Friday, January 13, 2012

Charter Township of Union
Citizens Task Force on Sustainability
January 10, 2012

Greetings All,
At our last meeting in September, we decided to convert to a quarterly meeting schedule and retain the ability to meet at special times within the quarter if issues warrant convening the committee. With that said, our next scheduled meeting will be January 10, 2012 at [4 pm] in the township hall (weather permitting, of course!).

One topic I would like to discuss at that time is the establishment of a larger community garden space. The garden spots at the Jameson Park this past growing season was a good pilot project which demonstrated that there is interest for a community garden in our Township.

I recently became aware of a unique project conducted by the East Lansing Food Co-op that
could serve as a model for our community to replicate. The basis of the idea was to partner with a private property owner who owns an undeveloped lot next to a strip mall. The private owner also owns the strip mall. Rain water from the roof of the strip mall was captured in rain barrels for use on the garden plots. I will be working with Township staff and the Mt Pleasant Area Food Co-op in the next several months to see how we can move forward with implementing a similar plan in Union Township and will report to the committee in January (with e-mail updates as warranted).

All good things,

Phil Mikus
Sustainable Committee chair

Meeting Minutes, 1/10/12
Present: Supervisor Barker, Mike Lyon, Sarvjit Chowdhary, Tom Rohrer, Woody Woodruff, Sara Christianson (Green Tree Co-op).
I. Community Garden
a. Last year included
i. poor tilth
ii. animal damage
iii. Rain Barrels were installed
b. Suggestions for coming year
i. Soil amendments (peat)
ii. Garden Tour of city and township plots
iii. Additional frost proof water spigot
iv. Fencing
v. Handicapped accessible garden
vi. Increase education and awareness
vii. Coordinated plot sign-up with City, Township and Green Tree and web based
c. Discussed Public Private Partnership such as East Lansing to provide plots near retail to utilize roof water and place the gardens in prominent locations to encourage use.

II. Environmental concerns with Fracking
a. New exploratory well on M 20 west of Lincoln Rd is for oil, not gas
b. State dept of wells has exclusive jurisdiction on permits
c. Suggested writing to Director Hal Fitch with concerns over this Fracking practice
d. Lyon informed us of the Environmental Mapper found on the State’s website (use Search feature form the DNR page at
e. The township is working on a Well Head Protection program at this time that will also help map the local aquifers