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Shade Tree Commission Open Public Meeting 3-26-2019

In attendance: Michael Sedon council member, Dan Cramblitt Village employee, Declan Madden Village arborist, Andrew Lowary Chair, Carolyn Jacoby, Ian Keller, Manish
The meeting was opened with a discussion by Mr. Lowery stating the Shade Tree Commission (STC) needs to complete a Village-wide street tree inventory before it can apply for reforestation grants from organizations such as the state Shade Tree Federation. Mr. Lowery has spoken with the Village’s grant writing firm Millennium Strategies and will work on a grant with them and Mr. Sedon for $10,000 to fund a partial tree inventory. A full tree inventory costs between $40,000-$50,000.
Mr. Sedon stated that funds remain from the 2018 tree replacement program in a line item in the Graydon Pool capital account C-04-55-9BT-195 in the amount of $50,000 according to Village Treasurer Stephen P. Sanzari.
Mr. Cramblitt explained that the funds were placed in the Graydon capital account for the fall 2018 tree planting, but was never spent since 2018’s tree planting was funded through the Engineering Department’s paving budget as part of an ongoing effort to look at entire streetscapes while paving. Mr. Sedon said the funds could be repurposed by the Village Council for a full tree inventory. Funds for the Adopt-A-Tree program are held in a separate trust fund, which is currently empty as last year’s Adopt-A-Trees were planted.
Mr. Lowery confirmed that there is $1,200 available for expenses related to the Earth Day fair and will expense all costs in a report.
It was reported that there is $7,000 and $34,000 available for various STC projects, but those numbers need to be confirmed.
Mr. Keller and Mr. Lowery met with Village Manager Heather Mailander, and Village CFO Robert Rooney to discuss moving a Central Business District tree well rehabilitation project forward. Mr. Lowery will work with engineering to determine the specifications for bidding such a project, and he said it would be nice to get it going for spring time.
Mr. Lowery reiterated that a tree inventory is necessary for major grants, and Ms. Jacoby agreed that it was the architectural plan for tree planting. Mr. Madden added that the sooner the Village completes an inventory, the sooner it can begin applying for major grants. Mr. Keller said a base cost for an inventory might be $38,000 with additional costs for additional items.
Manish said he trained on iTree , and the program is cloud based, which would not require downloading it onto a specific device. Mr. Keller and Mr. Madden will meet to discuss what exactly to bid on for a tree inventory. The STC agreed that STC 2018 tree replacement funds should be repurposed for an inventory.
The STC discussed the Earth Day fair which Mr. Lowery and Ms. Jacoby would be present for, while Mr. Sedon, Mr. Keller, Mr. Cramblitt and Mr. Madden could not attend because of planned vacations. Ms. Jacoby said the STC could provide items for its table and prizes to raffle such as tree pruners. The STC will be giving away tree whips at the fair. Mr. Cramblitt said they were not in as of this meeting, but the whips would be available for Earth Day.
Mr. Lowery said he would set up a date where Village resident s could pick up potted trees from the nursery since the STC is abandoning the project for lack of interest.
Mr. Sedon said the Village Council would read an Arbor Day proclamation April 10th to complete the Village’s 2019 Tree City application.
Ms. Jacoby noted that the Adopt-A-Tree costs have been increased to $450, and she circulated a communication plan to promote the 2019 program. Mr. Lowery stated that communications must be clearer, changes need to be made to the website and a clearer statement on how to get involved in the STC.
Mr. Cramblitt stated that each time the Village removes a street tree or one is taken down by a storm it automatically gets put on a new tree replacement list. He also said the $10,500 line item for tree replacement in the Parks Department budget is for trees in Village-owned parks, not street trees. A list exists for tree replacements by zone according to the Village’s recycling map with areas A;B;C and D.
Mr. Cramblitt explained that engineering and its contractors work with Mr. Madden and the Parks Department to determine where the replacement trees should be planted as part of the paving budget. Mr. Lowery noted that virtually all trees are planted wrong with “mulch volcanos” which eventually kill the trees. He said better supervision is needed to prevent this in the future.
Ms. Jacoby met Janet Fricke and Nancy Bigos to discuss a theme for the 2020 Village calendar “Parks, Recreation and trees.
Mr. Lowery made a motion to adjourn the meeting seconded by Ms. Jacoby.
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Ridgewood Shade Tree Commission
Meeting Minutes February 25, 2019
The regular meeting of the Ridgewood Shade Tree Commission was called to order at 7:35PM on February 25, 2019 by Andrew Lowry.
