November 27, 1998 Minutes

WATgreen Advisory Committee Meeting

Minutes of the meeting held Friday, November 27, 1998.


PRESENT:   Patti Cook, Paul Eagles, Dave Barton, Dennis Huber, Jim Robinson, James Kay, Ian Fraser, Winston Cherry, Donna Schell.

ABSENT:    Roydon Fraser, Len Eckel


1.    Presentation:    Jim Robinson
                                    The Talloires Declaration

Robinson presented the Talloires Declaration documents. Quotes from the President Designate Johnston supporting the declaration and university involvement from the International Association of Universities Administrative Board at the 9th Round Table, Kyoto, Japan, were presented.

Robinson proposed the Committee meet with Johnston to discuss WATgreen and future directions. Huber suggested this might be better timed in September 1999. Kay suggested we begin scheduling the appointment now. This would be an opportunity for the committee to discuss WATgreen's two components; the actual Greening of the Campus, and the Student Environmental Literacy component, which is lacking at present. The internal profile and knowledge within the university could be improved with this discussion with David Johnston. Kay also suggested that more faculty involvement was required for WATgreen to move forward. He suggested that Johnston appointed a 1/2 faculty position at McGill to handle the instructional material and other faculty needs, and that perhaps this is what was needed here; a WATgreen office somewhat like the TRACE office.

Huber will speak to Johnston on Monday (Nov. 30/98), and attempt to mention the committee and our intentions.

Questions asked were:

2.   Approval of October 30, 1998 minutes.

3.    Nomination of Co-Chairs for 1998/99.

The nominations for co-chairs was deferred until the January meeting.

4.    Environment Report to Executive Council - Kay

The Report has been postponed until September, 1999 once the new President and Deans have begun. Mathematics and Arts were the only faculties that gave reports. Kay will compose a survey for faculty, Cook will email to department Administrative Assistants. A notice of the survey will be sent to the Gazette and Imprint. Huber suggested a representative from the colleges should be on the committee (to be discussed at the next meeting). Kay will review the State of the Environment Report with all the WATgreen Advisory Committee members and Johnston in September 1999. In this way both the Committee Members and the President are informed. It was further suggested that perhaps 2-3 members of the Committee meet with Johnston beforehand to brief him on WATgreen, and the purpose of the September meeting.

5.   Business arising from the minutes:

  1. Update on carp removal - Barton
    Barton has had no luck contacting the GRCA to lower the water level. Weather getting to cold for netting. We need to start at Columbia Lake, with a systemic approach. It is important to get the carp out of Columbia Lake as well as the streams and ponds. It will be interesting to study the suspended particle loads above and below the university. Jerry Hutten, Plant Operations, controls the creek ponds running through the south campus. The stop logs are out before the Conrad Grebel and Health and Safety ponds, making the water level, as low as they can go. It will probably be the Spring, before the stop logs are put back in, before any netting is done. We need the GRCA cooperation to lower the water level and students to perform the netting procedures.
    - put on hold until spring.

  2. North Campus Pond - Barton
    Barton polled the Biology Department on continuing use of the pond as a teaching resource, there was some interest. The pond requires rehabilitation for research and teaching use. It is not very useful as a single pond. If there were 3 or more ponds, they could be very useful. The WATgreen student project done in the summer ('98) showed the water quality was what would be expected from a pond beside an agricultural field. Netting the carp out would be easy and go towards cleaning up the pond. The slope of 3 sides of the pond is a problem, and would require a modifications.

  3. WATgreen Student Projects Collection Retention - Cook
    The student projects would be stored in the UW Archives Publications Collection as WATgreen Publications. They will be housed in the Library's in-house data base for search capabilities. There will be a web link from the WATgreen web page to the projects in the Library. It was suggested that if the projects were burned onto a CD ROM, a paper copy may not be required. CD ROMs allow for titles, abstracts and word searches.
    - Cook to find out the costs of putting the projects on CD ROMs.

6.   Other Business:

  1. Regional Workshop on Air Quality - Cook
    The Region is looking at a "Smog Plan" or "Clean Air Plan" for the Region. The breakout workshop sessions looked at: 1. What are they doing now? 2. What could they be doing? 3. How do they achieve these goals?

    Many good suggestions were made to increase public education, make public transit more efficient, use of alternative fuels, reduced vehicle usage, protocol for idling vehicles, promote full cost accounting-including the environment, education targeting government employees & children, nodal planning-higher density-for transit, commuter trails, green space to reduce mowing, reduce pesticide use, inventory of what is being done-fleets, etc., effective maintenance-air filters, reduce emissions, anti-idling by-law to public, real-time air quality index all the time, information sharing with experts, audit how many drive, use public transit, and twinning with another city/university in same air current to measure initiatives.

  2. Ian Fraser has just completed the federal/provincial emissions report.

  3. Cherry congratulated Plant Operations for removal of bikes that have been sitting for long periods of time in racks.

    7.   Next Meeting

    Monday, January 25, 1999, 9:30-11:30am ML 244



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