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The Borough of Lansdowne Pennsylvania The Borough of Lansdowne Pennsylvania

Environmental Committee

June 26, 2008

In attendance: Committee members Ellen Lustgarten, Barbara Silzle (chair), and Borough Manager Craig Totaro. Mary Lou Jennings, Chair of the Shade Tree Board and Barry Malone, Chair of Park & Recreation Board attended a portion of the meeting. Stephen Wagner was absent.

There were no visitor comments at the meeting.

Park & Rec Board Orientation Session with Barry Malone

  • The meeting was an effort to:
    • understand the P&R board’s role and responsibilities as they relate to the borough’s land (parks, green spaces);
    • understand the mechanisms and entities that are in place to care for them;
    • aid communication and coordination efforts among the entities engaged in managing and maintaining the borough’s land.
  • Items discussed:
    • The P&R board reviews the Multi Municipality Plan and the Gateway Park & Pedestrian Trail Master Plan for potential projects; the Committee suggested they also utilize the Borough’s Comprehensive Plan.
    • The board is concerned about the bathrooms periodically flooding at the Pavilion at Hoffman Park; they are considering removing the pavilion. Engineers have not been engaged to look at it for structural problems. Barry’s aware that stream bank restoration is being done; if it stops the flooding the board will rethink the necessity of replacing the pavilion. Craig mentioned a $125,000 matching planning grant from DCNR that involves 5 municipalities and the Wm Penn School District (Lansdowne, E. Lansdowne, Yeadon, Darby, Colwyn). Release of the funds to initiate planning requires matching monies from all municipalities to be secured in advance, for a total of $250,000. It was previously determined that once released, Lansdowne would use its grant monies for planning at Hoffman Park.
    • Jack Kelly of the P&R Board is their liaison to the Shade Tree Board.
    • We discussed and will get clarity on who is responsible for the periodic assessment of the trees, plants and vegetation in the borough’s parks and green spaces. Mary Lou said she and Jeri Steiber conduct monthly assessments of the trees in the parks. The P&R board members conduct monthly park assessments, which apparently include the trees, although elements of the natural environment are not on their check-list. We all agreed that the goal is to formalize the reporting process and eliminate duplication of efforts.
    • The borough loaned its copy of “Creating Sustainable Community Parks” published by the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, to Mary Lou. Barry will also share it with his board; it’s available online@
  • The Committee will meet quarterly with Mary Lou and Barry to keep the lines of communication and collaboration open. The next joint meeting will be October, an evening date and time to be determined.
  • The Committee will connect with Jeri Steiber, Director of Recreation, a borough staff member with direct knowledge of and responsibility for the borough’s land management.
  • Barry invited Barbara to attend the P&R board’s July meeting on the 3rd Monday @ Hays Park at 7pm, to discuss the Committee’s involvement with the board.

Review Draft Tree Ordinance with Mary Lou Jennings

The ordinance establishes a Lansdowne Shade Tree Commission to regulate the planting, transplanting, removal and trimming of trees located within the Street Tree Corridor and public places in the Borough. We reviewed the latest draft with Mary Lou Jennings and agreed to several changes. The Committee will present the latest draft along with issues still outstanding to Council at a business meeting for a broader discussion.

Greater Gladstone Civic Associations’ Requests

  • The GGCA requested $5760 from the borough to fund projects in the Manor, including underground electricity to the Island ($1100) and flowerbed, shrubs ($4660). The committee determined 1) the issue of electricity to the island wouldn’t be handled by the borough providing funds to the GGCA, 2) there aren’t discretionary funds available in the 2008 Borough Budget for the flowerbed/shrub improvements. $40,000 is in the ’08 budget for green space through the Park & Rec Board. In addition to more community fundraising, the GGCA could consider approaching the Park & Rec Board and the GLCA for support of their efforts.
  • The Committee rejected the request to relocate electricity underground on the island. PECO estimated the cost to be $8426-$10,526.
  • The Committee is recommending the borough install water to the island so the flowerbeds and shrubs can be maintained. The cost according to Aqua is expected to be $800-$1,000. A motion to expend up to $1000 will be presented to Council at the July 2nd Business Meeting; the funds would come from the Municipal Bldg expenses. A way to secure water use will be put in place when installed.


  • The committee discussed the recycling survey results; identified key concerns raised by the residents, brainstormed ideas to increase recycling at residences, including how and when things are picked up, and enforcement.
  • 5 Portable recycling units were purchased for approximately $500 from the DEP grant; they’re now available for public events in the borough. The LEDC will utilize 2 each week for the Farmers Market.
  • Recycling at the 20th Century Club – Craig will assure it is being done most effectively.
  • Bill Johnson will attend the July Committee meeting to discuss trash and recycling issues.
  • The committee will review the current utilization of trash and recycling cans throughout the business districts at the July meeting. Craig will have information about the pick-up schedules for all cans as part of the review.

There will be no meeting in August. Next meeting is Wednesday, September 10 @ 9:30 am.

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