Nov 212020
 

Meeting Minutes of the Brookfield Conservation Commission 11-16-2020

Present: Jon Binhammer, Sue Shea, Jon Jickling, Kathy Kinter, Star Strong, Kate Forrer, Town Forester.

Zoom Meeting to order at 7:05 PM

Public Comment: none.

Motion to approve October minutes as presented was made by Jon J, seconded by Starr. No comments, all approved.

Emerald Ash Borer update was provided by Kater Forrer, Town Forester. This included the history of the pest’s spread in VT and its current identified locations throughout the state. While it has been found north of Brookfield, as yet it has not been found in town. Only 2 traps were set this year. Plans for 2021 are to deploy 15 BioForest prism traps around town. Star and Jon J. have offered to help and more folks will be needed. Kate will be in touch with the commission this winter to discuss a plan of action.

Forest fragmentation: Sue spent more time exploring the maps and photos VTrans uses to assess location and condition of bridges and culverts. She focused on interstate 89 culverts. Off of Northfield Rd the culvert is 6’ wide and 258’ long with a stream thru it. West of Pond village, the culvert is 7’ wide by 206’ long with a stream. Given the results of the study Kathy received from Robert Long in WA, she suggested the commission focus on bridges, as long culverts are not likely to be utilized by many animals. She suggested a focus on the passage under the bridges near Lamson Pond Rd. but first doing an assessment of utilization by tracking once we get snow. If it is determined the area is used, we can commit to regular monitoring perhaps with a camera. Jon B is going to speak with someone from TNC about best use of a camera. We would need to find out about whether the Taplains still use the fence for the cattle. Starr has offered to do preliminary monitoring of this area as well as Cross Over Rd. and report back at the next meeting.

Schoolyard Habitat: We unanimously voted, after Jon J motioned and Star seconded, to support the submission of the proposal to the principal as written by Jon B. Jon will ask him what the next steps are.

Sunset Natural Area Bridge: Jon B , Jon J and Mike F. created plank boardwalks with the purchased 2x10x10s. The poles are on site but still need to get moved to the bridge to repair it. Discussion followed about use of horses to move the poles. Jon B will check with the bridge builder for suggestions on how best to move the poles and repair the bridge. The picnic tables should be moved so they can be better utilized. Jon J suggested future programming on the site given its rich wildlife.

Winter Programming: With the new covid restricions it was decided to forgo plans for programs. Folks can still do the Xmas bird count at their homes. Sue suggested that perhaps we can create a self guided trial somewhere for the public to experience on their own.

Other Business: None.

Next meeting will be on zoom on winter solstice, Dec. 21.

Adjourned meeting at 8:20 PM.

Respectfully submitted,

Kathy Kinter

Nov 182020
 

 
Remote Public Meetings
All public body meetings for the Town of Brookfield will be conducted remotely via electronic means for the duration of Governor Scott’s State of Emergency declaration. Whenever feasible, the public will also be able to access and participate in the remote meetings by dialing in through telephone.
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Initially, the meeting’s host/organizer will mute all participants that are not members of the public body. This is necessary to control background noise. The host/organizer will then unmute participants or allow participants to unmute themselves when invited to speak by the Chair of the public body.
Please review the following guidelines:
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o after the public body discusses each agenda item;
o before the public body takes action;
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To learn more about Remote Public Meetings and the Open Meeting Law, please visit the Secretary of State’s Municipal Assistance webpage at:
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Nov 152020
 

Brookfield Conservation Commission Meeting Agenda
November 16, 2020 7:00 pm
Via Zoom Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86343784725?pwd=b2ZIRC9Sdm0va2N5YzBYdzRVbkRqUT09 (see below)
1. Review Agenda
2. Public Comment
3. Approval of Minutes of the October meeting
4. Emerald Ash Borer and Brookfield PSC – Town Forester update
5. Update on access issue off Twin Ponds Road
6. I-89 Wildlife Crossing monitoring
7. Working with the Brookfield School on schoolyard habitat enhancement – proposal
8. Sunset Brook Natural Area boardwalk/bridge/trail update
9. Winter program ideas in Covid time?
10. Other business
11. Adjourn
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Oct 212020
 