Andrew Lowry, Melody Corcoran, Carolyn Jacoby, Susan Nashel, Beth Abbott
As a quorum was not present, these minutes are informal notes only.
Age Friendly Ridgewood
Beth Abbott of Age Friendly Ridgewood asked about the STC plans for improving the tree wells. A CBD sidewalk audit on Age Friendly Ridgewood’s website shows pictures of broken and/or raised bricks and uneven, weedy tree wells. Andrew Lowry assured her that the STC plans include true pavers or a level, non-slip composite surface for the tree wells. All surfaces will be ADA compliant.
Operating and Capital Budgets Under Consideration
STC members present agreed to the following:
•Re- Appropriate Unspent Funds from last year for a Tree Inventory Following Mike Sedon’s recommendation, the STC will ask the Council to re-appropriate the unspent $50,000 carried over from last year's (2018-2019) capital budget and use it for a tree inventory.  We may get some ($10,000) of money back if we get a grant.  We view the inventory as a one-time infrastructure investment which will provide a critical description of all the Village street trees and allow for a dramatically improved management of our street trees.  Think of it as the architectural plans for a building. Those plans are always considered as much part of the Capital investment in a building as bricks and mortar. Almost as important, we are told that having a tree inventory is a prerequisite for securing many grants as it indicates that the Village is serious about managing its street trees.
•Understand Street Tree Planting plan for 2019 Mike Sedon’s comment that there is no funding requested for street tree planting in the Parks and Shade Tree budget for additional tree planting was discussed.  This may be because the tree planting will be covered in the streetscape/repaving budget run by the Engineering dept.  This should be confirmed.                                                                        
•Request a Line item for CBD tree/tree well renovation $75,000 The STC has developed pretty detailed plans for what should be done to start re-mediating the CBD trees - most of which are either dead or dying.  Mayor Hache asked us for a long-term plan for this work.  The first phase needs to be funded so that the STC can understand the logistics and costs involved and to show the Village residents what things could look like. The resolution of which department, or departments, are responsible for the CBD trees is needed before we can move forward.
CBD Tree Wells
To show the residents and business owners the significant difference that can be made in the CBD streetscape, the entire side of one block should have the tree wells upgraded.
Village Calendar for 2020
The STC proposal for the 2020 village calendar to feature Parks and Shade Tree was submitted to Janet Fricke in mid-January. Carolyn Jacoby made a follow-up call one week later but has yet to receive a response.
March 12th Public Meeting
On Tuesday, March 12th, 7-9PM at the Ridgewood Library, arborist Colin Milde will present “Tree Care for Spring.” Two CEU’s are available for tree commission members.
Ian Keller will contact the library before the presentation to confirm set-up and availability of necessary equipment.
Earth Day
Susan Nashel and Carolyn Jacoby will be organizing the STC table at the Earth Day event in Van Neste Square. Two hundred tree whips will be available to give away to residents. Plans are being made to have a raffle for items such as pruners and pruning saws, a potted oak tree, and other tree related items. Stickers and/or tattoos to give away to children were also suggested. There will be an example of the right and wrong way to mulch trees. Signage needs to be designed for a table banner and table-top poster.
Funds of up to $1000 from the STC trust fund may be needed for signage (reusable) and the above items.
This expenditure needs to voted on at the next STC meeting where a quorum is present.
Completed Reports
The annual CFMP accomplishment report was submitted on time and accepted. Manish Shrimali did another excellent job on the report.
The annual Tree City application is being completed; the mayor’s signature is needed, and then the request for a proclamation certificate can be made.
The Urban and Community Forestry grant for a tree inventory has a maximum of $10,000.
Carolyn Jacoby will get a listing of governmental and non-governmental grants available from Pam Zipse of NJUCFP.
Pruning Plan
We need to follow-up with the Village administration regarding union issues with STC members doing minor (suckers, low branches) pruning on Village street trees.
Meeting was adjourned at 9:00PM by: Andrew Lowry.
Minutes submitted by: Melody Corcoran
Volunteer Hours: 6
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REAC-Green Team Joint Meeting Minutes 20181204


REAC: Bob Upton, George Wolfson, Lisa Summers, Christine Amundsen, Pam Perron,  Michael Sedon (Village Council Liaison), Mary Mogerley (Parks & Recreation Rep), Robert Kearney (Village Staff Rep).

