Agendas and Minutes

Ashland Parks & Recreation Commission (View All)

Bee City USA Minutes 8-6-15

Thursday, August 06, 2015


August 6, 2015
North Mountain Park Nature Center
620 North Mountain Ave.
1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.
Attended: Shari Shattuck, Kristina LeFever, Mike Gardiner
Staff Liaison: Libby VanWyhe
Staff Support: Rachel Dials, Brigette Cooke
Kristina called the meeting to order at 1pm
Kristina- Wanted to address some of the action items from last meeting.
Libby – Explained that we will be holding off on purchase of a BCU banner until next budget year.
Libby - Updated the group, that Julie Smitherman from Conservation is working on changes to water wise website in order to make it searchable by pollinator plants.
Shari - Explained that she did write an editorial article about swarms and sent it at the end of June, but it was not printed.
Mike - Suggests that Shari resubmit the article to Tidings
Mike moved for approval of minutes as presented,
Shari seconded it
The vote was all yes.
    1. Open Forum, none present
    1. Points of order
              Roles and responsibilities
Maintaining order in committee-member correspondence and agendas
Mike - Suggests that it is best to stick to agenda as much as possible. Before each agenda item, it would be helpful to introduce the topic with a sentence or two.  For each item, Libby will indicate which member submitted that item, and a small blurb about what we expect to accomplish during that discussion.  On the printed agenda, it’s important to distinguish between discuss and decide. 
Mike - Suggests that Libby post the upcoming agenda a week in advance. The goal is to publish the agenda on the website a week before the meeting and notify the press.
Libby - Will publish last meeting’s minutes on the website.
Committee had a discussion on the sharing of documents. Kristina asked if there was a better method for communicating and sharing documents. Committee decided to continue to use email. Mike reminded the committee to not deliberate on agenda items over email.
Rachel - Distributed a document explaining roles and responsibilities of committee members and staff liaisons and discussed with the group.
Mike - Reiterated a key point: we are an advisory committee. We can decide to support or recommend an action, but then we would need to take it to for the  Parks Commission for decision.
    1. Delegate writing of a City Source Article introducing Bee City USA Ashland
    2. Delegate the development of  website content
Kristina- Talked about City source article and suggested the committee talk about writing one
The committee discussed putting together an article that sums up what the committee is all about. Mike requested that staff find out what the word limit is for the city source articles and suggested that we give a brief introduction to Bee City Ashland. 
Kristina agreed with the suggestion and offered to write an article about the bee city movement, and what residents of Ashland can do to support pollinators.
Staff will get back to the group regarding deadlines for the City Source.
Kristina  presented her questions regarding the Bee City webpage. –It was requested that all committee members look at the website and consider the best use of the site.  
Libby explained the differences between the two different webpages. She agreed to create a link between these two pages.
    1. Discuss Kimberly Brown stepping down from committee
The committee had a discussion about Kimberly stepping down and the application process for recruiting a new committee member.
Bee City committee would have to review applications and make recommendations to the Commission regarding the new committee member.
Staff will move forward with the application process. Applications can go to the Parks Commission for approval at their regular meeting on September 28th.  
Kristina will talk to Kimberly and let her know that we are seeking to fill her position but that we hope she can return when her schedule allows.
  1. Decide whether to recommend the designation of a “Bee Tree” for education
Shari said there is a bee tree with a low entrance in a public parkway strip. She is concerned about someone spraying the bees. A solution might be to put a hardware cloth around it.  The funnel entrance for the bees should be above eye level to protect them from passersby.
Rachel asked if it is a public or privately owned tree.  If it is a city tree we could possibly do this.  If it’s not a city tree, the committee would need to talk to the owner. Parks staff will look at the tree and get back to the committee.  
  1. Decide whether to submit a draft letter of support for the proposed SOU pollinator garden
Kristina - Shared a letter she had composed to show support for the proposed SOU pollinator garden. She would like to offer this letter to the project proponents at SOU, so that they can demonstrate partnerships for their upcoming grant application.  The project already has support from Science Works, SOMA, PPRV.  She would like additional feedback on the letter.
The committee discussed the letter. Mike suggested shortening the letter. Libby suggested that the group provide edits through email.
Mike moved to support the letter and Shari seconded the motion.
 The vote was all yes.
  1. Discuss BCU-A “approval” criteria for recognizing pollinator gardens and business landscaping
Kristina - We would like to acknowledge the development of quality pollinator gardens on public, private, and commercial lands.  Twice a year BCU approved gardens would be announced and the committee could publicize and recognize them.
Shari suggested establishing criteria for pollinator gardens. Such as: no use of pesticides, diversity of plant types (like height blossoms, year round flowering, native plants, drought tolerant).  The committee continued to discuss what types of plants and Libby suggested a discussion of qualifying elements over email. The committee also agreed that they want to recognize residents, businesses and park areas. The committee will discuss the criteria in detail at the next meeting with a vote on the criteria. 
  1. Discuss recognition criteria for “approval”: rank, frequency of review, recognition type
Kristina suggested combining agenda items #4 and #5. Suggestions for including criteria for approval of gardens on the Bee City website and Shari suggested including a form for folks to nominate gardens.
Shari made a motion to support accepting help from PPRV to implement the pollinator friendly garden from ACP. Kristina seconded.
The vote was all yes.
  1. Decide whether BCU-A would like to sponsor the pesticide research forum with Susan Kegley
Kristina - Susan Kegley, a representative of the Pesticide Research Institute, is Keynote Speaker at Oregon Honey festival. She is planning to conduct a forum on October 16th about the use of pesticides. Would Bee City like to support such a forum?  Support could include, sponsorship, putting our logo on the publicity, helping publicize the event, printing materials, attendance and/or monetary support.
Staff clarified some questions regarding if she was already planning on speaking on October 16th and who else was sponsoring.
The committee discussed the idea with concerns ranging from not knowing what Susan’s talking points would be and what exactly we would be sponsoring.  Mike was concerned about attendance level of the event and informed the group that there will be a City Council study session to discuss the use of glyphosate focusing on homeowners and businesses on October 5th.
Kristina said she would envision multiple city council members attending this forum and that a formal invitation could be sent out on behalf of BCU
Mike said that since this will be our only chance to decide about this upcoming event, he has no problem with “sponsoring” the forum idea, and putting our BCU-A logo on their Susan Kegley publicity. Mike moved to support a proposed study session with Susan Kegley on Oct 16.
Shari seconded the motion.
The vote was all yes.
Kristina said that the EPA is discussing the impacts of Roundup and passed around documentation related to that. She offered another article on the impacts of Glyphosates on bee navigation.  Kristina suggested the committee issue a press release about current research into glyphoste.
Staff asked about our role as a subcommittee, considering the difference between  taking a public stance on the issue of pesticides vs. our role as a subcommittee making recommendations to the Parks Commission.
Kristina -Says this kind of publicity fits in under our guiding mandate to educate the public.  Kristina read passages out of BCU-A subcommittee mission: “The Subcommittee is charged with assembling and disseminating information on the topics of pollinator-friendly habitat and policies to municipal departments, residents, businesses and developers.”
Mike said it may be outside of our purview to issue a press release to the public.  He suggested that we make recommendations to Parks Commission about the current Parks Integrated Pest Management policy.  BCU-A could submit current research to the Parks Commission, and this might impact how the Commission updates or alters the current IPM strategy.   If the committee agreed  to make such a recommendation to the Parks Commission, Kristina could draft a request to review their IPM policy in light of evidence pertaining to glyphosate.  Review and approval of this could be put on the agenda for next time.
The committee agreed to meet the 3rd week in October. Libby will send out a Doodle Poll to invite subcommittee members to the next meeting between October 20 and 23.


