The Pope Branch Alliance - is this our official working title?- met on Dec. 7th at the Pennsylvania Ave. Baptist Church where we all checked in. Some new faces were Pope Branch watershed resident Sinuel Hill and DDOT rep. Reggie Arno. Alliance chair Joseph Glover asked for updates from all participants. From the WASA/DDOE/DPR end, we reported that we are very close to issuing the design contract for the stream restoration and sewer line replacement/repair. With the MOU wrangling behind us we can now get to the fun stuff. The general mood of the alliance was satisfaction and happiness with seeing progress in the contracting side of things - thanks in large part to Mike Thorstenson.
Josh Burch and Tim Critchfield of ECC reported that they have begun taking some water samples - Lucretia Brown of DDOE, Water Quality Division has agreed to act as a technical advisor to their sampling efforts and will likely attend the next meeting. ECC also is setting up a clean up event/service day on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day - January 15th (time yet to be decided). ECC will put all volunteers to work on invasive removal and trash clean up. Irv Sheffey from the Sierra Club stressed the importance of getting local residents and kids out to participate given that all trash in the stream is generated locally. Keep posted for event details and let residents know of the upcoming service day.
Trinh Doan reported that a few members went on a stream walk on Nov. 18th. The streamwalkers found patches of Kudzu, lots of English Ivy, and Japanese Knotweed. They also found some downed trees and were impressed by the condition of the trees that had been planted by Casey trees roughly 2 years ago. Pictures from this streamwalk will be posted.
Next meeting was scheduled for January 11th 6-7:30 at the same location (penn ave baptist church. PA ave. @ SE and 30th St. SE). Our usual meeting time will be the 1st thurs of the month, however due to holidays we pushed January's meeting back one week.