Board or Committee Meeting
Tuesday, November 22, 2022 - 6:00pm

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Meeting ID: 873 7821 2016
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Agenda

ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS CITIZENS ADVISORY COMMITTEE

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2022, 6:00 PM

BY ZOOM

  1. Call to order – James Kole, Chairman
  2. Roll Call
  3. Approval of Minutes from September 27, 2022, and October 25, 2022, meetings
  4. Report from Environmental Programs Manager
  5. Reports from subcommittees. Please limit reports to 10 minutes each.
    1. Website

Update on possible social media and/or webpage posts

Creating a social media manager for the EAC. Volunteers?

  1. Bee City

Update on committee activities

 

  1. New Business

 

  1. Public Hearing
  2. Next Meeting – January 24, 2023

 

  1. Adjournment

Minutes

MINUTES

ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS COMMITTEE

Tuesday September 27, 2022. By Zoom

 

 

  1. Call to Order

    The meeting was called to order by Chairman James Kole at 6:01 PM

  1. Roll Call

Council member James Kole, Vice chair Kyla Clark, Jimmy Rogers, Janice Blitz, Barbara Robinson were present as were Laura Christoplos and  Mike Leszcz.

  1. Approval of Minutes from July 26, 2022, meeting

 

The minutes were approved as written

  1. Report from Environmental Programs Manager

Ms. Blair was not in attendance, so Ms. Christoplos gave a short update. The Blink charging stations are moving forward. So far, they will be in 3 locations: Municipal Center, DiPietro Center, and 312 Main Street.

The Bee City email is live, and the bee city page is up on Green Living.

 

The lot at 378 Main Street will be used for Main Street Trick or Treat on October 28.

 

 

  1. Reports from Sub-committees
    1. Website

Vision for Webpage

Ms. Clark would like clarification of the process to put things on the website.

She will email Chair Kole and staff with suggestions for layout and content to give it a fresh look and reorganize things.

Chair Kole asked staff to find out whether the administration would prefer updates to be made on the web page or set the committee up witha social media site for posts.

Monthly posts

Previously Ms. Clark would put together about 6 months of posts and submit them to the chair. Then the Communications Department would post them on social media.

Pictures of committee members

Ms. Clark would like to have a “about the committee members” section with a very short bio and picture. Ms. Clark would be happy to standardize anything sent to her.

Marketing Plan for EAC

The marketing plan has been mostly social media, the webpage, promotions, and events. Ms. Clark will work on something. She would like to see the City’s marketing plan.

  1. Bee City

                        Recap of Sustainable Saturday.

The event was a big hit. It met requirements for having a pollinator event this year.

There were 2 sub-committee volunteers helping at the table. Twenty-one people signed up to volunteer for Bee City at the event.

Mr. Rogers stated that Laurel Bee City doesn’t mean anything to people  without context. Most people wanted to know about native plant gardening and about native pollinators.

The Chair of College Park Bee city came by. Allen Hew was interested in organizing a regional Bee City summit.

Mr. Rogers sent a follow-up email to everyone who signed up.

The Laurel Independent interviewed Mr. Rogers at the event.

Chair Kole had a follow-up meeting with Parks and Recreation about replacing some dead bushes with plants that are attractive to native pollinators.

Next steps: Garden plan feedback

Chair Kole said that the committee can recommend that straight species are used whenever possible (vs. cultivars). There was general agreement, but a vote was not taken. Both Chair Kole and Mr. Rogers have sources for native plants.

Mr. Rogers pointed out that two of the plants in the plan (purple coneflower and bluestar) are not native to this area, and he would like to replace them with similar ones that are.

There were concerns about the safety of having beehives in the park. Relocation to another area was suggested, or at least a barrier to keep children away.

Larry T. Smith activities: cleaning up the existing bed and placing stones

Next step is getting ready for planting. The focus is going to be on the front bed around the sign. Cleaning it up and putting edging around it to define the space. There is no date set yet for the cleanup. Cleaning and prepping is not date sensitive, and planting will happen in the spring.

Winter activities

Mr. Rogers would like to start working on the materials that will go on the website for education. His focus will be on what to plant and vendors for those plants. He also wants to do myth busting and advice.

He will get more input at the next sub-committee meeting.

Staff will get clarification from the administration of how input to the new email will be handled, and what the procedure will be for collection, storage, and output of information, and volunteer contacts.

 

 

 

  1. New Business

Opt out options for advertising flyers

Staff did not research. Will have it for next month.

 

Bike racks. How to make Laurel a more bikeable city.

Mr. Rogers would like to see bike racks on Main Street. ECD had some plans pre-pandemic.

The Main Street Committee will be coming back. Chair Kole will also look at the Mayor’s plan for a more bike friendly Laurel.

 

Chair Kole talked to the Sierra Club about the City’s plastic bag ban. They did research on trends before and after the ban. They would like to see a mandatory charge for single use bags. They would like to see Ms. Blair go out to do more education with businesses to find out how things are going, are they charging for bags, do they know they have the ability to charge for paper bags, etc.

Chair Kole would like to see some posts put out about reusable bags and reminding people about our current legislation. He will report back after Ms. Blair has a chance to go out and talk to people.

