Meridian’s Environmental Commission plans for 2018

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Susan Masten is passionate about irrigation systems.

Yes, really.

The Meridian Township Environmental Commission board member says overwatering hurts the environment.

“It drives me crazy when people irrigate when it’s raining outside,” Masten said.

Mandating when people water their lawns isn’t necessarily something the Environmental Commission is looking to do in the future, but they are looking at potential fixes.

The Environmental Commission set their meeting dates for 2018 this month. Photo by Claire Postelli.

“They’re coming out with irrigation systems that are wifi connected and can check the weather,” added Commissioner Kirk Lapham. “It’s raining outside, don’t water.”

This is just one thing the Environmental Commision discussed during their monthly meeting on Nov. 1. They also talked about wetlands in Meridian Township and revisions to the Strategic Plan for 2018.

Meridian Township uses Michigan’s definition of wetlands in Article IV as “Land characterized by the presence of water at a frequency and duration sufficient to support, and that under normal circumstances does support, wetland vegetation or aquatic life and commonly referred to as a bog, swamp, or marsh.”

Carla Clos is the Deputy Drain Commissioner from the Ingham County Drain Commissioner’s Office. She presented on ICDC’s request for a wetland use permit for Smith Consolidated Drain located near the Coyote Creek Condominiums.

“Commissioner Masten questioned if the movement of soil upland would spread invasive species to the maintained lawn area,” reads the minutes. “Chair McConnell questioned revegetated plans for the area. Mr. Nurse explained the impacted wetland would be over seeded and he determined the existing perennial native plant material would regenerate within the impacted area within a year.”

This motion passed.

Planning for 2018 started on Nov. 1.

The commission felt it was important to look at the planning for 2017 to see what goals they met and what ones they need to continue working on in the coming year.

The Strategic Plan for 2017 included two portions, as outlined by Commissioner William McConnell during the meeting.

“We have two portions of this Strategic Plan, a preamble and a single goal which is quality collaborative goal with a couple of objective,” McConnell said. “Collaborate with parks and rec. Engage the chairs of these board for environmental planning issues and protections.”

While McConnell, who spoke for the commission, said they believe to have “established and maintained” some degree of liaisons with these boards, they aim to continue this in 2018.

Their overall goal is to look at the Green Space Plan and the Master Plan and understand the relationship between them.

These plans are still being discussed. Planning will continue during the Commission’s next meeting, Dec. 6.