UPCC General Meeting Minutes May 2011

General Meeting held May 4th, 2011 at University Park Elementary School.

Meeting was opened at 7:00pm

The general meeting of UPCC was called to order by President Tom Gonnella.  About 30 people were in attendance.  Refreshments were provided by Jane Queen & Marianna Bagge of the Accelerated Schools.

Tom Gonnella announced that June 11th is the Neighborhood Garage sale day. There will be a park clean up scheduled for May 15th from 4-6pm, and also there are note cards for sale and they benefit the University Park Community Council.

David Elowe from Urban West Group LLC, updated the attendees that construction is set to begin by June of 2011, and should take 2 years. After working with the UPCC, the official plans to make the building 200 feet tall, has been scaled back to 120 feet on the SE corner of Evans and University. Retail tenants are still being considered and will be entertained closer to completion. The construction hours will be approximately 7am-5pm and some street & sidewalk closures will take place.

  • Panayoti Kelaidis who is the Senior Curator and Director of Outreach for the Denver Botanic Gardens discussed the need to plant drought tolerant plants,  to help against the future scarcity of available water for gardening, lawns, and trees. With 32 years of experience and the Denver Botanical Gardens he was a wealth of knowledge. Some of the highlights are: Water is an issue.  There is not enough water for out landscapes.  Acute drought is natural. The water will come from farms.
  • Without the water, we lose our trees. Trees are essential to cities.
  • Botanical Gardens are working on plants to get to Denver to get to us that don’t need the water of most plants.  They have introduced 100 plants. The plan is called “Plant Select’
  • This shift to Plant Select is a slow process.  Most gardeners are traditional.
  • Did you know that our neighborhood has one of the great diversity of species in all of Colorado?  He said that Univ. Park is “the arboretum of Denver” with its wonderful variety of great trees.  He said that the public’s support of culture, including the Botanic Gardens, is huge, a great investment in the future of the city, and that Denver could one day be the Florence of America.  Our Botanic Gardens are “second to none” and its Director is the Best.
  • Gardens transform an area from a slum to a dream neighborhood
  • UPark has a 14-acre Prairie, and a park being converted from bluegrass to natural grasses. Once that’s converted, 3 of our 5 parks will be natural.  He thinks the Parks dept has excellent botanists/horticulturists and he said he’d find out who is in charge of our prairie and talk with them.
  • Kudos to the director and leader of the Botanical Gardens, Brian
  • “Durable Plants” is a book about the Plant Select Plants
  • Question. “How do I get rid of bind weed and thistle?”
    • Only solution is persistence.  You just keep going after it. And the answer is that you “garden.” You divide, you maintain, you tend, you move, you mulch.
  • What to do about trees during the droughts?
    • Trees are Cost effective because they lower our air conditioning costs.
    • There are some trees that are very drought tolerant: Oaks and Hoxberries, Arizona Cypress.
    • Deep watering is key, most often done in the winter.

Charlie Brown from City Council district 6 recapped the May 3rd elections, and brought up an issue for upcoming elections. The issue is going to be collective bargaining, and the push for unionization of city workers (with which he disagrees).

Finally the Presentation of UPCC Officers and vote for 2011/2012.  New officers are:

  • President: Tom Gonnella
  • VP:  Dana O’Connor
  • Treasurer: Ryan Zorn with honorary co-treasure June Morgan
  • Secretary: Traci Samaras

David Seymour was recognized for his service(s) on the UPCC Board.

Written by, Dana O’Connor, Diana Helper, and Traci Samaras