The Environment Committee works on projects of importance to air quality, noise pollution, water or land pollution, and other environmental concerns. Every spring, we lead the Kasota Ponds Clean Up to involve community members in beautifying an important local wetland area. We lead on other environmental projects on air quality, park land, watersheds, and more.

The Environment Committee meets every fourth Wednesday of the month at 7:00pm at the SAPCC office. Meetings are cancelled in July and December and rescheduled in November. Anyone is welcome participate. Read past meeting minutes here.

Join the committee!

Email info@sapcc.org for more information.

2017 Goals

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Environment

1. Continue to communicate with and support TT-ASAP.
2. Work on grant planning from MWMO and CRWD.
3. Explore tree preservation in St. Anthony Park.
4. Publish research results from the pollution map study and air quality monitoring.
5. Support the understanding of developers on grant opportunities for environmental practices. 6. Create meaningful internship opportunities tied to Environment Committee goals.

7. Continue hosting Kasota Ponds clean up.
8. Give input on the Ten Year plan, including environment, water, and parks and rec.

9. Present air quality monitoring and GIS environmental research and work.

 

Our Projects

Kasota Ponds Clean Up

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Jennings students at Kasota Ponds

For two decades, the Environment Committee has lead community members and local schools in cleaning up the Kasota Ponds wetland area off of Highway 280. This important wetland area suffers from illegal dumping as well as road runoff and litter. In a few hours, we remove dozens of bags full of trash and contribute to a healthier wetland environment for herons, turkeys, fish, and turtles. We always need volunteers for the event (which happens in mid-April), contact cailin@sapcc.org for more information.

Recently, the Committee successfully acquired security cameras for the area in order to discourage illegal dumping and hold those engaging in illegal dumping accountable. We hope to see fewer tires, air conditioners, computer monitors, and other large, polluting objects in Kasota Ponds in the years to come.

 

Air Quality Monitoring

MPCA Air Quality Monitoring

MPCA Air Quality Monitoring

In partnership with the MN Pollution Control Agency (MPCA), the Environment Committee successfully secured an air quality monitoring system for St. Anthony Park. Located near Highway 280 and the railroad near the community gardens, the air quality monitoring system will monitor particulates in the air in St. Anthony Park for a full year and generate reports that will allow the Committee to take future action to protect air quality and health. The Committee also worked with the MPCA to test a handheld air monitoring device in the neighborhood. 20 participants generated feedback for the MPCA on ease of use of the devices and also gathered valuable data in our neighborhood.

 

Hampden Park Improvements

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Hampden Park

Through the Capital Improvement Budget (CIB) process, the Environment Committee worked with the City of St. Paul to see $200,000 worth of improvements to Hampden Park. The improvements include new seating arrangements, a plaza area, benches, and public art. The park saw improvements to the sumac area and the grass in the park. Perhaps most exciting for community members include the solar charging station (the first one of its kind in Minnesota) and the bike repair station.

 

 

Environmental Pollution Map

screen-shot-2016-12-31-at-4-00-21-pmFormer consultant to SAPCC, Amanda Yang, worked with the Environment Committee to develop a Global Information System (GIS) interactive map to demonstrate pollutant sites in the neighborhood. Going back through Sanborn maps from the 1800s and tracing the environmental history of each site in the neighborhood, Amanda reconstructed the environmental history of the neighborhood down each individual plot of land based on public records. In spring 2017, we will unveil the map with community meetings and teaching sessions to instruct neighbors on how to use the map.

Resources:

Transition Town – All St. Anthony Park

screen-shot-2016-12-31-at-2-30-39-pmAn affiliate of SAPCC and the Environment Committee, Transition Town All St. Anthony Park (TTASAP) leads environmentally focused action in our neighborhood.

They work on three primary goals:

  • to reduce our carbon footprint, as individuals and as a neighborhood

  • to better prepare for severe weather and possible economic instability

  • to build our community’s resilience—and have fun while doing it.

 

Watershed Districts

A watershed district is a special purpose unit of local government in charge of managing water resources within designated boundaries. Watershed districts work to protect and improve water quality. Our watershed district organizations offer technical assistance and grants to help residents improve water quality on their properties. Most of St. Anthony Park is covered by CRWD, with a small section covered by the MWMO.

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Capital Region Watershed District

 

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Mississippi Watershed Management Organization

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MN Pollution Control Agency

screen-shot-2016-12-31-at-2-34-36-pmThe MN Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) monitors environmental quality, offers technical and financial assistance, and enforces environmental regulations. The agency finds and cleans up spills or leaks that can affect our health and environment.

 

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Other Resources

Organics Recycling

Eureka Recycling

Citywide Drop-Off Events