Jan 202021

Meeting Minutes of the

Brookfield Conservation Commission 1-18-21

Present: Jon Binhammer, Sue Shea, Jon Jickling, Kathy Kinter  Absent: Starr Strong

Zoom Meeting to order at 7:07 PM

Public Comment:  none.

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

Two topics were added to the agenda: EAB and Sunset Brook bridge update

I-89 Wildlife crossings: Sue has been out once to check the underpass by Lamson Pond. No tracks.  Starr had reported in an earlier email that she had seen numerous tracks at Cross Over Rd. but was not here for an update.  Tracks will continue to be monitored. The overpass up from the floating bridge should be checked as well.

Schoolyard Habitat:  Jon B met with David Roller, the principal of the school. David said VTC has about $3000 it is making available to the school as part of a mitigation settlement and David would like to have an outdoor structure built behind the windbreak to serve as an outdoor classroom.  There was no detailed discussion of our proposal.  Commission members discussed proposing other options for the expenditure of the funds and concluded that the structure is a fine option.  In April we will visit the site to ascertain the appropriateness of creating a wet area in the swale as part of a multi-year, phased project.

Winter Programming:  Options discussed included zoom programming as well as a self guided trail. Given covid restrictions, it was decided to forgo programming this winter.  Jon B mentioned the beaver blind North Branch Nature Center built and suggested that we might do something similar at some point.

Brookfield Solar Project: Jon B brought us up to date on details, having attended both the select board and planning commission meetings where the issue was discussed at length. Commission members concluded that given the likelihood of more solar proposals in the future, it is important that both the town plan and by-laws address appropriate siting. Jon J will bring this to the attention of the planning commission.

Other Business:

Emerald Ash Borer: Jon J will attend the safety committee meeting this week and report back to us about what they are intending. Townspeople need to be educated about the pest, the traps and what to do if insects are found so as not to react out of fear.  Working with Kate Forrer, we will create a handout for town meeting. There was no decision regarding the role the commission will play concerning the hanging of traps.

Sunset Natural Area Bridge:  No update at this time.

Next meeting will be on zoom 2/15/21 at 7:00 PM

Adjourned meeting at 8:24 PM.

Respectfully submitted,

Kathy Kinter