We are still having problems with compliance.

 

Mr. Rogers brought up right of ways and confusion about regulations governing what can be planted in them. Chair Kole is meeting with Director Love from ECD about some landscape related items. He is currently focused on tree legislation but will be looking at other landscape code recommendations in the future.

 

Chair Kole asked Mr. Rogers to find legislation from other jurisdictions that specifically call out that area and send it to him. Mr. Rogers said he would send over what Kate from DPW sent to him

 

 

  1. Next Meeting – October 25, 2022 Virtual

 

  1. Adjournment

The meeting was adjourned at 6:44  PM

ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS COMMITTEE

MINUTES

Tuesday, October 25, 2022. Via Zoom

 

 

  1. Call to Order

            The meeting was called to order by Chairman James Kole at 6:04 PM.

Even though there was not a quorum, Mr. Leszcz suggested going forward with the meeting as long as no votes were taken.

  1. Roll Call

Council member James Kole, Vice Chair Kyla Clark and Committee member Jimmy Rogers were present, as were Administrative Assistant II Laura Christoplos, Director of Parks and Recreation Bill Bailey, and former Chair Mike Leszcz.

  1. Approval of Minutes from September 27, 2022, meeting

 

Approval of the minutes was postponed until the November meeting since there was not a quorum.

 

  1. Report from Environmental Programs Manager

The Environmental Programs Manager was not present.

 

  1. Updates from staff: City marketing plan, web page vs social media, opt out option for advertising flyers.

 

Staff reported that there was no City marketing plan, and Directors she spoke with recommended using the web page and forwarding items to the City’s social media accounts rather than creating separate social media accounts for the Committee.

Staff reported on several opt out options for advertising and junk mail. She will email the report to EAC members.

 

Ms. Clark suggested that we could publish some of the links in the Laurel Independent for the upcoming holiday season.

 

  1. Reports from Subcommittees

 

  1. Website

Chair Kole would like to connect Ms. Clark with the new social media person at the City who will be starting this week.

 

Ms. Clark is finishing up the website layout and will send it out to the Committee.

Social media posts about reusable bags were discussed, as well as setting up posts from the EAC on a regular basis that would go out on social media.

 

Setting up a committee newsletter and sending it out monthly or bi-monthly was also discussed. Mr. Rogers suggested sending out email blasts if the City does not have newsletter capabilities.

 

Mr. Kole reminded the committee that any newsletters would need to be under the City’s umbrella which will fall under Microsoft. Ms. Clark will send an email to Chair Kole outlining her newsletter ideas and he will take that to IT to see if it’s possible and then to the Administration to see it they will approve it.

 

  1. Bee City

The first Bee City Subcommittee meeting had four attendees who all have some stake, including the head of Bee City College Park.

 

The main mandate is to put together materials. There is a question about where the materials will be stored. e.g. on the EAC website, on the Green Living page, etc…

 

Mr. Rogers and the subcommittee will be putting together evergreen, seasonal information that can be posted every year and seasonal native plant sales. The question was brought up of not promoting any particular business.

 

Mr. Rogers currently has meeting notes and tasks on a google doc with permissions for EAC members and subcommittee members to comment.

 

Ms. Clark would like to create a social media plan that would be posted for feedback. When the EAC or subcommittee has information it would like to post to social media, it would need to go to Chair Kole first. Once he has reviewed and approved it, he will forward it to Ms. Clark, who will put it into the format she would like to see. Next it goes back to Chair Kole for final approval and then to staff to post.

 

Rather than doing this on a post-by-post basis it would be more efficient to batch several posts together with preferred post dates.

 

Mr. Rogers listed static web content he would like to see on the web page, with links to relevant resources.

 

The subcommittee has scheduled deadlines to have content submitted for editing so that it is ready for discussion at the next meeting. They would like to have regular meetings on the third Wednesday of the month so that content is ready to present at the EAC meeting the following week. Chair Kole approved.

 

Mr. Rogers will send a proposed site map of the Bee City website page to Mr. Kole. Ms. Clark suggested that there is an option to hyperlink or use pdfs if there is not enough bandwidth.

 

Mr. Kole made it clear that there would be no collaboration with other groups at this time.

 

  1. New Business

Mr. Rogers brought up a resident who was unhappy that the City mowed flowers that had been planted by the resident on City property. He wanted to know if anyone had the resident’s contact information. Director Bailey stated that the City had offered to work with the resident on other planting areas. He got no response. He agreed to send contact information to Mr. Rogers.

 

Ms. Clark asked if we need to update the survey that is currently on the EAC web page. It expired 2 years ago. Chair Kole suggested putting a new survey up in 2023.

(Note: staff removed the expired survey from the page after the meeting.)

 

 

  1. Next Meeting – November 22, 2022, Virtual

The December meeting will be cancelled due to the holidays.

 

  1. Adjournment

The meeting was adjourned at 6:58 PM.

Green Living

Welcome to the City of Laurel’s Green Living page: A hub for residents and businesses to explore and support Laurel’s sustainability initiatives, track progress, and get involved!