NVSWCD Board Meeting Minutes March 27, 2012



Fairfax County Community Development Center (Herrity Building), Room 941
12055 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax, Virginia 22035
March 27, 2012


(As approved by the Board of Directors on April 24, 2012)

Mrs. Packard called the meeting to order at 9:50 a.m. Those present were:

  • Jean Packard, Chairman, NVSWCD
  • John Peterson, Vice Chairman, NVSWCD
  • Adria Bordas, Director-Extension, NVSWCD
  • Johna Gagnon, Secretary, NVSWCD
  • George Lamb, Treasurer, NVSWCD
  • Bob Kohnke, Associate Director, NVSWCD
  • Harry Glasgow, Associate Director, NVSWCD
  • Jerry Peters, Associate Director, NVSWCD
  • Debbie Cross, Conservation District Coordinator, DCR
  • Jim McGlone, Urban Forest Conservationist, Virginia Department of Forestry (10:40)
  • 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
  • Langavi Makaringe, Intern, NVSWCD

Approval of Minutes. A motion (Gagnon-Bordas) passed (5-0) to approve the Minutes of the February 28, 2012 Board Meeting.

Treasurer's Report. Mr. Lamb reviewed the monthly Treasurer’s Report. A motion (Lamb-Peterson) passed (5-0) to accept and file for audit the Treasurer=s Report for February 2012.

Soil and Water Quality Conservation Plans. Mr. Woode presented three Soil and Water Quality Conservation Plans prepared during the third quarter. Two plans are for existing horse operations and one is for a proposed horse operation. The Reyes plan includes construction of a heavy-use area and fencing for rotational grazing and protection of an RPA. The Campbell plan is for a conversion of a wooded area to pasture. It recommends a 25 ft. buffer, super silt fencing, fencing-off of a natural drainage area, a provision for a heavy-use area, and manure composting. Chris Colley initially contacted the District because of a concern regarding moss growing in the riding ring, which posed a safety hazard. Mr. Woode proposed a complete plan that included nutrient management, pest management and erosion control. He also recommended using temporary fencing to sub-divide 2 large fields for rotational grazing. A motion (Gagnon-Peterson) passed (5-0) to approve Soil and Water Quality Conservation Plans for Alison Reyes in the Dranesville District (3.5 acres on 1 parcel with 2 horses and 1,060 linear feet of RPA), Candace Campbell in the Dranesville District (5.25 acres on 1 parcel), and Chris Colley in the Dranesville District (10 acres in 2 parcels with 9 horses).

Virginia Agricultural BMP Cost Share Program. Mr. Woode said Cara McCormick is exploring potential contractors for her cost-share project.

Regional Science Fair. Ms. Whitesell said the 57th Regional Science Fair was held on March 17 at Robinson Secondary School. The NVSWCD panel of judges selected projects for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place awards, plus two honorable mentions. The judges included Harry Glasgow, Judi Booker, Kristin Nowak, Julia Ribeiro, Kristine Mosuela, Jim McGlone, Nancy Michaelsen, Larry Cappelle and Lily Whitesell. Mrs. Packard thanked the judges. Gina Li was the first place winner with her project, “Fairfax Land Use Classification System Using High Resolution Aerial Imagery.” She also attended Youth Conservation Camp last year and participates in Envirothon. She wrote a note to the Board thanking the District for its time and effort to participate in the science fair and to recognize her project.

VASWCD Scholarship. Ms. Whitesell said a panel of judges is in the process of evaluating applications submitted for a VASWCD college scholarship. One application will be selected and forwarded to VASWCD for the state-wide competition. The judges are Judy Okay, John Okay, Laura McNichols, Andi Ceisler, and Lily Whitesell. Mrs. Packard thanked the judges.

Envirothon. Mr. Schwartz reported on Envirothon, a team-based natural resources competition for high school students. Students who participate learn stewardship and management concepts and work to solve real-world environmental problems. NVSWCD helps to mentor local teams and sponsors the local competition, which was held on March 21 at Hidden Oaks Nature Center. Six teams competed, including two teams from Hidden Pond Nature Center, two from Langley High School, one from Marshall High School and one from Centreville High School. Each team demonstrated its knowledge of soils/land use, aquatic ecology, forestry, wildlife, and made an oral presentation about this year’s special topic, Nonpoint Source Pollution/Low Impact Development. The model for this year’s topic is a real-life stormwater management problem in a Fairfax County neighborhood. It also is the model for the regional and state presentations. The top teams in the local competition were Hidden Pond #1 and Hidden Pond #2. They will advance to the regional competition on April 18 at Montpelier in Orange, VA. The state competition is a two-day event on May 20-21 at James Madison University. The state winner will go to the national competition, which will be held July 22-27 in Pennsylvania. Mr. Schwartz thanked the judges for the local competition: Danielle Wynne, Catie Torgersen and Asad Rouhi (oral presentation), Lily Whitesell (LID), Jim McGlone (Forestry), and Erin Stockschlaeder (Wildlife), and Heather Ambrose (Aquatics). Mr. Schwartz was the Soils judge. Matt Meyers will be an oral presentation judge at the regional competition.