Brookfield Conservation Commission Meeting Minutes
10-19-2020
Present: Jon Binhammer, Sue Shea, Jon Jickling, Kathy Kinter Absent: Star Strong
Zoom Meeting to order at 7:08 PM
Public Comment: none.
Motion to approve August minutes as presented was made by Jon J, seconded by Sue. No comments, all approved.
Forest fragmentation: Sue received tools from Jens that VTrans uses to assess location and condition of bridges and culverts. She looked at the maps as they pertained to interstate 89 and Brookfield. There are 3 sets of bridges: Cross Over Rd, rte. 65 and Lamson Pond Rd. There are 2 culverts under 89: one off of Northfield Rd where we visited on our summer field trip and the other just south of crossing of 65 west of Pond Village. While the culverts looked big, they don’t appear friendly to wildlife as they are very long and the bottoms are ridged metal. Might they be improved and how? Sue explained that platforms can be put inside for animals to walk on. Riprap of stone can be covered with native soil so larger mammals are more comfortable walking on it. Jon B suggested we might focus on the passage under the bridges near Lamson Pond Rd. We would need to find out about whether the Taplains still use the fence for the cattle. Discussion followed concerning the viability of this. It was determined that more information is needed before we commit to attempting to monitor wildlife this winter with tracks and a game cam. Kathy and Sue will do some research and report back next meeting.
Emerald Ash Borer update was not possible as Kate Forrer, Town Forester could not make this meeting. Jon B. will be in touch with her prior to the next meeting for an update to share with us at November’s meeting.
Schoolyard Habitat: Jon B will send draft proposal to us prior to next meeting so we can ratify it then. He recapped the general idea—to plant native trees near forested areas behind windbreak and a native wildflower meadow in center of same area or perhaps next to road where soils aren’t as rich. Kathy asked about maintenance, and that will need to get worked out. Jon J. stressed the importance of a trail to help delineate the planted areas so they are not inadvertently mowed. There are grants for school habitat creation. Maybe do small wetland habitat in future.
Sunset Natural Area Bridge: Jon B ordered 2x10x10s for walkway. Still plan to lift bridge out of water and to get the phone poles Nancy offered several months ago. Town road crew had agreed to move them. Nancy may have someone to do it. Jon B. will contact her again. He hopes to work on the project in Nov.
Surficial Geology Mapping by Norwich University: George Springston, a geology professor, wants to map the Brookfield quadrangle which would include peatlands, cliffs, rock outcroppings and surface deposits like glacial till, sand and gravel. He needs a letter of support from the Commission. Jon J moved to support the request and Sue seconded the motion. Jon B will write the letter. These findings could be included in our natural resources inventory. Kathy suggested they produce a map overlay that can be used with the Biofinder maps of the area. It was suggested to ask George to lead a geology walk next year.
Allis State Park field trip: Jon J reported that he, Jon B and Starr co-led about 15 people through the park to engage in tree ID and discuss the CCC’s contribution to the infrastructure. There was much interest in trees and we decided to offer a tree program in the future. We will come to the next meeting with additional ideas for winter field trips.
Other Business: Laurel McEwen brought us up to date on what has transpired thus far on the proposed Baker development near Twin Ponds on town highway 14. The McEwens hired a wetlands specialist who identified a class 2 wetland on both sides of the road, and the State wetlands staff concurred. A permit will be required to build.
Next meeting will be on zoom on the 16th of November.
Adjourned meeting at 8:30 P.M.
Respectfully submitted,
Kathy Kinter

Oct 152020
 

NOTE:  THIS EDITED VERSION CONTAINS THE CORRECT ZOOM LINK
Brookfield Conservation Commission Meeting Agenda
October 19, 2020 7:00 pm
Via Zoom Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88686741760?pwd=a2JSTHl2WDgwNmZFanR2V1NjdkZ3QT09
1. Review Agenda
2. Public Comment
3. Approval of Minutes of the June meeting
4. Planning Commission collaboration re: Forest Fragmentation update
5. Emerald Ash Borer and Brookfield PSC – Town Forester update
6. Working with the Brookfield School on schoolyard habitat enhancement – proposal
7. Sunset Brook Natural Area boardwalk/bridge/trail update
8. Surficial Geology Mapping in the Brookfield Quadrangle – request for support
9. Other business
10. Adjourn
 
