Environmental Stewardship Committee (ESC)
An overview of ESC program and activities is provided here. For specific information about dates of current programs, consult the calendar on this website.
Membership and Meetings
Officially, the Environmental Stewardship Committee has nine members appointed by Council for a two-year term with one representative each from Council, Planning Commission and staff. But beyond the appointed members, the Committee welcomes all who share an interest in gardens, trees, streetscapes, preserving the environment, and Village beautification generally, regardless of previous experience. This is a great opportunity to meet other residents and get involved in the community!
Meetings are held on every fourth Monday of the month (except December) at 7:30 p.m. in the Community Room on the lower level of Village Hall (back entrance). They are announced on this website. Click here to subscribe to meeting notifications via email.
Current appointed members are:
Tom Karr, Amberley employee
Larry McGraw, Planning Commission rep.
Natalie Wolf, Council rep.
Merrie Stillpass, Co-Chair
Leslie McIntosh, Co-Chair
Each spring and summer, the ESC conducts the Garden Awards program, which recognizes key elements of gardening and landscaping undertaken by residents to maintain and enhance the natural beauty of their home and the Village. You are invited to nominate residences for these awards. The nominating period typically runs from late April to early June, with judging conducted by mid-July and winners announced in August. Details are announced in the monthly e-news and in the news section and calendar on this website.
Each of the four award categories listed below are divided into "Professional" and "By Owner" classifications for judging:
- Best Curb Appeal
- Best Overall Landscape
- Best Backyard Haven
- Best Sustainable Garden (featuring elements such as a sustainable garden or functional features such as a rain garden, native plants, and vegetable gardens)
Tree City USA
When the Amberley Village Environmental Stewardship Committee was established in 2004, meeting the standards to become a Tree City USA provided a framework for initiating its role in the Village. Since first earning the Tree City USA designation in 2005, Amberley has continuously maintained this status and gone beyond the minimum requirements to earn Growth Awards each year since 2007.
The Tree City USA program is sponsored by the National Arbor Day Foundation to encourage and recognize urban and community forestry programs in towns and cities across the country. To qualify for Tree City USA, a town or city must meet four standards established by The Arbor Day Foundation and the National Association of State Foresters:
- A Tree Board or Department – Fulfilled by the Environemental Stewardship Committee
- A Tree Care Ordinance (Amberley Village Code Section 100)
- A community forestry program with an annual budget of at least $2 per capita -- Amberley spends more than $7,000 annually on tree pruning, removal, planting and maintenance of the trees in the public rights-of-ways and on the grounds of Village owned property.
- An Arbor Day observance and proclamation
Environmental Stewardship Committee members conducted a tree inventory as part of the Tree City USA requirements.
For more information, visit http://www.arborday.org/programs/treeCityUSA/index.cfm
Tree City USA Luncheon in Amberley Village April 20, 2012
On April 20, 2012, Amberley Village and the ESC will be hosts for the annual TCUSA luncheon. The luncheon will be held at the JCC beginning at noon.
It is an honor to be selected as hosts, and the event is a wonderful opportunity to showcase Amberley Village's efforts in making urban forestry programs a valuable investment in improving our community's quality of life.
The Committee plans to make this event the first Green TCUSA program. A looping powerpoint presentation will communicate the Tree City message, announce sponsors, and show the beauty of Amberley and the other Tree City USA communities. Luncheon items will be decided based upon local availability.
Further ideas for this Green event will be discussed at the monthly ESC meetings. Volunteers and sponsors are essential to make this event a success. Volunteers are needed to help with promotion and decorations, serve as hostesses, spnosors, to provide photos of Amberley landscapes in all seasons, and to suggest other tree-friendly ideas.
An annual Arbor Day observance is held in the Village each spring as part of being a Tree City USA. For a number of years, it was a clean up event in which volunteers conducted tree care projects, planted flower beds, spread mulch, and weeded the beds around Village Hall. Education materials and recycling programs are offered, along with musical entertainment and refreshments, and the Amberley History Room on the lower level of Village Hall is open for tours. In 2011, Arbor Day was celebrated as a volunteer appreciation event and the occasion to dedicate a gingko tree on the Village Hall grounds as a Heritage Tree.
Heritage Tree Program
The Amberley Village Heritage Tree Program promotes the identification and preservation of significant trees in the Village. It's a way to celebrate the natural beauty we enjoy in Amberley.
A "Heritage Tree" is defined as a tree or stand of trees that, due to age, size, species, quality or historic association, is of landmark importance and whose retention as such will not unreasonably interfere with the use of the property it is located on. The Heritage Tree Program is a voluntary program that focuses only on education and awareness. It does not in any way affect ownership.
Village residents are invited to nominate a tree or stand of trees for designation as a Village of Amberley Heritage Tree (with the permission of the homeowner). Click on the link below to access a nomination form and read more about the program in detail.
Heritage Tree Program Nomination Form
A Ginkgo biloba tree located at the north end of the Village Hall property, near the upper playground, was named as the Village's first Heritage Tree in the summer of 2010. It was nominated by Ruth Fishman, a resident of Ontario, Canada. As a child, she spent summers in Amberley with her grandparents, Dr. Abraham M. Wigser and Rachel Wigser, whose property at Ridge and Section Roads is now the site of Village Hall.
Visiting the Village in 2009, Ruth Fishman of Toronto, Ontario, located the Ginkgo tree, which grew inw hat was once her grandparents' front yard. In a letter describing her trip to Amberley Village, Fishman writes, "I jumped out of the car, spotted the Ginkgo tree and walked right up to hug it!" Fishman said the tree was planted around 1935 "when Amberley was farmland" and the Village was "way out of town."
"This tree stands for a time of wonder and discovery of the outdoors, living the land, and growing food in your own backyard," she said.
A Green Clearing
During the summer and early fall months, the ESC convenes volunteers one evening a month, usually the first Thursday, to tend the trees on the Amberley Green property. The trees, their beauty and contributions to the environment, are an important asset, and the Village budget only provides grass mowing on the property. The group prunes, clears out undergrowth, and removes vines and weeds. No sign-up is required, and all are welcome. Volunteers can also assist with tasks that do not involve physical labor. It's a great opportunity to meet other residents and enjoy sunsets at Amberley Green. Specific dates are announced on the calendar.
The ESC periodically hosts informative lectures on environmental topics for Amberley residents. Past presentations have addressed coyotes and geese in residential areas and biodiversity in backyard gardens.
Cincinnati Zoo's lists of plants, shrubs, grasses, etc.
Cincinnati Zoo's list of deer resistant plants
Help Stop the Asian Longhorned Beetle from Destroying Trees
Civic Garden Center—great resource
Ohio State University –encyclopedia of information
Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources
9 suggestions for properly planting and caring for trees