fairfaxcounty.gov/nvswcd

Environmental Quality Coordinating Committee (EQAC). Mrs. Gagnon announced the EQAC Annual Meeting will be held January 17 in the Board Auditorium. Mr. Lamb said that at the last EQAC meeting, Randy Bartlett, Deputy Director of DPWES for Stormwater and Wastewater, made an interesting presentation about the Accotink TMDL, which is based on reducing flow in order to reduce sediments and restore aquatic habitat.

Virginia Cooperative Extension. Ms. Bordas said a new extension agent has been hired for Family and Consumer Sciences, a position that has been vacant for two years. Katie Strong will provide health, wellness and nutrition programs in both Arlington County and Fairfax County.

Rain Barrel Program. Mrs. Hoffman said the Rain Barrel Program is a partnership among five partners – NVSWCD, Arlington County, the City of Alexandria, the City of Falls Church and Arlingtonians for a Clean Environment. The program supports an Environmental Educator to carry out the program. Used pickle barrels are re-purposed as rain barrels. Approximately 600 are distributed each year at approximately 12 events – either at workshops where participants build their own rain barrels or at distribution events for pre-made rain barrels. This year a grant from Dominion Power supported an Artistic Rain Barrel Program as a way to raise awareness about water conservation and rain barrels. Twenty-five artists painted barrels which were displayed throughout the Northern Virginia area and then brought to Green Springs Park for a reception and auction in June.

Native Plant Campaign. Mrs. Hoffman said the District is participating in an initiative by the Northern Virginia Regional Commission to promote native plants. One strategy is to provide plant nurseries with a way for customers to easily identify native plants. Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Department of Forestry, Fairfax Audubon’s Audubon at Home, and several jurisdictions are participating.

Natural Resources Conservation Service. Mr. Wilkinson said NRCS has produced a DVD with several short clips that highlight practices. The grazing land clip could be used in Fairfax County to show at equine community meetings. Mr. Wilkinson offered to show excerpts at the next meeting Mrs. Gagnon suggested offering relevant clips to Channel 16. Mr. Wilkinson announced there will be a cover crop and soils field day in Warrenton on Nov 10; participants will be able to earn nutrient management credits.

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

  • There is a link on the DCR website for watershed implementation planning. Also the Northern Virginia Regional Commission is hosting a number of meetings for localities and SWCDs to discuss WIP II (Virginia’s Watershed Implementation Plan – Phase II) for achieving the requirements of the Chesapeake Bay TMDL.
  • Nominations for the basin-wide Clean Water Farm Awards are due on November 1.
  • Conservation Selling Skills training will be held on November 9 and 10 in Staunton.
  • The VASWCD annual meeting will be held December 4-6 at the Richmond Omni hotel. Area meetings will be held Monday afternoon. The Association is considering moving from an organization with a constitution to adopting articles of incorporation and by-laws. This will be considered at the business session on Tuesday afternoon. Also on Tuesday, the VASWCD 2012 legislative agenda will be adopted.
  • The Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board will meet on December 7 at a joint meeting with the VASWCD Board

Virginia Department of Forestry. (Mr. McGlone left to participate in a conference call.)

Kudzu bug. Ms. Bordas said that an insect has been found in Patrick County, Virginia commonly known as the Kudzu bug. It can be a potential household pest, invading in the fall, and an agricultural pest for soybeans; however, it does eat Kudzu.

DCR – Stormwater Management. Mr. Foreman said that he and Mr. Peck, the new Director of DCR’s Stormwater Management Division, appreciated the invitation to attend a District meeting and talk with the board and staff about mutual interests and concerns. He commended Mrs. Cross’ leadership as DCR’s liaison and her work over the years as the Conservation District Coordinator. He said that he and Mr. Peck were interested in hearing how DCR was doing, ways that DCR could help, about any concerns, and how the District and DCR could work more collaboratively. They had sent several questions ahead of time to help get the conversation started. The board and staff said they considered the District’s relationship with DCR open and very good, including service delivery and grant management. They noted that SWCDs, whether rural or urban, provide equally important ‘technical assistance’ to protect and enhance the natural resources in the land uses that exist locally. Mr. Woode noted there still is a need for assistance from DCR with specifications for urban nutrient management planning. The District expressed its interest in establishing an urban BMP cost-share program as a way to help localities and the state meet clean water goals. DCR might consider revisiting and enhancing the study that was done several years ago, or facilitating a pilot project. Mr. Peterson said he would provide a copy of the Urban BMP Manual, developed by several partners and published by the state of Illinois. Mr. Rouhi said it was important to provide specifications and a regulatory environment that are appropriate for residential homeowners. A program, modeled on the agricultural BMP cost-share program, which would provide specifications, technical assistance, and monitoring of practices on private land, could be very effective. Mrs. Hoffman said DCR’s help is needed to develop a way for localities to receive credits from an urban BMP cost-share program toward their MS-4 and TMDL requirements. There was a discussion of the Chesapeake Bay TMDL and local TMDLs and the importance for strong leadership at the state level. Regarding the resource management plan initiative in Senator Hangers bill, which would give agricultural producers ‘safe harbor’ in a Chesapeake Bay TMDL, Mr. Peterson said it is important to identify what a “plan” means – what are the elements. Mr. Woode noted that a comprehensive, holistic plan is more valuable than one that focuses on a few targeted practices. Regarding the pilot program to collect data about volunteer agricultural practices that have been installed, the District sees applicability in Fairfax, since most of the agricultural practices installed are voluntary. Also, accepting a functional equivalent to the NRCS standard is important. Mr. Peck noted localities and conservation districts are important partners in the stormwater program and that he is fully committed to strengthening these partnerships. Also, he is committed to transparency and accountability in all areas. He recognizes the technological and accountability problems and the challenges in managing information. Mr. Foreman thanked the District for arranging a lunch meeting with the director of DPWES and several staff from the areas of land development and stormwater. Mrs. Packard thanked them for visiting and invited them to come again.

Mrs. Packard adjourned the meeting at 11:55 a.m.

Respectfully Submitted,

Diane Hoffman signature

Diane Hoffman

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