Green Team: Justin Manger, Bob Upton, George Wolfson, Cathy Brienza, Michael Sedon (Village Council Liaison).

Other: Serena Iacoviello, Leslie Lello

1. Introductions/Membership update:

We welcomed Rob Kearney as the new REAC Village Staff Representative.

Serena has resubmitted her GT application. We understand that Anthea Zito and Jamie Miller have also submitted GT applications.

Mike advised that the Village is advertising for volunteers for Village committees.

2. The minutes from the October meeting were adopted by consensus.

3. Plastic Bags:

Both ANJEC and Sustainable Jersey suggest the State legislation banning single use plastic bags and other plastics may happen slowly or not at all. Lisa & Ellie have now made presentations to the Chamber of Commerce and Guild (both of whom surveyed their members) and to the CBD and Stable Hands group. Mike has requested an invitation to speak to the AM Rotary group but received no reply. It was agreed we will approach the Village Council to propose an ordinance and Mike will try to get us on a work session agenda. No decision on purchasing reusable bags. A number of NJ towns have already passed bans and ANJEC offers a model ordinance on their web site.

4. League of Women Voters Bottled Water Resolution.

The League of Women Voters, Water Committee, has drafted a resolution and fact sheet for Village Council to discontinue the purchase of single-use PET water bottles using municipal funds and, on their behalf, Pam Perron has asked REAC to join LWV in recommending that the Council adopt the measure. These documents were circulated to members ahead of the meeting and, the committees agreed, after discussion and a couple of edits, to support LWV in this action.

5. Sustainable Jersey:

a. Plans for Silver recertification.

Justin proposed using the same spreadsheet model as used for the last Silver certification application for our Spring 2020 recertification. We will list the actions needed to reach the required points score and ask GT members to champion individual actions. It was noted that some past actions will no longer be available or achievable in which case new ones will need to be added. We will plan to launch this effort at our January meeting.

b. Addressing Climate Change.

Ahead of our meeting Pam had provided excerpts from the executive summary of The Fourth National Climate Assessment published recently by the Government which were circulated to committee members. Her suggestion was to consider how our committees might address this issue through SJ Actions or otherwise. Members were asked to review SJ Actions particularly in the Energy and Sustainability & Climate Planning categories before our next meeting. It was noted that the latter category includes two Actions dealing with visioning/vision statements which perhaps could be addressed in the Village’s current visioning effort (see Master Plan below).

c. Gold Star Standard in Waste

i. Waste Reduction & Recycling Level Reporting: Johanna at the Recycling Dept has responded that the data required is all available except the “Number of people employed in municipality”. SJ thought they could provide that number but are now having difficulty. We will ask Johanna to provide the numbers that are available to establish what baseline data we can.

ii. Food Waste Pilot: Community Compost Co (CCC), the firm proposing a pilot collection program needs a number of communities to participate to launch a program in Bergen Co. They have received some interest from members of the SJ Bergen Hub and are talking directly to Ridgewood Recycling. Ridgewood Recycling is interested but needs funding for the pilot and, we believe, another community to sign on. CCC acknowledge that, from a sustainability perspective, backyard composting or in town centralized composting are better solutions but not always viable.

iii. Composting Info Session: We are proposing to conduct this session as part of the partnership program on Regenerative Environmentalism, see below.

d. Green Business Program

George & Pam are creating a new questionnaire based on the previous SJ model and incorporating SJ’s updates and food waste and polystyrene reduction, initially focusing on restaurants & food stores.

e. SJ Bergen Hub

i. “Styrofoam” Program: Justin & Bob are working with the SJ Hub Styrofoam Sub-Committee who will administer the program using the Hub Grant which was awarded. For Ridgewood we are looking at conducting an education event, hosting a collection drive and incorporating Styrofoam reduction into our Green Business program.

ii. Next Hub meeting tentatively set for Ramsey in 3rd or 4th week of January. Topic of Clean Energy to be confirmed. Justin & Bob have been attending and invite others to participate.

iii. It was noted Fair Lawn will hold a Green Fair April 10th 6 – 8 PM and invited the Hub to participate. This could serve as an opportunity to promote the Styrofoam program.

