Harrisville Conservation Commission
Wednesday, March 1, 2023
Meeting Minutes

The Conservation Commission held a regularly scheduled meeting on Wednesday, March 1, 2023 at town offices and via zoom.

Members present:  Harry Wolhandler, Les LaMois, Kathy Scott, Don Scott. Absent: Ralph Zingaro
Attendees: Winston Sims

Agenda – Members approved the agenda as presented.

Minutes of February meeting – Members approved as submitted.

Harrisville’s Trees & Forests – Members discussed the desire and opportunity to help restore the loss of Elm and Chestnut trees in town through replanting. The HCC discussed possible locations and ways to reach out to interested or potentially interested parties, such as the Historic District Commission and Historic Harrisville.

Invasive Species – While no immediate activity over winter or spring is planned to treat knotweed, the HCC will discuss plant test schedule for warmer months. Separately, the Chair noted that the NHACCC report on progress for combatting Cyanobacteria with grants and loans indicates bipartisan support at the state level.

Rain Garden
*   Garden Party -The HCC changed the date of the event to Saturday, April 29, from 10:00 am – 1:00 pm, with 10-noon for planting and noon to 1:00 for goodies. A promotional item will be submitted to Common Threads. Members also discussed including before and after photo board to share how plantings improve the Rain Garden.

    *   Public contributions / plant donations – Members reviewed the list of appropriate native plants to include in the request for donations that will be part of the Common Threads submission. The list comes from the chart of “Native Plants for New England Rain Gardens,” put out by UNH. It also will be posted on the town website.

Earth Day Roadside Cleanup – The annual Roadside Cleanup is scheduled in honor of Earth Day, which this year is Saturday, April 22.  In addition to a promotion in Common Threads, the HCC will hang a poster and indicate where bags can be obtained.

Wetlands Protection Ordinance – The board discussed a sample Wetlands Protection ordinance from Brookline, NH for how the HCC may suggest possible amendments to Harrisville’s existing wetland buffer requirements. Don Scott will share a copy with HCC members for review and feedback. The Brookline ordinance requires review by the town’s Conservation Commission for impact on natural resources and for the HCC’s to the ZBA.  The HCC will find other examples to compare with the Brookline Ordinance.

Con Com Membership – The HCC has invited a potential member to attend the April meeting. Members extended sincere thanks to longtime member Les LaMois for his contributions to the HCC over the past decade.

New Hampshire’s Municipal Conservation Commissions Handbook – The Chair will review the publication, dated 2021, for important sections and information for members.

Reports on actions of other town committees and environmental groups
*   Select Board – The SB continues its preparation for Town Meeting, Tuesday, March 14.
*   Planning Board – The PB continues its work to condense the Master Plan. Don Scott and Harry Wolhandler are synthesizing the chapter on Stormwater Management.
*   Zoning Board of Adjustment- The ZBA recently reviewed and approved two applications for home-based businesses.
*   Hazard Mitigation Plan  – The group updating this plan is currently reviewing dams in town.
*   Historic District Commission – The HDC has no applications pending.
*   Trails – A new trailhead sign was placed on Dublin Road for the Rocky Road trail on the Patton land.
*   Community Power- The town will launch Community Power this spring.

The meeting adjourned at 9:10 pm.