Birchwood Neighborhood Association General Meeting Minutes
Shuksan Middle School Cafeteria November 29, 2011 6:30-8:00 pm
Welcome: John Coleman, BNA President, welcomed neighbors to the meeting and reviewed the agenda.
North Sound Baykeepers: The team from North Sound Baykeepers gave a presentation on the pollution problem in Puget Sound caused by runoff of oil, fertilizers, pesticides, animal waste and soil trash. Motor oil is the single largest source of pollution. Polluted runoff causes 30% of the pollution in the Sound. Some ways to help decrease this pollution include:
- cleaning up pet waste in your yard every couple of days and picking up waste on walks
- washing your car at a car wash facility and not in your driveway
- using rain gardens and rain barrels to allow slow infiltration of rain water
The North Sound Baykeepers team plans to conduct a walking tour of Birchwood to show examples of runoff control in our neighborhood. If you know someone who might be interested in being part of the tour, please contact Lindsay Taylor, Project Coordinator for North Sound Baykeepers Team at LindsayT@re-sources.org. You are also invited to a watershed walk in the Lettered Streets, starting at 1301 J Street on Sat. Dec 3rd at 10am. The North Sound Baykeepers’ website gives more information on their mission and projects. (http://www.re-sources.org/programs/baykeeper)
HKP Architects: Julie Blazek gave a presentation on the firm’s history and its work as Campus Architects on Bellingham Technical College's campus for the past 15 years. The new Campus Center, which will be completed soon, has many environmentally friendly features such as a green roof, solar panels, day lighting, and rain gardens for runoff. Several other projects at BTC are currently underway: additional offices for the Campus Services building, 2 large labs and 2 classrooms for the Des McArdle Center, additional parking, and Whatcom Creek Fish Hatchery improvements. There is a pressing need for an expanded Health Sciences facility due to huge waiting list for the Nursing program. Eve Magyar and David Jungkunst from BTC answered a question about the possibility of instituting paid parking on campus. They stated that students have had to absorb increased tuition costs and paid parking would be an additional burden. Also, if paid parking was adopted, it could push parking into the neighborhood rather than keeping it confined to the BTC campus.
Portable toilet funding for Birchwood Park: This year, the Birchwood Neighborhood Association paid for a portable toilet in Birchwood Park for 5 months. It was financed by a generous grant from Whatcom Educational Credit Union and Birchwood neighbors’ donations. We would like to provide this facility again next year. A small portable toilet costs $95/month and an ADA portable toilet costs $150/month. We will approach WECU again for a grant and solicit donations from neighbors and others who use the Park. Steven Trinkaus, owner of Bellingham’s Everyday Public Market on Cornwall Ave., has offered to match donations up to $250. If you would like to donate to this project, please send the donation, payable to BNA, to Becky Schlotterback, 2611 Lafayette, Bellingham, WA. 98225.
Opportunities to serve on BNA Board: An election for open Birchwood Neighborhood Board positions will be held at the January 17th BNA meeting. Becky Schlotterback, BNA Treasurer, explained that anyone who has lived in Bellingham for a year and is a resident of Birchwood Neighborhood or owns a business in the Neighborhood is eligible to run for a Board position. A Board member’s term of office is three years. The Board meets once a month. Please contact Becky Schlotterback, email@example.com if you are interested or have questions.
Questions and Answer Time with Jack: Our councilman, Jack Weiss, shared information and answered questions from the neighbors concerning City and neighborhood issues:
Our next Birchwood Neighborhood Meeting will be Tues. Jan. 17th The Bellingham School District Superintendent and Assistant Superintendent will discuss plans for the Birchwood Elementary remodel.