6. Grants.

a. Opportunities:

i. A SJ grant program specifically for floodplain reforestation initiatives was referred to the Shade Tree Commission. Application deadline Dec 14th.

ii. The current SJ PSEG Municipal Grant cycle is now open with application deadline for $2K and $10K or $20K grants Feb 15th, 2019. (SJ webinar Dec 10th to review application process). There is a similar program for schools with deadline Mar 15th, 2019. (Recording of webinar available on SJ web site).

b. Projects: If we are to apply for grants we need to identify projects. Mary suggested Community Garden enhancements and she will gather more info. We previously applied unsuccessfully for funds to conduct a tree inventory. EV charging stations are another option. SJ would allow a multi-town application with one town administering the finances which could be used for the compost pilot. Ideas are needed for our next meeting or sooner.

c. Grant writing: Mike has requested a copy of our previous grant application so we may try to improve on. We are awaiting response.

7. Suggested Uses for REAC Funds.

a. Reusable shopping bags: On hold pending legislative action, see above.

b. Grant program for schools: See schools, below.

c. Support for Tree Nursery: Mike reported the new site for the tree nursery has been approved.  George will obtain detailed needs for supplies etc. in due course.

d. Composting Pilot program: It was suggested REAC offer financial support for the Composting Pilot (see above) if that will help launch it.

8. Regenerative Environmentalism (Permaculture) Meet-Up Group.

REAC has partnered with Leslie to support her efforts to launch this program. Parks & Rec have approved the use of the Stable. Initial event will be screening of movie “Inhabit” on Jan 30th. REAC agreed to pay for the $50 screening fee. Events are also planned for Feb 20 & Mar 20 with program to be determined.

9. Educational events 

a. The list of movies researched by Yingying was distributed with little feedback except Schoolhouse Rock – Earth and The Story of Stuff received some support. Since our plan is for a children & parents event Mike agreed to look at these options with his son and report two, one or zero thumbs up!

b. Pam was enthusiastic about the suggestion of REAC and LWV jointly promoting water bottle filling stations at the RBSA season opening April 27th. Bob &Pam will work on it.

10. Schools

a. Further to the plan to offer a $1,000 grant to middle schools for a sustainable activity (see October minutes) Jennie provided an example proposal document format which was distributed for study and discussion at our next meeting.

b. Christine is trying to identify champions in the schools to reactivate SJ for Schools in our schools.

11. By-Laws: Mike’s draft by-laws will be revised again for our next meeting.

12. Master Plan: All members are encouraged to access information on the Village web site and complete the questionnaire. Mike will talk to NV5 to set up a meeting with our committees as they have proposed.

13. North Bergen Liberty Power Plant: Pam, Serena & Cathy have submitted a draft resolution and cover letter for the Village Council opposing the planned construction of this plant. Bob will circulate them for discussion at our next meeting.

14. Ridgewood Earth Day Fair: Date is set for April 14th. REAC/GT members are asked to save the date to participate in our involvement.

15. Plaque for Andy Antista Tree: Ellie advises this should be installed any day now.

16. Low Impact Checklist: Topic deferred to next meeting.

17. Meeting schedule: The meeting was not adjourned until about 9.45 PM. Apologies were extended to those who were inconvenienced and thanks to all who stayed. Recognizing that in order to accomplish what we want to do our meetings do run longer it was suggested we consider an earlier start, 7.30 PM or even 6 PM. To be discussed at the next meeting.

17. Next Joint Meeting Date: Next meeting Tuesday Jan 15th, still at 7.45 PM.

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 Ridgewood Shade Tree Commission
Meeting Minutes
November 13, 2018

The regular meeting of the Ridgewood Shade Tree Commission was called to order at 7:35PM on November 13, 2018 by Ian Keller.
Melody Corcoran, Ian Keller, Carolyn Jacoby, George Wolfson, Declan Madden
Approval of Minutes
Motion to approve the minutes for October 9, 2018 was made by Carolyn Jacoby, seconded by George Wolfson, and approved by all present.

Tree Protection Ordinance
The Tree Protection Ordinance needs to be re-introduced to and approved by the village council. In the future, a one-to-one tree replacement for trees cut down on private property needs to be added to the ordinance. Input from the planning board and the engineering department is needed about how to enforce compliance with the provisions of the ordinance.

