March 2015 Meeting

Michigan Park Citizens Association
Membership Meeting
Howard University School of Divinity
March 3, 2015

President Paul Wood called the March meeting to order at 7:10pm with 12 attendees.The February 2015 minutes were approved with two corrections of name spellings. The treasurer’s report was read later in the meeting as the Treasurer’s arrival was delayed.

Paul introduced Casey Tree arborist Becky Schwartz to discuss residential tree planting services. Many neighbors associate Casey Trees solely with community tree planting events on public land. However, Casey Trees offers services to individual homeowners for residential tree planting as well.  At the request of Becky, neighbor Tom Lavash highlighted the association’s past involvement in community tree plantings, which have included five plantings totaling 125-130 trees in multiple locations throughout Michigan Park over the past five years.

Arborist Becky Schwartz described these various Casey Trees’ programs to include: the River Smart program for private land, the tree rebate program for private land, and the community tree planting program for both public and private land.  Under the River Smart program, a Casey Trees consultant will work with a homeowner to plant any number of shady trees on their residential property. The homeowner pays a $50 flat fee (the District Department of the Environment/DDOE covers the rest of the labor, purchasing, and planting costs).  The Tree Rebate Program offers rebates of up to $50 per tree for trees that reach a minimum of 15’ in height and width, and $100 for larger shade trees.  Invasive species do not qualify.

Of special interest to MPCA members is the Community Tree Planting Program in which Casey Trees will fund and coordinate planting for neighbors who join together to plant 10 or more trees, whether on private or public land.  For individual plantings on private property, please contact Casey Trees.  In planting projects with 10 or more trees, our neighbor Tom Lavash will be happy to coordinate that with neighbors, as it requires submittal of a formal application and site plan to Casey Trees for their review and approval.

The annual deadline for tree planting requests is May 1st, for the following Fall or Spring of the following year. Plantings are scheduled for the Spring (March to May) and Fall (October to December).

The Spring clean up of the triangle park at Michigan and 12th streets will be April 25 from 9:00 am until 12:00 pm.

The attached document highlights the Canopy Trees Planted (CTP) and River Smart Homes (RSH) projects in Michigan Park and University Heights by Casey Trees – Public_Plantable

Some good news about the water at the park:  MPCA member and architect David Conrad has been researching the requirements for installation of water access in the park.  David noted that there is a water meter in the park but there is some confusion at DC Water about who is responsible for the meter.  MPCA will have to obtain a permit from DCRA and DC Water to do any work.  David met with a DC Water senior engineer who reviewed our plan and was informed that the hydrant installation must include a back flow preventer to avoid contamination of the water supply.  David found a hydrant that has an integral back-flow preventer which eliminates the need for an additional pit and facilitates maintenance.  The list price for this hydrant is $500.00 – our budget for this project is $800.00.  David passed out drawings of the site and selected equipment for installation. These are huge steps forward and many thanks to David for his hard work and time commitment on this project.

Treasurer Beulah Sutherland submitted the February treasurer’s report.  She informed us that as of the end of February we had 15 households that had paid their 2015 dues. Beulah also reviewed the past five years of paid membership. She noted that the past practice of mailing self-addressed envelops for membership dues had kept paid membership significantly higher.

Jonathan Wood, a senior at the School Without Walls, presented the members with his proposed bill to improve the Planned Unit Development (PUD) development process. PUDs have been a recent topic of discussion at the association given the recent plans for the Brookline Metro PUD as well as other proposed 5th District projects in vicinity of Michigan Park at the McMillan Reservoir and Brookline Manor on Rhode Island Avenue. Jonathan developed this bill over the past year as his senior class project.  Jonathan’s proposed bill, the Neighborhood Review Act, is meant to ensure resident input into the PUD process.  Members made suggestions on how Jonathan can improve his research and the language of his bill to reflect the concerns of the developers and the community as a whole.  Overall a very impressive piece of work. Jonathan is scheduled to meet with Council Member McDuffie on Thursday, 5 March.

The election of officers comes up in May, and Paul called on the members to begin considering serving on the nominating committee.  The new slate of officers begins service in June 2015.

Due to the renovation of the Divinity School, the next meeting of the MPCA will be Tuesday, April 7 in Ross Auditorium at Providence Hospital.

The meeting concluded at 08:30 p.m.

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