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Sep 022020
 

Present: Jon Binhammer, Sue Shea, Jon Jickling Absent: Star Strong, Kathy Kinter
Zoom Meeting to order at 7:04 PM
There was no one from the public in attendance.
Motion to approve May minutes presented was made by Jon J, seconded by Sue. No comments, all approved.
Emerald Ash Borer update was not possible as Kate Forrer, Town Forester could not make this meeting.
Continued discussion on Forest fragmentation. Discussion of the Planning Commission’s decision to not support the Conservation Commission’s (CC) letter of concern to the Selectboard over the proposal to extend a class 4 road which goes into the woods off Twin Ponds road. It was disappointing to see little consideration of the adopted town plan in this process.
Sue emphasized that the forest fragmentation issue needs to be a long term project. The CC needs to better understand the important ecological resources (e.g., put up game cameras to identify where wildlife is crossing interstate). Option to check with Jens, VT Fish and Wildlife, to see what information exists about these sites. Look at other information using Biofinder about unique areas in the north of the town.
Jon B indicated that Kathy and Starr were appointed to new 4-year terms by the Selectboard.
Jon B provided a overview of the CC field trip to the Fen led by Jon B was a success but logistically a bit. 15 participants total; 60-70% were from Brookfield, rest from Randolph and Braintree. Good story presented in the Herald.
Discussion of other ideas for CC field trips. Brookfield Town forest option: challenging due to no open trails. Decision was made to organize a nature walk at Allis state park on Sunday Sept. 27th from 3-5pm. Continued theme “Get to know Brookfield resources”. 25 limit… Jon J to organize. Put on FPF 10 days in advance (Sept 17th) .
Next meeting will be 21st of September. We will meet at school to see the natural area behind the School and later stop by the Sunset Brook natural area boardwalk.
No new business.
Adjorned meeting at 7:41 by Zoom time limit shutdown
Respectfully submitted,
Jon Jickling

Jun 222020
 

Present: Jon Binhammer, Kathy Kinter, Sue Shea, Starr Strong, Jon Jickling
Meeting outside at Town Office came to order at 7:00 PM
May minutes were unanimously approved as presented.  Kathy informed the group that she is now posting the minutes on the town site and they will no longer be labeled “draft” or “final”.  If they need to be amended, they will be posted as such on the site. There is now a drop down tab for agendas and minutes for the committees and commissions.
There was no one from the public in attendance.
Jon J will invite Kate F. to the next meeting for an EAB update.
Annual Meeting –Jon B informed us that we had missed the annual meeting in May since it was on Zoom. Starr and Kathy agreed to 4 yr.- terms and Jon will make the recommendation to the Selectboard to appoint them as such.  Officers were elected and no changes were made.
Chair-Jon Binhammer
Vice Chair-Sue Shea
Treasurer-Jon Jickling
Secretary-Kathy Kinter
Green Up Day:  Starr spoke to Bonnie Fallon and presented what she had learned regarding prior history. We voted unanimously to adopt it as a Commission project for next year.  Discussion followed about involving the school and families, as well as how to handle returnables.  We will begin planning at our Feb. or March meeting.
Our meetings in the time of Covid:  We agreed to continue to meet outside the town office as long as weather was cooperative.  Jon B will speak with Ted about using the Old Town Hall in event of darkness, rain or cold. Should we need to meet there, we can put a sign on the town office door directing folks across the street.
Lamson Pond Fen Conservation Project: Closing on the property occurred.  Discussed hosting a field trip to the fen for a small group of 10-12, with prior registration and face masks required. Sue will do publicity. Jon B will send her the information.  Trip to be Aug. 9, 3 PM.
Planning Commission collaboration RE: Act 171/Forest Fragmentation:  Jon J shared that the commission has not been meeting and has no plans to at present.  He did share information with them regarding Biofinder but does not know if anyone accessed it.
We discussed the need to familiarize ourselves (and perhaps invite members of the Planning Commission) with parcels that have been identified on Biofinder as being of high ecological importance.  Sue looked at the maps Jon B sent her but was unable to print them. She did ascertain that these areas warranted investigation: 1). north of rte. 65, on the west side of 89 and a bit where rte. 65 meets rte. 12; 2). north of rte. 12 to the Roxbury line (calcareous wetland) 3). around Sunset Lake and the wetland north of it.  Starr suggested we look at wildlife crossings near the interstate as well as the marsh between Cross Over Rd, 89 and West St.   We will do a field trip on Tu. July 7 at 3:00 PM and meet at Baker Pond.  Kathy suggested we have maps from Biofinder and that if Jens would send his power point, we could perhaps print those maps. Jon B and Sue will reach out to Jens again.
Jon B mentioned that there is a current proposal to extend a class 4 road which goes into the woods near the rte. 14 side of Twin Pond Rd.  The proposal is for a 700 ft. road with possible development, both of which would contribute to fragmentation.
Brookfield School Habitat Enhancement- Jon B spoke with the principal and head maintenance person about our doing a plan to do Native plantings with the kids that would augment the Four Winds program, as well as the surrounding habitat of the school.  It would be shared with the superintendent.  Staff were supportive of the idea. We will plan an outing to the school in September. Kathy will talk with Kathleen Sauer about how best to coordinate with Four Winds.
Sunset Brook Natural Area: Jon B and Jon J surveyed the bridge and board walk.  Nancy MccCall has phone poles that could be used to repair the bridge, as it is listing to one side. Jon J would donate wood for the boardwalk repair. Jon B reached out to the Scout leader whose boys helped with repairs after Irene; 10-15 people would be needed.  We voted unanimously to make this a Commission project.  Jon B. will ask if the road crew might help with transporting the poles. We could visit the area in Sept. when we visit the school grounds.
 Next meeting:  THERE WILL NOT BE A JULY MEETING.   Next meeting is Monday, August 17 7:00 PM   Town Office, if weather conducive
Meeting Adjourned at 8:35 PM
Respectfully submitted,
Kathy Kinter
 