Green Breakfast. Mr. Glasgowreported that more than 60 people attended theMarch 10 Green Breakfast. Elaine Tholen, Environmental Education Coordinator with Fairfax County Public Schools, made a presentation about the FCPS Get2Green program. The next Green Breakfast will be held on May 12 at Brion’s Grille, with tentative plans for a presentation about residential Green Buildings.

Tree Commission. Mr. McGlone said the Tree Commission is developing a set of by-laws which will be forwarded to the Board of Supervisors for approval. The Tree Commission and Tree Stewards are participating in the County’s annual Arbor Day-Earth Day celebration on April 28 at the Government Center.

Engineering Standards Review Committee. Mr. Kohnke said the ESRC did not meet in March, but it did meet in February. The new coordinator for ESRC is Beth Forbes. At the February meeting, Bruce McGranahan and Jan Levitt made a presentation on Urban Stormwater Concepts for Tysons Corner. Also, the ESRC approved the testing guidelines for infiltration facilities.

Environmental Quality Advisory Council (EQAC). Mrs. Gagnon said that EQAC held a joint meeting with the Fairfax County Environmental Coordinating Committee on March 14. On April 11, EQAC will meet with a newly formed citizens environmental group in Fairfax City.

Virginia Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts (VASWCD). Mr. Lamb, chair of the VASWCD IT Committee, said the committee plans to conduct an on-line survey of IT resources in Virginia’s SWCDs. He plans to visit the Loudoun SWCD to learn more about the IT needs in a district with programs for rural land uses. Mr. Peterson, VASWCD Representative to the National Association of SWCDs, reported on the recent NACD legislative “fly in” to Washington DC. on March 19-20. He was able to visit with all thirteen Virginia Congressional representatives or their staff. He plans to attend the VASWCD Board Meeting on March 28 in Glen Allen. The Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the International Erosion Control Association is working with the Tri-County/City SWCD to sponsor a workshop on TMDLs on May 17.

Virginia Cooperative Extension (VCE). Ms. Bordas distributed cards with the schedule for Master Gardener plant clinics, starting in May. Beginning in April, the VCE Help Desk is open Monday-Friday from 9:30 to 12:30. Also, residents can participate in the Home Turf Program for $25. Master Gardeners answer questions about turf, provide a nutrient management plan and provide weed identification. Katie Strong, the Family Consumer Services Extension Agent, is starting a Master Food Volunteers program. It includes education and volunteerism and is modeled similar to the Master Gardeners and Master Naturalists programs.

2012 Seedling Sale – Incredible Edibles. Mr. Kokales said that orders for the 2012 seedling sale are progressing well. The theme for this year’s program 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. Bundling will take place on April 18 and orders will be distributed on April 20 and 21.

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

  • The General Assembly conferees from the House and Senate continue to work on budget bills.
  • The Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board sets the policy for distributing state funding to SWCDs. If the state budget is not passed by the time the VSWCB meets on April 29, she anticipates that SWCD grants will be delayed until after the VSWCB meets again in June.
  • Environment Virginia will take place in Lexington, Virginia on April 10-12.
  • Quarterly reports are due April 16.
  • Strategic plans should be reviewed once a year and should be revised every four years.
  • The Area II Spring Meeting will be held on May 8 in Culpeper.

Virginia Department of Forestry. Mr. McGlone said the Tree Stewards, in conjunction with an Eagle Scout project, will plant 600 trees at Laurel Hill. The Virginia Urban Forest Roundtable will meet on May 31, hosted by Casey Trees in Washington, DC.

Potomac Watershed Roundtable – April 13. Mrs. Hoffman said the Potomac Watershed Roundtable will meet on April 13 in Fairfax. The agenda will include presentations about Fairfax County’s Energy Efficiency and Conservation Initiatives, Northern Virginia Regional Commission’s Conservation Corridor Planning Project, and Fairfax County Public Schools’ Get2 Green program. Also, there may be a tour of the innovative pond dredging, stream restoration and pond retrofit project behind the Government Center.

In the News. Mrs. Hoffman reported several items in the news:

  • The latest issue of the Lake Barcroft homeowners association newsletter includes a reprint of the lawn care tips that were in Conservation Currents. The newsletter also has an article about Swift Island, named in honor of Lloyd Swift, who for many years was the NVSWCD liaison for the LBWID.
  • The December Area II Update, prepared quarterly by Suzie Brown prior to each VASWCD board meeting, includes an item submitted by Ms. Whitesell about the Little Pimmit Run sanitary sewer stabilization and streambank restoration project. The March Area II Update will include an article about the Northern Virginia Green Schools Expo
  • An article appeared in the Fairfax Times about the Fairfax Chapter of the Master Naturalists. It mentions the Fairfax Master Naturalists received the NVSWCD 2011 Cooperator of the Year award.
  • She provided copies of the Summary of EQAC’s Annual Report on the Environment, which includes a DVD with the full report.

Ms. Packard adjourned the meeting at 11:00 a.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Diane Hoffman signature

Diane Hoffman

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