Meeting was adjourned at 2:45pm

X.           ACTION ITEMS

 Mike suggests that Shari try resubmiting the swarm article to Tidings
 Libby should post the upcoming agenda a week in advance. The goal is to publish the agenda on the website a week before the meeting and notify the press.
 Libby will publish last meeting’s minutes on web
 Rachel or Libby will find out what the word limit is for these City Source articles. 
 Kristina will write a draft article for the City Source,
 Libby or Rachel will get back to the group about deadlines for the City Source.
 All committee members should look at the website, and consider what is the best use of this site.
 Libby will add a discussion of the website to the next agenda.
 Libby will create a link between these two pages.
 Libby should get the application process going to fill Kimberly’s seat. Advertise the position starting Friday the 21st.
 Kristina should let Kimberly know that we will seek to fill her position, but that she will be accepted back.
 Rachel will assign someone to look at the possible tree and assess whether it can be protected.
 Kristina will put the letter of support for SOU pollinator garden into a word document and send it out for edits from the group.
 All members should participate in an email exchange to agree on BCU approved criteria for public and private pollinator gardens
 Kristina could draft a request to the Commission to review their IPM in the light of new evidence pertaining to glyphosate. 
 Libby will send out a Doodle Poll to invite subcommittee members to the next meeting between October 20 and 23.

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