Sustainable Communities Network Quarterly Meeting Minutes – March 2018

Sustainable Communities Network – March Meeting
3/1/18                      Location: City of Menasha

Attendees: J. Conrad, R. Kanitz, C. Kasimor, R. Kasperek, S. Schroeder, and K. Thunes


Approval of December Meeting Minutes: Motion made.

City of Menasha Presentation: Community Development Coordinator Sam Schroeder gave a presentation on the Menasha Downtown Vision Plan. The City is looking to fill holes and to revitalize the area as Menasha is now officially landlocked with Fox Crossing’s incorporation. Some areas that need examining include mill sites and green fields. The end goal is to lay infrastructure wisely for future land use, and to continue to get people to Menasha. The opening of the Trestle Trail Loop the Lake project will help improve access already, and will facilitate more linkages in the region. Other needs include meeting storm water standards by adding facilities over the next 25 years. Apart of this is looking at the Menasha lock and the invasive Goby problem. Schroeder then took questions on the plan and answered specifics in regards to some of the residential development, and which mill sites were being examined.

Tree Survey Update: Thunes made the suggestion to table this topic until June in order to try and get DNR involvement in order to explain the updates and data. Other tree topics were discussed instead. Kasimor informed the group that Sustainable Neenah is hosting a presentation March 19th about planting fruit trees for residents and private land owners. Kanitz discussed Menasha’s progress removing invasive Buckthorn; the sustainability board is investigating preventative ground cover planting and will report if it is cost effective in the future.

Barriers to Green Infrastructure: Kasperek updated the group on the current status of the Green Infrastructure reviews. The Village of Fox Crossing is considering waiting for their summer intern and to make it a project for them to work on. The City of Menasha Sustainability Board completed the first portion of the assessment, but also is considering utilizing an intern to complete the second portion (ordinance review and revision). Thunes made the suggestion to table the topic until December in order to give the municipalities time to complete their assessments over the summer.

Earth Day: Kasperek continued the conversation about Earth Day from the December SCN meeting. For 2018, the group will promote other events in the area via the SCN website. Kasperek has already made the page and has some dates already added.

Kanitz introduced what is planned at Bubolz Nature Preserve and the opportunity to sponsor the event. Kasperek explained what Sustain Greenville has planned – they will be delivering free mulch to residents again this year. Conrad discussed the plans at Kimberly-Clark. K-C will be promoting efforts to go strawless, compost more in the cafeteria, and will be collecting old tennis shoes and plastic bags for recycling. Schroeder brought up the Earth Day Story Time at the Menasha Library.

Energy Topics: Kanitz followed up on a previous discussion held by the Menasha Sustainability Board. There was interest in learning about what WPPI Energy has been doing and the feasibility of solar gardens. Thunes brought information about Energy Special Improvement Districts to inform the group. It was suggested to table the topic until September in order to contact Representative Amanda Stuck in order to inquire on what she learned in Germany about energy policies.

 Adjourn. The next meeting will be held June 6th in the Village of Fox Crossing.

Next meeting days and schedule:

  • June 7th – Village of Fox Crossing: Tree Inventories
  • September 6th – City of Oshkosh: Energy Usage and Alternatives
  • December 6th – Town of Greenville: Barriers to Green Infrastructure

Topics for the next agenda: Fox Cities Greenways seed money (future meeting), buckthorn removal and prevention, urban tree inventories, and urban forestry tools through the DNR.

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