Clean & Green Committee

Clean & Green Committee Meeting

 

September 7, 2022, 7:05-8:25 pm

Attendees

Chris Pelly, Christina Maggi (Chair), Doug Baughman, Georgena Millar, Laurie Miller,

Marti Terry-Purdy, Renate Rikkers, Shannon Simpson

Unable to attend

Anthony Dorage, Jack Murphy, Kim Murray, Linda Fornoff, Scott Clodfelter, Sorrel June

Notes/next steps

Renate will confirm with Eric Bradford (Greenworks) the Invasive Plants Workshop on 10/8 10 am – 12 pm at Haw Creek Park and request/write up program details for posting on the website/social media; post will include request for volunteers to help with kudzu removal

Renate will confirm with Anna Alsobrook (MountainTrue) and with Renee Fortner (RiverLink) the Environmental Program 10/20 7 pm at Haw Creek Commons and request/write up program details for posting on the website/social media

Christina will work on a more enticing name for the Environmental Program using suggestions from the committee and the writeup from Renate

Chris reported on efforts to secure investors willing to purchase the 26 acre Burnett property and preserve the pasture piece along New Haw Creek Road for community use; he will continue reaching out to potential investors and/or developers

Marti reported that the site along the creek where homeless individuals left debris remains free of litter and that she has cleared three areas of overgrown vegetation around stop signs; she also used a homemade nontoxic formula to kill new weeds on the sidewalks previously cleared by the Green Team

Marti reported that the chain link fence at the west end of Old Haw Creek Road is broken, allowing people to walk from I-240, leaving a trail of litter, which she has collected (about two bags a month), including two shopping carts that she and Doug returned to the appropriate stores; Marti will take photos of the area and Chris will submit them to the city with a request to have the fence repaired

Laurie (an architect by trade) will work with Shannon and Jack to draft a landscape plan for the Haw Creek entrance that we can submit to the property owner to get his permission to proceed with clearing and planting; Christina will provide an email introduction

Renate shared her concern about the unattractive appearance along New Haw Creek Road where Duke Energy has been spraying herbicide applications or where the city has neglected to mow; she and Chris will take a drive together to identify specific areas and recommend potential action steps, which might include setting up a meeting with DOT and/or issuing a call for a community-wide cleanup day

Doug will prepare an article based on the research Jack provided about recycling for publication in our newsletter and/or website

Chris reported that the contractor is still waiting on materials to be delivered before they can resume work on the Masters Park parking lot

Next meeting is Tuesday, October 11, 7:00 pm

 

August 2, 2022, 7:10-8:20 pm

Attendees

Chris Pelly, Christina Maggi, Jack Murphy, Linda Fornoff, Marti Terry-Purdy, Renate Rikkers

Unable to attend

Anthony Dorage, Doug Baughman, Georgena Millar, Kim Murray, Laurie Miller, Sorrel June

Notes/next steps

Renate will continue working to find a date for an educational program featuring reducing plastic pollution with MountainTrue and Adopt-A-Storm Drain in Haw Creek with RiverLink to be held at either the Library or Haw Creek Commons; as soon as we have a date we will promote the program to ensure strong community attendance

Renate will follow up to find someone to help with kudzu removal [she has since arranged for Eric Bradford of Greenworks to lead a workshop on invasive plants on October 8 at Haw Creek Park]

Chris will continue working on potential options that would allow us to preserve the pasture piece along New Haw Creek Road of the 26 acre Burnett property

Marti reported that she cleaned up the site along the creek where homeless individuals left debris (10 bags plus a shopping cart); she will hang a “no trespassing” sign nearby

Marti led a team effort (totaling 13 hours) to clean up weeds growing through/along the sidewalks on New Haw Creek near the entrance at Crockett; she will use a homemade nontoxic formula to prevent future weeds from growing; Chris will make sure a mention of the work with before and after pictures gets posted on our website and on Nextdoor

Chris will draft a newsletter article about homeowners’ responsibility to maintain sidewalks, which will also serve as a one-page flyer to share with these particular homeowners

Chris will identify specific traffic signs with overgrowth and send a list to Marti and Linda who volunteered to trim the overgrown areas

Jack will reach out to Thorpe Landscapes of Asheville to see if they would be willing to create a landscape plan for the Haw Creek entrance on a pro bono basis; she will also ask Lydia at Bountiful Cities for recommendations; we need a plan to submit to the property owner in order to get his permission to proceed

Christina asked for photos of attractive signs that could be used as models for a new Welcome to Haw Creek sign; the Trappers Run sign was mentioned as a possibility

Jack will draft an article about recycling for publication in our newsletter and/or website (What can I put in my blue bin?) including links to sites with more detailed information

Chris will ask Bernie Arghiere to update the neighbors in the vicinity of Masters Park about the status of the parking lot, which has been delayed for a variety of reasons

Next meeting will be Tuesday, September 7, 7:00 pm

 