 

Jun 112020
 

Meeting Minutes of the Brookfield Conservation Commission         5-18-20
Present: Jon Binhammer, Kathy Kinter, Sue Shea, Jon Jickling.
Zoom meeting came to order at 7:05 PM
January minutes were unanimously approved as presented.  February’s meeting was cancelled due to weather and we did not meet March or April due to covid 19.
There was no one from the public in attendance.
Lamson Pond Fen Conservation Project: Closing is proceeding and should be finalized in the next couple weeks. All agreed a hike open to a limited number of the public with physical distancing will be planned for summer. Some trail clearing may need to occur.  Public access routes were discussed.
Planning Commission collaboration RE: Act 171/Forest Fragmentation:  Jon J will share a summary of Jens Hilke’s presentation  at the upcoming meeting.  We agreed to all learn more about the high priority areas as designated and what might be done to protect them so that we can create a proposal. Sue will reach out to Jens again for information.  We agreed that field trips to some of the areas would be helpful.
Tabled Website and ash borer discussions.  Town forester will be invited to the next meeting.Green Up Day: Bonnie will do it this year for the last time.  We will discuss our adoption of it for next year.  Jon B will ask the selectboard at the next meeting if they will approve the town truck coming to W Brookfield to pick up trash.  If so, he will get bags, and Sue or Kathy will pick them up.  Sue will reach out to village residents about helping on May 30.
Zoom meeting came to abrupt end, as we ran out of time.
Tabled: Brainstorming and prioritizing projects for 2020
Next meeting:  Monday, June 15   7:00 PM   Town  Library, if weather conducive or Zoom
Meeting Adjourned at 7:40  PM
Respectfully submitted,
Kathy Kinter

Mar 112020
 

Brookfield Conservation Commission
March 16, 2020 7:00 pm
Brookfield Public Library
Meeting Agenda

Review Agenda

Public Comment

Approval of Minutes of the January meeting (February meeting cancelled due to weather)

Lamson Pond Fen Conservation Project update

Planning Commission collaboration re: Forest Fragmentation discuss next steps

Brookfield  town website update

Emerald Ash Borer and Brookfield PSC – Town Forester update

Green-Up Day report by Starr

Brainstorm session continuation – projects for 2020

Other business

Adjourn

Feb 122020
 

Brookfield Conservation Commission
February 18, 2019 7:00 pm
Brookfield Public Library
Meeting Agenda

Review Agenda

Public Comment

Approval of Minutes of the January meeting

Lamson Pond Fen Conservation Project update

Planning Commission collaboration re: Forest Fragmentation discuss next steps

Brookfield  town website update

Emerald Ash Borer and Brookfield PSC – Town Forester update

Green-Up Day report

Prepare for Town Meeting

Brainstorm session continuation – projects for 2020

March 11 presentation by Rudy Rudell of White River Partnership about the watershed – proposal to co-sponsor this presentation with Braintree and Randolph CCs.

Other business

Adjourn