Woodlands Management Committee Meeting Minutes

January 15, 2014

 

Attendees: Martha Dwyer-Bergman, Margaret Gossett, Cliff Miles, Jerry Uhrig

 

Beaver Status

 

There are no signs of beavers at Birchwood Lake or in Richard Wilcox Park. We will continue to monitor the situation.

 

Status of 2014 Goals

 

I.  Education

 

Library

 

Jerry discussed with the Head Librarian the possibility of having a small collection of key Woodlands reference books available in the Borough Library for improved accessibility. It does appear to be workable so Jerry is assembling a small collection of books for this purpose.

 

Centennial Cove Project

 

Martha attended a Council meeting in December to emphasize the importance of this project to the Woodlands Committee. It is of inestimable value as an example to residents of how to plant a riparian buffer that is both functional and aesthetically and environmentally valuable. As Head of the Centennial Cove Committee, Margaret is in the process of identifying areas where the Cove Garden needs regeneration and sprucing up. Her plan for this effort is attached at the end of these minutes.

 

Town-Wide Clean-Up

 

Councilmen Lester and Holmberg have been planning a town-wide clean-up for this spring. The Woodlands Committee supports such a project as an important component of our Education Program. Giving Borough residents the opportunity to share in the effort of caring for our common lands will instill a sense of ownership that is difficult to gain otherwise in this busy world.

 

Centennial Chestnut Project

 

Our American chestnut project is now in its third year. Seeds from the first two years have sprouted into seedlings that are soon to become saplings, some of which are likely to survive the blight that has so decimated the population over the past century. A viable American chestnut population will be our gift to succeeding generations. A substantial part of this effort is supported by our High School students. These students, in their later years, will share with their children and grandchildren the fruits of their efforts. The Woodlands Committee is pleased to be a part of this activity.

 

II. Management

 

Reforestation

 

This year’s activities will see another 100 hardwood seedlings and 100 shrubs planted in areas of our woodlands where they are needed. This will be mostly in the areas of Richard Wilcox Park that were flooded by the beaver habitat for five years or so. We lost many red maples and spicebush shrubs so these are the species selected for replanting this year. We will explore gathering support from various individuals and service groups in our area. Last year, we had very helpful and constructive projects with the Cub Scouts, the Community Church, and the AT&T Pioneers. This year we would like to have some interested individuals and possibly a different service group from another company.

 

UBNJ Deer Management Program

 

Another successful year is winding down. The season ends in mid-February. We are managing to keep the population at a sustainable level.

 

Invasive Vegetation Removal

 

Last year we removed a substantial amount of Chinese wisteria from the Borough lot at Crane and Morris. This year we will continue efforts at this site, as well as work on the more widely dispersed species, barberry, burning bush, bittersweet, and knotweed. The latter, although widely dispersed, does tend to grow in dense patches that lend themselves to concentrated effort.

 

Trails Management

 

We discussed possible approaches to managing our trails. Since it does require some expertise, we might benefit from having an outside service organization involved. There does seem to be some interest in having an Adopt-a-Trail program. But this would require strong management to gain any benefit from it.

 

 

Submitted February18, 2014

Jerome L. Uhrig, Chairman

Woodlands Management Committee

 

 

Renewing Commitment to the Award-winning

Centennial Cove Restoration Project

Original Objectives

 

    To plan a restoration of the Cove Park area as a Centennial legacy project from today’s residents for future residents to enjoy

    To remove invasive plantings

    To balance the improvements made with environmental concerns, aesthetics, maintenance, safety, beautification and current usage while maintaining the understated and informal appearance

Necessary Steps to Bring Installation to Intended Quality Level

 

Get Started Immediately

 

November 2013 – February 2014

    Hire specialized caretaker as originally planned

    Weed and perform minor, end-of-season maintenance

    Prepare site for winter weather and recreational activity

    Place order for replacement plants

Growing Seasons 2014, 2015, 2016

    Caretaker to supervise planting and subsequent care of replacement plants

    Caretaker to weed and perform minor maintenance on and around initial plants

    Caretaker to monitor and activate plant warranties through Borough Manager as necessary

 

During Next 6 Months

 

ADA requirements:  Adapt as necessary to accommodate advice since project installation

 

Fencing:  Reconsider fencing along Morris Avenue side of project to protect ‘Riparian Buffer’ for 3-5 years.

 

East Cove:  Assess and plan the use and care of adjoining Borough land on lake side of 400 Morris Avenue. A concept plan was prepared by JSL Greentree but not reviewed by committe.

 

**************************

Additional Notes

    Roadside cove and the shore line at 400 Morris Avenue are different projects which your committee can choose to implement separately Letter from Greentree to B. Lewis 11/19/10

    Process: Concept Plan, Two sessions of Public review and input, Final Plan

    Criteria for species selection: adaptability to site conditions (some dry, others wet), unpalatability to deer, salt tolerance, complimentary leaf textures, heights and forms, shelter for birds, butterflies and other small creatures

    ADA adaptations considered necessaryonly after completion of original installation

    Caretaker and fence originally intended and approved by Borough Council

 

 

We should include a ‘before’ photo at top left and ‘after’ photo (7/11) on top right.

Can we make a rough assumption of costs?:

    To replenish plant stock, including planting

    To hire caretaker per season