April 16, 2024 Cons. Comm. Minutes

Conservation Commission Meeting
Tuesday, April 16, 2024, 6:30 P.M.
at the South Hero Town Office
and via Zoom

Members: Bob Fireovid, Cynthia Kelley, Bridget Kerr, Mark Naud, Cristin Lemieux Pullis (at
1) Call to Order – Bridget called the meeting to order at 6:30p.
2) Public Input (items not on the agenda) – None.
3) Finalize the Agenda – Bridget asked to move the Green-up Day until Kristin could join.
4) VACC (2) Tiny Grants Submitted, quick update – Bridget submitted two grants (for $600
each) at the request of Alex, who encouraged her to apply for both projects – the
Kestrel and the NRI, since they both meet the parameters.
5) Natural Resources Inventory project w/ SHLT – Bridget asked Emily to update from a
recent discussion with Bridget, Mark, and Guy to clarify the thematic maps or layers of
the NRI. Emily discussed the minor adjustments agreed to: merging
agriculture/farmlands to include working lands and forests; adding a layer of ash
dominant forest blocks; flood risk assessment and fluvial plain erosion layers are based
on old maps (1972), though some of the data is being updated with Act 59, FEMA
mapping, and updated wetlands mapping; Environmental Public Health theme and
layers are still under discussion regarding which information is helpful and what story is
being told that’s useful; and recognized that the archaeological, historic, and geologic
(fossil) layers may not have full information because some of the data is sensitive
(specific site locations, etc.). Emily noted that we don’t have a lot of specific information
from site digging but anecdotal assumptions from geographic assessments.
The outcome could include some recommendations for educational outreach for
rewilding, pollinator habitat, and other landowner specific activities. Blue-green algae
monitoring could be part of further discussion for future.
Bridget reminded the Commission that a key audience for this NRI is the Planning
Commission and Development Review Board.
Bob asked whether the approved budget from Town Meeting Day is reflected in any
adjustment in the proposal. Emily noted it is not. Mark suggested it was his
understanding from his presentation to the Selectboard that we were seeking full
funding for the NRI and could probably do the Kestrel project with less funding than first

Bridget asked how or where the CC members might be enlisted to support the NRI;
Emily noted it would primarily be in data gap gathering, i.e. working hayfields v. fallow
lands in town; Mark offered his support for Guy in mapping and data gaps. Bridget and
Emily discussed a joint presentation and work product prior to the Selectboard budget
Cynthia asked whether other Boards or Commissions were proposed level funded.
Bob asked if we should vote on a revised budget. There was a general discussion on
revised estimates for the Kestrel project and agreed to reconsider the budget after the
AVCC Tiny Grant award notice is delivered in early May, and before the end of the FY.
6) May 4 Green Up Day Plans – Bridget shared that there were a number of details to get
completed for GUD. The new email address is being used for communication, thanks to
Bob and Kristin, with pretty good response so far. Bridget is meeting with the Islander
to discuss GUD and the Kestrel Project on the 18 th . Bob urged that we obtain the bags
from Kate at GU VT ASAP to be sure volunteers get the bags in case that want to get out
early. Kristin noted that the dumpster will be dropped at Folsom Community School
parking lot. Health Hero Farmstead will be the early bird pickup location for bags. Bob
noted that Ferry Rd., Route 2, and Eagle Camp Rd. need coverage. Bridget is
communicating with Phil Scott and Recreation Commission for White’s Beach and West
Shore Rd. cleanup crew.
7) CC Logo, Facebook, & Membership Effort – Thanks to Kristin for her work on the FB and
logo; no updates, just need to tweak the logo and get GUD posting up soon. Bridget will
be sure the details are on Town website and calendar/homepage, and possibly include
membership recruitment language.
8) VINS Kestrel Nest Boxes, update – Bridget sent a prior email regarding the 2 nest boxes,
one at Health Hero Farm and one at Island Acres. Monitoring is beginning. Starlings are
a problem for co-opting the kestrel nests. Bridget will post about the Kestrel event on
Sunday, Aug. 4, at 1:30 pm, at The Worthen Library. Bob requested expense
reimbursement for the nesting materials from the kestrel project budget.
9) Recap of VT Conservation Strategy Initiative Stakeholder Focus Group – Bob and Bridget
attended, and the focus was Act 59 and companion bills.
10) Approve minutes from March 19 meeting – Kristin moved. Cynthia 2d. Unanimous
11) Preparation for Next Meeting – Bridget wants more fun with meetings! And we need
more members and help. Focus on membership for next meeting. Bridget will be away
for the scheduled May 21 st meeting. Kristin will chair the meeting in her absence.
12) Adjourn – Motion to adjourn @8:32p Bob, Cynthia 2d.. Unanimous.