Minutes of Parkwood Park Committee Meeting of 6/05/12

Minutes

Parkwood Park Committee

June 5, 2012

In attendance:                                                                         Absent:

Karna Candler                                                             Joe Dicks

Sheri Kennedy                                                            Melanie Sovine

Jim Jarboe

Joe Foley

Steve Elmore

  1. General

This was the first meeting of the 2012-2013 Parkwood Park Committee.  Melanie Sovine, a new member was not present, but Steve will brief her on the meeting and the background of some the issues discussed when she is available.  Karna requested that Steve contact Bob Stewart and ask him to join the committee.

Action Item: Steve will call Bob Stewart about joining the Committee.

Based on some cajoling from Karna, Sheri now seems to be a Committee member (member emeritus?)

  1. Update on Parkwood Park sign.

Joe Dicks was not present, but wanted to reminder everyone that the Dekalb County Historic Preservation Commission (DCHPC) meeting about our sign is Monday, June 18 at 7:00 p.m. in the Maloof Auditorium and that a good showing of PGC members might help influence the Commission’s decision.  These meetings can drag on for hours, so it is difficult to know when our sign might be discussed.  We should try to get as many Committee members and Board members as possible to attend.

Steve provided copies of e-mail exchanges between himself and Bob Ballou and between himself and Chris Leeth.  Chris is the Druid Hills Civic Association (DHCA) historic preservation liaison with the Dekalb County Historic Preservation Commission.  Although Bob did not think the sign would be an issue, Chris’s response was more guarded about signs in general on Ponce.

Action Item: Steve will call Chris Leeth and discuss his concerns as they relate to our sign since it so similar to the Olmsted Linear Park signs.

  1. Drainage on West Ponce end of Park

Karna wanted to know when we are going to finish the work on this project which involves channeling overflow of the West Ponce culvert intake across the sidewalk and into the creek.  There are currently two flumes, one installed by the county and one dug by Sheri and Jim Kennedy to widen and deepen a naturally cut channel.   Rocks have been installed in the latter channel but that work is incomplete.  More rocks are needed to finish the project and then some water control landscaping needs to be done at the sidewalk to ensure that water runs into the flume.  That landscaping might involve bringing in some dirt to build small berms

Steve has ordered some rocks for a project at his house and can donate some excess rocks to the cause, and he has volunteered to finish lining the new channel.  Karna suggested filling the gaps in the rocks with small gravel.

For now, the county installed flume will remain as is, but will require some work in the future because it does not work well.  Work on that flume and the water control landscaping may be items that impact the budget.

Action Item: Steve will complete lining the new channel with rocks.

  1. West Ponce planting plan

Although much of the original planting plan for the West Ponce end of the Park developed by Camille Harvey and refined by Sheri has been implemented, two items remain.  The first is the unplanted areas near East and West Parkwood.  Originally, the plan had been to plant grass in those areas.  The second item is installing grass in the planting strip between the sidewalk and West Ponce.

Sheri suggested that we change the plan for the two corner areas and plant low growing native plants (possibly flowering plants) in those areas.  The Committee liked the idea and Sheri suggested getting Ruby Boch (?) involved to suggest sun-tolerant plants that might thrive in those locations without obstructing the view of the road from cars on East and West Parkwood.

Action Item: Sheri will contact Ruby Boch and develop a plan and list of materials for these two corners of the Park.

Sheri also suggested that the PPC adopt a formal definition of “native” plant.  Woodlands uses “Piedmont native plants” which is a more restrictive list of plants.  Other parks, like Deepdene, use other definitions of native which provide broader lists of native plant materials.  Some of the other definitions are “Georgia native plants” and “Southeast native plants”.

There was some discussion about what to do with the planting strip.  The original plan was to level up the area and plant grass.  Joe suggested looking at alternatives to grass that might not need as much attention and mowing.  Sheri indicated that some earlier research had shown that most native plants won’t survive that close to the car exhausts.  She indicated that Meyers Zoysia can stand the heat and fumes and doesn’t grow tall.  Now that the weather has warmed up, it’s a good time to sod that area.  Before sod can be installed, that area needs to be prepped, and sod needs to be priced.  Also, new sod will require daily watering for several weeks so a watering plan will need to be developed before installing the sod.

Action Item:  Steve will work with Tom Bell (who recently installed sod in his planting strip) to get more information about sod for the planting strip.