July 5, 2022, 7:00-8:20 pm

Attendees

Chris Pelly, Christina Maggi, Doug Baughman, Georgena Millar, Linda Fornoff, Marti Terry-Purdy, Renate Rikkers

Unable to attend

Anthony Dorage, Jack Murphy, Kim Murray, Laurie Miller, Sorrel June

Notes/next steps

Marti will check the two sites where homeless individuals left debris to see if anything is still there and if so she will clean it up herself or recruit someone to help her

Marti will organize a few people to clean up the weeds that are growing through/along the sidewalks on New Haw Creek near the entrance at Crockett

Chris will take before and after pictures of the sidewalks to be cleaned and draft a newsletter article about homeowners’ responsibility to maintain sidewalks, which will also serve as a one-page flyer to share with these particular homeowners

Chris will identify specific traffic signs with overgrowth and determine if committee members can trim/clean them up or if we need to submit a request to the city

Doug will work with Kim and Renee Fortner at RiverLink to select a date in September for an educational program to be held at Creekside Taphouse; Renee will provide all materials for a presentation on a new Adopt-A-Storm Drain program in Haw Creek; HCCA will promote the program to ensure strong community attendance

Doug, Renate and Christina will meet with Betsy Burdett of the Saluda Community Land Trust on Wednesday July 6 with the goal of learning how the Trust initially launched their program

Committee members agreed to use the following criteria for open space parcels to pursue with the understanding that there may be exceptions (e.g. Masters Park): “Undeveloped land that’s easily accessible (along or near New or Old Haw Creek Roads) with flat or sloping pasture that can be repurposed for parks/public use without having to make significant changes”

Renate will work with Anna Alsobrook at MountainTrue to select a Tuesday or Thursday date after October 7 for an educational program to be held at East Asheville Public Library; Anna has a detailed presentation on reducing plastic pollution in WNC and will address the single-use plastic-reduction ordinance in Asheville; HCCA will promote the program to ensure strong community attendance

Renate will follow up with Nancy Lawson at Curbside Management to let her know that we will not be doing a private tour of the recycling facility but instead will work on publicizing recycling information in our newsletter and/or website, possibly including a link to their five minute video tour of the facility (http://www.curbie.com)

Georgina will reach out to her contact at Warren Wilson College to see if there are any students who might be interested in working on the entrance landscaping as a school project

Doug indicated that a rain garden demonstration project needs participation from many homes to have a successful impact and suggested that RiverLink provide information on this at the September Adopt-A-Storm Drain program

Next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, August 2, 7:00 pm

 

Clean & Green Committee Meeting
June 7, 2022, 7:00-8:45 pm

Attendees

Anthony Dorage, Christina Maggi, Doug Baughman, Georgena Millar, Jack Murphy, Laurie Miller, Marti Terry-Purdy, Renate Rikkers, Sorrel June

Unable to attend

Chris Pelly, Kim Murray, Linda Fornoff

Notes

Doug serves on the board of RiverLink and asked Renee Fortner, Watershed Resources Manager at RiverLink, to attend our meeting. She gave an informative presentation on RiverLink’s work, which is focused on three main areas: environmental education, land conservation and water quality. She talked about their Adopt-A-Storm Drain program where residents voluntarily check and clean “assigned” drains twice a month. RiverLink partners with the City of Asheville, which maintains a map that is used to identify storm drains in particular neighborhoods. Doug told Renee that we were interested in launching this program here so she contacted the City and requested that they add Haw Creek to the map, which they agreed to do. RiverLink has the map available on their website and once Haw Creek has been added (in about six weeks) we can ask residents to join this project through RiverLink. See https://riverlink.org/work/adopt-a-storm-drain/ for more info. Doug will let us know when the map is ready; Renate will work with Meghan/others to come up with a plan to get the word out to the community (we can discuss specifics at the Communications & Development meeting 6/29).

Related to storm drain adoption, Renate raised the issue of keeping roadside gutters (drainage swales) and sidewalks clear of vegetation, silt accumulation and litter to ensure safe pedestrian passage and prevent silt, grass clippings, and other pollutants from entering Haw Creek, which feeds into the French Broad Watershed. According to City ordinances, property owners whose land abuts a paved sidewalk carry responsibility for the maintenance of both that sidewalk section and drainage swale all year round. However, the ordinance is not enforced and, consequently, we see overgrown sidewalks, drainage swales filled with silt and weeds and a very unkempt look in many areas of Haw Creek. To further confuse matters, all sidewalks within City limits are the responsibility of Asheville’s Streets Division while the storm drains are DOT-maintained since New Haw Creek Road is a State Road. Renate has requested a meeting with Chad Bandy, Streets Division Supervisor, to discuss how we can work cooperatively to better educate the community on these important environmental issues.

Renate brought up the issue of securing help from RiverLink to clean up the banks of Haw Creek. A few days later she and Doug took a closer look at the current situation and found that the creek banks are totally overgrown with invasive vegetation, especially poison ivy and wild roses, which means this project will have to wait until late fall. They also found two sites close to the water where homeless individuals had camped and left behind a pile of debris, which they think can be safely cleaned up without outside help. We will need to recruit a few hardy folks for this job and try to get it done soon because if/when there is another flood all these items will end up in the creek.