Fall Tree Plantings
Utility mark-outs for the plantings have been completed and planting is proceeding.

Adopt-a-Tree Communication
The STC webpage has been updated. To assist in communicating with the Adopt-a-Tree residents, input is needed from the Parks Department as to how the members of the STC can help. Dan Cramblitt and Candace Fitzpatrick will be asked for their suggestions.
New Nursery Location
After the village council has approved the new nursery location off Bellair Road, a site plan needs to be drawn up including the exact location and dimensions, needed fencing, and an irrigation system.
Tree Seedlings
Free tree seedlings are available for pick-up from NJ Tree Recovery Campaign in April. It was decided that 200 seedlings will be requested; the seedlings will be given to residents during the village Earth (Arbor) Day celebration in April (date TBD).

Central Business District
The STC presentation to the village council concerning suggested improvements to the CBD tree wells was well received and the response was positive.
No update on the bid for the CBD tree wells is currently available.
Required CEUs
Carolyn Jacoby will contact Bron Sutherland to find out how our annual required CEUs are reported to the state.

Budget Status
There is $50,000 in the budget for trees. Ian Keller will ask Dan Cramblitt if that money can be used for a tree inventory. Declan Madsen said that if the village has a tree inventory, it will improve our chances of receiving grants. A tree inventory is also one of the goals of the STC’s five year plan.
Meeting was adjourned at 8:55PM by: Ian Keller
Minutes submitted by: Melody Corcoran

Volunteer Hours: 5

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Ridgewood Shade Tree Commission

Meeting Minutes

March 21, 2017

Minutes Andrew Lowry:

Attendees: Andrew, George, Monica, Bron, Mike, Melody, Chris, Ian, (Michael Guerriero, Carolyn Jacoby)

This provides a summary of the decisions reached and the issues discussed at the above meeting.


A quorum was present.

Tree Ordinance

Chris discussed the revised tree ordinance. He pointed out that the ordinance covers "qualified" trees only and therefore excludes many trees in the Village. The ordinance will be discussed at the Council meeting in early April (not clear on exact date). Ordinance will then go to the Planning Board for review. Chris stressed that the ordinance was a first step and that future amendments would likely be made as needed.

STC members should get their comments to Chris before April 1.

If passed, the ordinance will be a major achievement on the path to protecting and enhancing Ridgewood’s trees. We are very appreciative of Chris’ efforts.

Street Paving/Tree Planting

Chris reported that the repaving contract for the spring would include the planting of 100 trees which will be guaranteed for 2 years.

Chris also indicated he would check to see if the old pump truck currently not being used could work as a watering truck. (Perhaps Tim or George can follow up with Chris?).

Tree Survey

It was indicated that we may need to bid out the tree survey as it will cost over the $17,000(?) limit for discretionary spending.

We will know by April 11 if we will get the Sustainable NJ grant for doing part of the tree survey. It was suggested that if we have to bid the survey out we use the Davey Tree Company proposal as a guide for the bid request.


We need an update from Tim regarding schedule for the spring planting. It was suggested that the Adopt-A-Tree planting would include staking but might not include gator bags. It would seem that we should have a standard tree planting requirement including; stakes, gators and mulching and use it for all trees in the Village.

We agreed that the cutoff date for Adopt-A-Tree (fall planting would be June 30, 2017. That should give us enough time to organize the bidding and schedule the fall planting in Oct./Nov.

Free Trees

We will be getting 500 "whips" in April. Bron committed to getting tree care instructions for holding them until we can get them planted in pots or the nursery. George is organizing the effort and will need help once the trees come in.

Earth Day STC Handout

Mike will develop some bullet points and give to Melody for design so we have something ready for Earth Day.

Education Event - May 9, 2017 - Urban Trees

We will have a presentation by Nicolas Polanin who will speak about urban trees at the library. We will invite other ST commissions (Monica?). It is important for members to attend as everyone gets Continuing Education Credits which we need to maintain our Commission status. The presentation will be at 8:30 and we will host an informal dinner and discussion before at 6:30, probably in the Garden room?

Bron is working on getting in contact with the speaker.

Downtown Trees

Ian and Andrew will visit downtown and try to identify tree wells which can be excavated without too much effort. They will then set a date and have PSE&G mark out the utilities.

Please let me know if I missed anything important.

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