  1. South Fork Conservancy Fiscal Sponsorship

Sheri indicated that answers to the questions posed by Frances and others concerning the proposed contract with the South Fork Conservancy (SFC) have been answered by SFC.  Although no changes in the contract will be made, we now have a better understanding of how it will govern the relationship between PGC and SFC.

Action Item:  Steve should make a motion at the next Board meeting that the PGC accept the SFC contract.

We already have several checks from PGC members in anticipation of our arrangement with SFC.  Sheri suggested using the delivery of these checks for some positive PR for SFC and PGC.  She suggested asking Susan Stewart to write an article for the Fall edition of the Druid Hills News and that we have a picture of Steve presenting the checks to George/Sally.

Action Item:  Sheri to contact Susan about writing an article for the DH News.

When Sheri and Steve met with George Ikes, he provided copies of the acknowledgement letter currently provided to SFC contributors.  He indicated that contributors to Parkwood Park through SFC could receive a letter from that was customized for Parkwood Park although it would be on SFC stationary.

Action Item:  Steve will draft an acknowledgement letter from SFC for Parkwood Park contributions and have it ready for review at the next Board meeting.

Steve presented some spreadsheets he will use to track donations and expenses submitted to SFC.

  1. Spraying of invasive and undesirable plants in the Park.

The first round of spaying was completed on May 22.  That spraying was along the trails at varying widths of 1 to 20 feet depending on proximity to the stream and presence of desirable plants.  Initial observations are positive.  There are many areas were poison ivy and English ivy were sprayed but ferns in their midst were not sprayed, or where grape and ivy climbing on sweetshrubs were sprayed where they begin to climb the sweetshrubs, but not sprayed on the sweetshrubs themselves.

In the first two weeks after spraying, the leaves on the Virginia creeper, poison ivy, blackberry, and grape vines have turned brown and the vines begun to shrivel.  The more tender re-growth of the elaeagnus is turning brown, and the English ivy is now beginning to develop black spot as the leaves begin to die.

There was some discussion of what the actual motion approved by the Board had been in approving the spraying.  For clarity, it was the consensus that the Committee bring to the Board a new motion that indicates that the full 3-year plan proposed by Terry Sutton be adopted contingent upon having the funds available prior to each application and that we not spray within the banks of the stream until we do further research into stream bank stability.

Action Item:  Steve should make a motion at the next Board meeting to adopt the full 3-year plan subject to the conditions described above.

Sheri suggested scheduling a “wine walk in the Park” to show how the spraying has not harmed the native plants and to show off the native plants that are already in the Park.  Joe suggested capturing the walk on video and posting it to You Tube.

To help bring Joe and Melanie up to speed on Park issues, Sheri has agreed to a meeting with them (and Bob, if he joins the Committee) in the Park.

  1. Watering plan for new plants

The watering of the new plants at the traffic circle and at West Ponce has not been too onerous a task recently because of the cooler temperatures and frequent light rains.  The main issue with watering is connecting the meter to the fire hydrant; it can be difficult for one person to do.  The daily watering of the new sod makes it imperative that we have a formal water plan and schedule.

Tom Bell has agreed to help.  We agreed to solicit help from others at the next Board meeting.

Action Item:  Joe and Steve will develop a watering plan and schedule after the next Board meeting.

  1. Tree Maintenance

A Georgia Power contractor limbed three trees on May 22/23.  The two large dead trees on West Parkwood (8 and 10 on the list of Trees Needing Attention) were limbed leaving very tall trunks still standing.  And a few dead limbs on the living Tulip poplar at the West Parkwood – West Ponce intersection were trimmed.

Unfortunately, the contractor left many branches that were too large for their chipper in the Park.  Since Sheri made initial contact with Georgia Power about the dead trees, she agreed to call them to report the problem.

Action Item:  Sheri will call Georgia Power about large branches left in Park.

There is one large dead tree in the Park beside the West Parkwood path that needs to be limbed this summer or it will become too dangerous to climb.  Tony de Gives gave us an estimate of $1,200 to limb that tree and leave the trunk standing.  A quick review of the budgets (PGC Parkwood Park unobligated funds and SFC unobligated funds) indicates there is not enough money to pay for work on this tree.  Karna will talk to some PGC members and see if she can get them to make SFC contributions to help build up our Tree Maintenance funds.

  1. Other items

Sheri suggested that we hold the next PPC meeting at Woodlands so that the Committee can see what has happened there after the invasive plants were removed.  Since the 1st Tuesday in July is the 3rd, the meeting date will be set based on when Sheri can set up something with Woodlands

Next Meeting: Date TBD at Woodlands

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