Renee mentioned that RiverLink might be interested in a pilot or demonstration rain garden project and several members volunteered. Further discussion is needed to clarify parameters and determine next steps.

Marti reported that the June 5 litter pickup was canceled because the grass is too high and there is a lot of poison ivy. She was at the meeting place as scheduled but no one showed up. She had already scouted the neighborhood for litter and cleaned those areas by herself—collecting 4 large bags. Future litter pickups will be scheduled as needed, probably four times a year, and she will use the list Renate has complied to request help.

Anthony reported on his attendance at the Saluda Community Land Trust’s annual meeting on May 18. He met Betsy Burdett, one of four key volunteers responsible for the Trust’s success, which has been achieved primarily through networking and tenacity. They have preserved 357 acres to date and expect to have 900 acres secured by the end of this year. Renate will arrange a meeting with Betsy and a few of our committee members so we can hear about the lessons they learned when they launched their initiative.

Chris previously shared the following list of large undeveloped tracts left in Haw Creek, however, we don’t know if the owners would be open to selling for preservation purposes:

  • 20 acres off Maple Drive
  • 26 acres between Happy Valley and New Haw Creek Road, near the ballfields
  • 10 acres at the intersection of New Haw Creek and Dillingham Roads
  • 18 acres on Cisco Road

Committee members should contact Chris with any additional properties that could be added to this list. Betsy indicated that even small properties are worth pursuing.

Renate will work with Chris to arrange for Anna Alsobrook, Watershed Outreach Coordinator at MountainTrue, to speak at our July 20 board meeting about their efforts to reduce plastic pollution in WNC, with a focus on the proposed ordinance to regulate single-use plastics in Asheville. Doug knows Ken Brame, Political Chair of the WNC Sierra Club Group, who helped the City draft the ordinance. If we would like another speaker on this issue Doug can reach out to Ken. After hearing from Anna (and potentially Ken), the board can then consider whether to endorse the proposed regulation or take other action.

Renate has spoken with Nancy Lawson, Co-Owner of Curbside Management, and arranged for a private tour of the recycling facility. Renate and Georgena previously took this tour and strongly recommend that all board members participate in this eye-opening experience, which could serve as the basis for an article to help educate our community on the importance of proper recycling.

Christina, Jack, Linda and Renate met at the main entrance to Haw Creek (Crockett Avenue) to discuss landscaping and signage. Jack thought she would be able to identify the owner of the property but no one returned her calls. Others, especially Renate, have also tried many times in the past without success. Without permission from the property owner we can not proceed to landscape this area and since we’re unable to locate the owner after many attempts this matter is unfortunately at an end. Christina is compiling photos of neighborhood signs that can provide inspiration for us as replacing the current “Welcome to Haw Creek” sign is still an open issue.

Renate followed up on her request to the city’s sanitation department to place a composting shed in Haw Creek and was told that they have selected Oakley instead.

 

Next meeting will be Tuesday, July 5, 7:00 pm

 

Clean & Green Committee Meeting
May 3, 2022, 7:00-8:35 pm

Attendees

Anthony Dorage, Chris Pelly, Christina Maggi, Doug Baughman, Georgena Millar, Jack Murphy, Kim Murray, Linda Fornoff, Marti Terry-Purdy, Renate Rikkers, Sorrel June

Notes

Christina and Renate agreed to co-chair the committee, which will meet the first Tuesday of each month at 7:00 pm, tentatively at Creekside Taphouse

Marti will coordinate the Green Team (litter cleanup)

  • Green Team will meet the first Sunday of each month at 10:00 am at the ball field and focus efforts on New Haw Creek Road, particularly around the main entrance at Crockett Avenue
  • Marti will present a budget for supplies (bags, grab sticks, safety vests) to the board for approval at their next meeting on May 18
  • Chris will explore options to engage school kids

Doug will follow up with his Asheville city contacts who work on stormwater to inquire about the maintenance of storm drains in Haw Creek

Renate will coordinate a sub-committee to focus on open spaces, which will include Anthony, Christina, Kim and Sorrel

  • Christina will email the full committee information on the Saluda Community Land Trust, which can potentially serve as a model for Haw Creek to preserve open spaces
  • Renate will arrange for the sub-committee to meet with Saluda CLT key volunteers
  • Committee members who are interested will attend the Saluda CLT’s annual meeting on May 18

Renate will coordinate a sub-committee to focus on beautification initiatives, which will include Christina, Jack and Linda

  • Initial focus will be on signage and area at main entrance (Crockett Avenue)

Georgena and Renate will maintain communication with Asheville Public Works Department and DOT

Doug will email committee members background information about current plastic reduction efforts in Asheville; Renate will email links for action by individuals; Chris will add this item to the agenda for the board to discuss and potentially endorse

Renate will follow up on her request to the city’s sanitation department to place a composting shed in Haw Creek