Tuesday, December 23, 2008

October 15, 2008, meeting of green-infrastructure planning Environmental working group

Environmental Working Group (EWG) -Minutes

Meeting: Oct. 15, 2008, The Nature Conservancy office

Attendees: Delia Haak, Chairman; Matt Van Eps; Robert Cross; Bob Morgan; Bruce Shackleford; Judy Combs; Doug James; Elizabeth Adam; Joe Neal; Barbara Boland; Aubrey Shepherd

Delia Haak called the meeting to order at 7:00PM

Minutes of the Oct. 2, 2008 meeting were approved.

Barbara (project coordinator) explained that this is the third step in the Green Infrastructure Plan.
1. Urban Ecosystem Analysis Benton and Washington Counties, Arkansas
2. Urban Forest Conservation Assessment for Fayetteville, AR
3. Green Infrastructure Planning – Linking Arkansas Communities

The purpose of the Environmental Working Group is to:
1. Identify the environmental resources that are important for the communities to preserve for the future.
2. Complete a map identifying where key environmental areas are and the linkages and hubs to access them.
3. Identify to the best of our abilities “what the community wants” and what ecosystems require.

Joe Neal listed grassland areas that were formerly prairies to be included on a map by this group.
1. Stonebridge Meadows Golf Course: Low wet prairie plants on approximately 10 acres next to Course on south side of Hwy.16E.
2. Lake Fayetteville: North of Environmental Study Center, 30/40 acres of City owned land with native grasses of big blue stem and Indian grass.
3. Wilson Springs: Clabber Creek mitigation site. Audubon Society owned land, 120 acres south west of 540 and Hwy 112. This wet prairie land is not being actively managed.
4. Zion Road: Sweetser owned land south of Zion Road – app. 5 acres.
5. Woolsey Wet Prairie: 30 acres of wetlands mitigation with 70 acres just west of plot. Owned by City of Fayetteville next to the west-side sewage treatment plant. Could be expanded by another 30 acres.
6. Wedington Unit Forest: Grassland restoration on the west side of Ozark National Forest.
7. World Peace Wetland Prairie Park south of Hwy. 16 on Duncan.
8. Pieces of prairie grasslands in the South Industrial Park on Armstrong (Combs Park).
9. South of Hwy. 16 large oak barren (savannah).
10. University of Arkansas Farm on Garland has grassland fields.
11. Woolsey Farm Rd. next to school in Farmington, 60 acres owned by Carl Yates. 320 acres owned by the City WWTP.

Bruce reports that the Woolsey site will be proposed as a wetland mitigation bank. He will introduce the project later to EPA, City of Fayetteville and Corps of Engineers for approval. The proposal will include a deed for perpetuity, performance standards and mitigation credits for the wetland bank.

Aubrey says that the Pinnacle Foods Plant promised the World Peace Garden 2 acres of land and that has not happened. He also added that this site for consideration – Hollywood Ave. south of Hwy. 62 as prairie/grassland area.

The EWG recommends people become educated on the history and importance of prairies.

Bruce handed out copies of a list of native trees and shrubs that are suitable for planting here instead of planting an invasive species that later spreads uncontrolled.

Bruce is manager for the Woolsey Site. He reports that the City of Fayetteville isn’t spraying the fields next to the Sewage Treatment plant with effluent. Also the inventory of plants at the site increased from 47 species in 2002 to 323 species in 2008.

Delia recommends that we look at the use of carbon credits as it relates to forests and into the use of conservation easements. She asked Bob Cross to look at ordinances that pertain in these cities. Delia has the ordinances for the City of Johnson. Bob agreed to do so.

Sub-group self-selection of assignments:
Upland Forests - Doug James, Judy Woltjen

Watersheds/Water Quality – Bob Morgan, Matt Van Eps, Delia Haak

Prairie/Wetlands – Bob Cross, Joe Neal, Aubrey Shepherd, Erin Billlings and Bruce Shackleford

Caves – Judy Combs and Frances Hime

Prior to our next meeting, each sub-group is to have its own meeting to prepare maps and bring the maps back to our next EWG Meeting.

Awareness needs: Education on native prairies and wetlands. Need to tell historical stories of the area.
Information from Bruce Shackleford on native plants and invasive plants.

Additional information requests included:
1. Location of natural springs.
2. Percentage of tree canopy
3. Regional stormwater reports ie. Red Oak Park erosion example
4. Percentage of pervious to impervious surfaces
5. Information on conservation easements: land purchase or donation?

Bring info to next EWG Meeting which will be:


Respectfully submitted,

Judith E. Woltjen, Scribe

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