Harrisville Conservation Commission
Meeting Minutes
Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Members present: Harry Wolhandler, Don Scott, Les Lamois, Winston Sims, Kathy Scott

Members of the public: Earl Horn

Agenda Review/Approve January Minutes
All accepted the agenda as presented. On the January Meeting Minutes, Mr. Sims requested that the phrase “Community Development” be substituted for “Third World achievement”.  All voted in favor to approve the January Meeting Minutes as  amended.

The Chair welcomed Earl Horn at the table. A member of the Trails Committee, Mr. Horn explained his interest in local ecology and trail mapping. Subsequently, members shared their particular conservation-related passions: Andrea Polizos noted wildlife protection ; Don Scott noted wetlands and shoreland protection and stormwater management ; Les Lamois noted water quality protection; Kathy Scott noted environmental and local regulation and ordinances; Winston Sims shared wetlands and shoreland protection and emphasized stormwater runoff. He also noted links with pond associations; and Harry Wolhandler expressed his interest in energy, sustainability, managing community growth, stormwater management, sharing access to, and education about, the environment.

During the discussion, members suggested working with Highway Department and researching further the new culvert designs available (box culverts, D-shaped culverts), which are designed to better manage water flow and wildlife migration.

2020 Spring Programs
Salamander Brigade – April – Andrea Polizos will contact Brett Thelen about upcoming training dates. Andrea noted that the Harris Center offers curriculum contributions for local students. Members discussed good timing to submit an article to Common Threads. Harry mentioned this helpful link to raising awareness in general, as part of larger effort leading up to a possible wetlands setback ordinance.
Weed-watcher training / pond association – Members discussed the idea of broadening the invitation to weed-watcher training to all interested in protecting water bodies. The HCC will continue discussions at a later date about networking with lake and pond association members for information sharing and other purposes.

Sesquicentennial Con Com Report
For the 150thcommemorative book, the HCC will draft a history of the Conservation Commission since its inception. Separately, members discussed ideas for educational materials and the best location for a booth. All liked the idea of leveraging the Rain Garden site. Discussion will continue next month.

Harrisville Mapping Opportunities
The HCC would like to collaborate with the Trails Committee, once maps are available, to add an overlay of valuable ecological and environmental features along trails. The Chair will reach out to Barbara Watkins to discuss.

Exotic Species Program Report from NHDES
Winston Sims noted that the report does not discuss a new species of boat called a “wake boat”, designed to create more disturbance for water skiers and water boarders. He expressed concern about the effect of these boats on aquatic invasives. The Chair reiterated that most infestation is identified around boat ramps, emphasizing the importance of lake hosts.

Reports on actions of other town committees
The Trails Group is working with Select Board and Highway Department to repair damage to sections of the Rail Trail between Main Street and Brown Road.

Broadband update – Two bond hearings are scheduled. A draft Warrant Article is in place; the project will be voted on at Town Meeting.

Rain Garden timing – Spring is the goal for the project.

The meeting adjourned at 9:05 pm.