Call to Order: Chair Karen Nocella called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.
Presentation: Stock Illoway, Pam Brown, Vicki Laubach and Patrick Gardner presented information on the William Penn Foundation, which has $35 million assigned to protection of watersheds. Eight cluster areas have been designated within the Delaware Valley water shed. In this area, we come under the Schuylkill Highlands cluster. Fifty organizations are now involved. The focus of activities is on water coming down from the Delaware River watershed. The Foundation’s goal is to have municipalities informed and encouraged to assist the effort. National organizations are also supporting the initiative and will support a Phase II process. Year ranges are 2014-2017 Phase I and 2018-2021 Phase II.
Cluster work involves land protection and water quality initiatives and Vicki Laubach spoke briefly on the water testing efforts on conserved land. Fifty stops are tested four times a year on land that has been conserved or is in the process. Projects must be in the focus area and meet William Penn Foundation guidelines. In our area we have a concentration of high value water resources. 30% of our area is protected but municipal outreach, volunteer recruitment and landowner engagement events must continue.
It was pointed out that municipalities can support conservation efforts through their zoning ordinances. They can contact French and Pickering or the Natural Lands Trust for assistance. On October 31 from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., French and Pickering will hold a meeting which is open to municipal representatives. Details will follow when available.
Review of Minutes of 6/14/16: Motion by Stan Stubbe to approve the minutes as written, seconded by Lisa Lacroix. All in favor.
Treasurer’s Report: Remains unchanged since the last minutes, with a balance of $5,475.41. A motion to accept by Lisa Lacroix, seconded by Karen Nocella. All in favor.
Municipal Issues: LED signage: Stan Stubbe contributed an outline of pending Senate Bill 1301. He attended a meeting including Senator Dinniman. Notes are attached.
A new police chief has been selected by East Coventry Township. He was previously with the Phoenixville Police and lives in North Coventry Township.
East Coventry Township is putting an easement on an 80 acre parcel of land behind the township building. It contains a one-room schoolhouse which will become a trailhead and headquarters for the Historical Commission.
Discussion:Suggestions for speakers for the October through December 2016 meetings were solicited. Stock Illoway will speak in October on the Lundale Farm in South Coventry Township. It was also suggested that townships be invited to provide speakers for upcoming meetings.
The membership will vote in December on the possibility of reducing 2017 meetings to quarterly meetings held in March, June, September and December.
Lisa Lacroix informed members that there is a specific Northern Federation grant available through Chester County that can provide up to $2,000 per acre for land conserved as open space, subject to percentage of acquisition limitations.
Announcements: Anselma Mill is looking for a new Executive Director.
Adjournment: There being no further business, a motion was made by Karen Nocella, seconded by Stan Stubbe to adjourn at 8:33 p.m.
Next Meeting: Tuesday, October 11, 2016 at 7 p.m. at