St. Charles Tree Commission discusses reorganization
St. Charles Tree Commission met Thursday, May 12.
The Tree Commission manages city-owned trees. The group meets seven times throughout the year.
Here at the minutes as provided by St. Charles:
CITY OF ST. CHARLES
TREE COMMISSION MEETING
RALPH GRATHOFF, CHAIRMAN
MAY 12, 2016
Members Present: Chair. Ralph Grathoff, Valerie Blaine, Kathy Brens, Jon Duerr, Raymond Hauser, Pam Otto,
Members Absent: Suzi Myers, Caroline Wilfong, Ron Ziegler
Others Present: Isabel Soderlind
1. Call to Order & Pledge of Allegiance
The meeting was convened by Chair. Grathoff at 7:06 p.m
2. Introductions of Visitors: None
3. Minutes Review and Approval
Motion to accept and place on file the minutes of the April 14, 2016 Tree Commission meeting. Motion made by Comm. Brens second by Comm. Otto to accept and place the minutes on file. Voice vote: unanimous; Nays – None; Absent: Suzi Myers, Caroline Wilfong, Ron Ziegler - Motion carried at 7:09 p.m.
4. Old Business
A. Update on the Urban Forestry Management Plan
AJ Reineking emailed Comm. Blaine and Comm. Brens the Urban Forestry Management Plan on April 25, 2016. They are currently proofreading the document and will email it to Mr. Reineking when completed. The document will then be returned to Graf Tree Care to finalize the document which will include images, charts, etc.
The Tree Commissioners would like to view the finalized copy that will be presented to the Government Services Committee and were also interested on how the document will be distributed. Once it is approved by Council will the document be available to the public on the City’s website for public or will the document be more of an internal document for Public Works Department to utilize?
B. Reorganization of the Tree Commission into a Natural Resources Commission
The Commissioners briefly discussed the reorganization of the Tree Commission into a Natural Resources Commission. Comm. Duerr mentioned the scope of the Tree Commission has been very defined all these years, but the scope of the NRC could be broad and extensive. He pointed out how the ecosystem is all interrelated and expansive. Overall, he is eager to see how the focus of this committee will come together and how this committee will determine it’s focus.
Comm. Otto viewed the DuPage Symposium video. She observed how each of the Natural Environmental Commissions presenting at the symposium started with a single focus and then expanded to other environmental intiatives.
Commissioners agreed that the focus should begin with one environmental issue the City is facing and then expand. Comm. Duerr mentioned he would like to discuss this further with Chris Adesso and Mark Koenen; a meeting with them might assist in to narrowing the focus for the Commission. Their assistance would be an asset in estabilishing the purpose and mission of this Commission. Comm. Otto recommended the mission of the NRC should be better defined.
NRC INITIATIVE IDEAS:
Fuel usage of City vehicle
Refuse and recycling
Nightlight friendly lighting
Involvement in the Active River Project
Chair. Grathoff stated that he would write a mission statement and present it at the July meeting. This could be discussed with Mr. Adesso at the July meeting and the Committee could then focus on one initiative.
5. New Business
A. News and Concerns from Public Works:
i. Spring Planting Update:
All trees have been planted for the spring. According to the yearly summary of the Tree Report, approximately 3,500 trees were trimmed around town this past fiscal year. Comm. Duerr complimented the City staff on their great trimming/pruning efforts this past year.
ii. Woods of Fox Glen Tree Damage
Comm. Brens requested an update to this situation from Mr. Reineking at the next meeting. She was anxious to find out how this situation was resolved and if the City had addressed the safety issues in this area, i.e., were the girdled trees taken down.
6. Committee Reports
A. Education Committee:
Kuddos was given to the Suzi Myers and the Education Committee for ordering “Why Would Anyone Cut a Tree Down?” It was a great gesture to distribute a book to each of the schools in honor of Arbor Day.
B. Publicity Committee: None
C. Langum Park Clean Up:
Comm. Otto mentioned she had nothing planned for Langum Park at this time. She has not been contacted by any volunteer groups recently. She also mentioned that most of the non-natives are gone and a decision needs to be made as to next steps on this project.
Kathy Brens mentioned that a group from her church might be interested in volunteering. They may be able to volunteer the first Sunday in August.
The Commission discussed meeting at Langum Park for the July meeting. Weather permitting the Commission could meet at 6:30 p.m., walk the grounds and determine the next steps for Langum Woods. The group could conduct the formal meeting at 7:00 p.m at the Public Works Facility. Isabel Soderlind will move the meeting to 6:30 p.m. on the website and determine if the Public Works Facility could be utilized for the meeting.
D. Arbor Day:
Arbor Day went well this year. Mrs. Tieche and the 4th grade students from Munhall did a great job on the original play and song. Their participation in the Arbor Day festivities has definitely assisted in drawing a larger crowd to the event.
Andie Romano and the Cub Scout Pack 113 from Lincoln School also did a great job on presenting the colors. She mentioned the Cub Scout Pack would like to participate again next year. The tent was set up very well this year and the side panels were tied down well so they were not flapping in the wind.
It was recommended that Chris Scott, in charge of the Interactive Tree Climbing activity, be recognized for his extra effort to accommodate all the children who wanted to experience the tree interactive activity. Mr. Scott was there until 5:45 p.m. making sure all the children that stood in line had their turn.
The Tree Planting event at Fox Ridge School went well. Approximately 75 children watched and participated in the event while the tree was being planted. Several children researched and wrote their ideas how to take care of trees. These were written on “seeded” paper and left at the base of the tree to help it grow.
In addition, Comm. Wilfong arranged for Comms. Duerr, Otto and Blaine to speak at several classes at Davis and Lincoln School in honor of Arbor day. According to the commissioners everything went well and they had a great time educating the children on trees.
Electric Division Tree Activity Reports
Motion to accept and place on file the Public Services and Electric Services Tree Activity Reports for April of 2016. Motion made by Comm. Otto second by Comm. Brens to accept and place on file the reports as presented. Voice vote: unanimous; Nays – None; Absent: Suzi Myers, Caroline Wilfong, Ron Ziegler - Motion carried at 8:04 p.m.
8. Additional Items – Comments
Comm. Duerr: The City staff is doing a great job trimming, great job.
Comm. Brens: The Museum is sponsoring a “Foodie Fest” on July 30, and on the 31st there will be a family event. Tickets for members are $40; $50 for non-members. The event will be held on the upper deck of the parking garage behind the Museum. Contact Comm. Brens if you, or someone you know, is interested in purchasing tickets. There will be three (3) $1,000 raffle tickets given away. Raffle tickets are $10 each and you do not have to be present to win.
Comm. Blaine: The Kane County Forest Preserve District Natural Resources Director called Valerie regarding a tree ordinance. The Village of Bannockburn had contacted the director indicating that they have a tree ordinance that bans the cutting of “any woody vegetation”. Now, Bannockburn is having a serious problem with buckthorn. It is getting very large and they are not allowed to cut it down. The intention of the ordinance was most likely was for a good cause, but now the city is facing this issue. Valerie was never aware of such an ordinance and wondered if anyone else on the Commission was aware of one. Comm. Duerr mentioned that the City of Geneva has a similar ordinance even on private property.
B. City Staff:
Isabel Soderlind: None
Motion by Comm. Duerr to adjourn the meeting, second by Comm. Brens.
Voice vote: unanimous; Nays – None; Absent: Suzi Myers, Caroline Wilfong, Ron Ziegler - Motion carried at 8:09 p.m.
Organizations in this Story
2 E Main St
St Charles, IL - 60174