St. Albans Landscape Modeling Working Group Meeting January 27, 2005, 3:30-5:30

St. Albans Landscape Modeling Working Group Meeting
January 27, 2005, 3:30-5:30
Northwest Regional Planning Commission
Participants: Erica Gaddis, Alexey Voinov, Clare Ginger, Josh Farley, Katy Van Dis,
Hilary Harp, Jerry Morong, Jim McKenzie, Mitch Montang, Kathy Hakey, Heather
Darby, Al Robtoy, Dan Lindley, Jane Kiser, Jeff Rouleau, Bonnie Waninger, Staci
Alexey Voinov, faculty at the Gund Institute at UVM, introduced himself and explained
the purpose of the meeting. He explained that we are using a working landscape model
as a tool to predict environmental processes that affect the St. Albans community. The
purpose of the working group is to determine the parameters, or components, that will go
into the model as it is comprised of a complex system. It is important to work as a team
as we all have expertise in our respective fields.
Heather Darby
Josh Farley
Erica Gaddis
Clare Ginger
Kathy Hakey
Hilary Harp
Jane Kiser
Dan Lindley
Jim McKenzie
Mitch Montang
Jerry Morong
Staci Pomeroy
Al Robtoy
Jeff Rouleau
Katy Van Dis
Alexey Voinov
Bonnie Waninger
UVM Extension
UVM, Department of Community Development and Applied Economics
UVM, Gund Institute for Ecological Economics
UVM, Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources
Natural Resources Conservation Service, USDA
UVM, Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources
City of St. Albans
Town of St. Albans
St. Albans Area Watershed Association
St. Albans Area Watershed Association
Agency of Natural Resources, River Management Program
City of St. Albans, Public Works
Bellows Free Academy/ St. Albans Area Watershed Association
UVM, Department of Community Development and Applied Economics
UVM, Gund Institute for Ecological Economics
Northwest Regional Planning Commission
Erica Gaddis gave a brief overview of the problem and the modeling framework we will
be using for the St. Albans watershed. She explained that we want to look at many
different issues at different time and spatial scales. In addition, there are different
management practices (centralized, decentralized, structural and management) that could
be implemented and we will try to identify which ones would be most helpful in which
locations. In order to have accurate information for the model, we will need to have input
from all the stakeholders. Stakeholders have an important role including identification of
data sources, checking model assumptions, and identifying which management practices
are most appropriate and feasible in St. Albans.
Hilary Harp presented the overall goals of the working group meetings.
St. Albans Landscape Model Working Group Meeting-January 2005
 Stream impairments in Stevens, Rugg, Mill, and Jewett (urban v. agriculture
 Flooding in the city of St. Albans
 Water quality concerns in St.Albans Bay from current and historic nutrient loads
 1980s agricultural BMPs reduced E. Coli and sediment but not nutrients in
 Increased development in St. Albans since the 1970s
 Phosphorus levels in urban soils are excessive for lawn care and might runoff in
storm water
 The Bay is an important economic and recreation area for the community
 Aquatic nuisance species in the bay reduce recreational opportunities
 Members of the community are knowledgeable about the area and can help
develop a process-based landscape model
 Many efforts have already been made to improve water quality in the watershed
 Identify current nutrient/sediment loads to streams from urban, residential, and
agricultural areas
 Identify historical loads v. current loads of phosphorus to streams
 Identify which storm water management policies and methods and land use
practices/planning will most help to reduce urban flooding (i.e. those outlined in
the Stevens and Rugg Brook plan)
 Identify nutrient management policies and methods, their cost effectiveness, and
their ability to reduce nutrient and sediment loading to streams in urban and
agricultural areas
 Understand the distributional cost impacts for different members in the
 Educate and involve community members who are not currently involved
 Persuade individuals and towns to participate in pollution reduction activities
 Identify an acceptable level of flooding
 Identify the impacts of reducing P in dishwasher detergents and fertilizers
 Develop a better understanding of nutrient/sediment/water transport processes
using modeling tools
 Establish a working group of stakeholders to build and evaluate a landscape
 Develop scenarios to be tested by the model
 Use citizen involvement to monitor stream water quality in different land use
 Collect existing data including maps, farm data, historic water quality, and BMP
 Collect new data where it is needed (i.e. soil tests; how much fertilizer is currently
being purchased and applied by residences and commercial)
St. Albans Landscape Model Working Group Meeting-January 2005
Re-evaluate throughout the modeling process
Provide a mechanism to update the model and clearly communicate new changes
to the stakeholder community
Incorporate what has and hasn't worked in other watersheds
Evaluate the effects of tree planting and stream stabilization on water quality and
Educate people to ask for Low/No P fertilizer and educate hardware store
Evaluate the effectiveness and cost of nutrient management plans and all BMPs
on agricultural and urban areas
Include other stakeholders: Golf Course Association, commercial businesses, St.
Albans Co-op, Ben and Jerry’s, towns of Fairfax/Georgia/Swanton, Chamber of
Commerce, Bordeau Brothers, and ChemLawn (TruGreen)
Complete cost-benefit analysis of all the options we are considering
Identify the tradeoffs of different management options
Share data, educate, and involve other people
Help provide better advertisement of existing watershed groups
Look at legislative priorities identified by watershed groups
Use media for educational purposes
Review current and potential policies and their effectiveness
 Achievement of goals identified in step 2
 Build consensus in the community about the current status of water pollution
 Deliver a mechanism to compare various management and policy options
 Identify methods that have involved people
 Deliver tools and measures of potential solutions that are ready to be taken to the
implementation stage
 Exportation of our solutions and/or methods to other watersheds
After Hilary’s presentation Erica talked about the conceptual model and the major inputs,
outputs and processes. The conceptual model includes the following processes:
Water transport
Phosphorus in soil
Plant growth
Nitrogen cycle
Phosphorus/nitrogen transport to water
Animal processes
Each of these ‘modules’ has different inputs and outputs that affect the cycle. Erica
asked the group to contribute their ideas of parameters they felt were missing from the
model. She explained that by building a conceptual model together we can visualize
ways to capture the processes and include people’s comments at the same time. A
St. Albans Landscape Model Working Group Meeting-January 2005
complete list of the inputs, outputs and processes is currently available on-line at:
The next meeting will focus specifically on a particular component of the landscape
Katy presented the future timeline for the working group. We decided that monthly
meetings will occur in Feb-May to discuss the overall model and processes of: water,
plants/animals, nutrients, and urban and agricultural management practices. During June
we will set up policy development scenarios and present our initial results in August with
a wrap-up in September. The monthly meetings will be comprehensive and will require
input from each stakeholder group.
Lastly Alexey asked the group if they felt that having the models posted at a website
would be helpful. The majority of the group agreed it would be and that they would like
to have information provided to them before the next meeting so that they could
familiarize themselves with the material prior to the meeting. It was stated that we would
like to have everyone’s involvement. The goals of our project will be posted at the
Everyone was thanked for coming.
Next meeting time: February 23, 2005; 4:30pm
Location: UVM extension office
Building phase topic: WATER
St. Albans Landscape Model Working Group Meeting-January 2005