NVSWCD Board Meeting Minutes February 28, 2012



Fairfax County Community Development Center (Herrity Building), Room 941
12055 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax, Virginia 22035
February 28, 2012


(As approved by the Board of Directors on March 27, 2012)

Ms. Bordas called the meeting to order at 9:50 a.m. Those present were:

  • Adria Bordas, Director-Extension, NVSWCD
  • Johna Gagnon, Secretary, NVSWCD
  • George Lamb, Treasurer, NVSWCD
  • Debbie Cross, Conservation District Coordinator, DCR
  • Larry Wilkinson, District Conservationist, USDA-NRCS
  • Jim McGlone, Urban Forest Conservationist, Virginia Department of Forestry
  • Nick Kokales, Administrative and Technical Assistant, NVSWCD
  • Willie Woode, Senior Conservation Specialist, NVSWCD
  • Diane Hoffman, District Administrator, NVSWCD
  • Asad Rouhi, Urban Conservation Engineer, NVSWCD
  • Dan Schwartz, Soil Scientist, NVSWCD
  • Lily Whitesell, Watershed Specialist, NVSWCD
  • Julia Ribeiro, Intern, NVSWCD
  • Langavi Makaringe, Intern, NVSWCD
  • Joan DuBois, Member, Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board

District Interns. Ms. Whitesell said the District was pleased to have three interns this spring. She introduced Langavi Makaringe and Julia Ribeiro who are attending Northern Virginia Community College. They are helping enhance content on the District website and are participating in outdoor environmental programs. Kristine Mosuela, who attended the January Board meeting, is a graduate of William and Mary University. She is helping with the website, publications and events. All three interns are learning about local environmental challenges and initiatives.

Approval of Minutes. A motion (Gagnon-Lamb) passed (3-0) to approve the Minutes of the January 24, 2012 Board Meeting.

Treasurers Report. Mr. Lamb reviewed the monthly Treasurer’s Report. He noted the District has been reimbursed for the costs to complete the Little Pimmit Run sanitary sewer and streambank stabilization project. A motion (Lamb-Gagnon) passed (3-0) to accept and file for audit the Treasurer=s Report for January 2012.

Mid-Year Program Review. Mr. Schwartz presented a review of District programs and projects for the first half of FY 2012 (July through December 2011). 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 not only the goal under which they are listed, but several District goals and objectives. (A summary of the presentation is attached to the Minutes.)

Pohick Creek Watershed PL-566 Project – Hunstsman Lake. Mrs. Hoffman said that Fairfax County and NVSWCD received a letter from the NRCS state office informing them that the NRCS FY 12 budget allocation included technical assistance funds to assist the County with the final design for the rehabilitation of Dam No. 8 (Huntsman Lake); however, NRCS did not receive the requested watershed funds for the construction of the project. Unless the County chooses to proceed with construction without federal assistance, NRCS will include the construction funds in its FY 13 budget request.

2012 Seedling Sale – Incredible Edibles. Mr. Kokales said that orders for the 2012 seedling sale are progressing well. This year’s theme is Incredible Ediblesfor humans and wildlife. There are two packages for sale – one with ten small shrub and tree seedlings and one with seven tree seedlings. The orders will be distributed on April 20 and 21. Ms. Bordas suggested offering seed mixes in future years, as has been done in the past.

Green Breakfast. Mrs. Hoffman said the next Green Breakfast will be held on March 10 at Brion’s Grille. Elaine Tholen, Environmental Education Coordinator with Fairfax County Public Schools, will talk about the Get2Green program.

Tree Commission. Mr. McGlone said the Tree Commission has approved its annual report. He noted it would like to bring together all those who are planting trees in the County to discuss ways to coordinate their work. The current Tree Stewards class has twelve students.

Lee District Council. Mrs. Gagnon thanked Ms. Whitesell for talking with the Lee District Council on February 21.

Virginia Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts (VASWCD). Mr. Lamb, chair of the VASWCD IT Committee, said the committee plans to survey all districts to determine IT needs. A matrix is being developed to record the survey information. He invited District staff to review it and send comments to him.

Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board (VSWCB). Mrs. DuBois, who soon will begin her term as a member of the Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board, said she will stay in touch with the NVSWCD. She also will receive a briefing from DPWES that will bring her up to date on stormwater issues and the regulatory processes since she served on the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. She will be attending an orientation by DCR about two weeks before her first VSWCB meeting on March 29. Mrs. Cross offered to arrange visits for her to other Districts, as well as field visits to see various practices.

Braddock District News. Ms. Whitesell showed a clip from a recent Braddock District News show on cable Channel 16. It featured a half-hour interview of John Peterson by Supervisor Cook. They discussed conservation districts and conservation issues, both nation-wide and locally.

USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service. Mr. Wilkinson said that January is the kick off month for sign-ups for several federal programs. He is in the process of ranking applications. Mr. Woode will visit the NRCS Leesburg office in order to prepare several plans using NRCS’s Toolkit software. This will fulfill a requirement for recertification as a Conservation Planner. Mr. Woode also helped Mr. Wilkinson with survey and engineering work on a project in Bluemont, which is being developed as a respite for wounded veterans.

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

  • The General Assembly has named the conferees for the House and Senate budget bills. Both the House and Senate have recommended restoring the $1,000,000 for District Operations that had been cut in the Governor’s budget. The $1,046,000 in technical assistance funding for imple-menting agricultural BMP cost-share practices was reinstated by the Senate but not the House.
  • The VASWCD has done an excellent job of tracking and reporting on legislation. Tracking updates are emailed weekly. Another way to follow bills is through the General Assembly's Legislative Services website.
  • Strategic plans should be reviewed once a year and should be revised every four years.
  • There is an effort to streamline technical assistance funding, which currently comes from several sources.
  • The Area II Spring Meeting will be held on May 8 in Culpeper. There will be three interesting mini-tours in the afternoon.

Virginia Department of Forestry. Mr. McGlone said that two state boards dealing with forestry will be consolidated into one board. He has been asked by BLM to write a stewardship management plan for its property on Mason Neck. The Fairfax Master Naturalists have started their spring training classes.

Ms. Bordas adjourned the meeting at 11:05 a.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Diane Hoffman signature

Diane Hoffman

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