Hi Everyone – in light of the current weather reports, the Social Committee and the Board have agreed that postponing the picnic until the 13th of May is the best way to ensure that everyone has a good time. Please check your calendars and if possible, arrange to join your neighbors between 11:00 am and 3:00 pm on May 13th.
Also – if you have any food restrictions, please let us know. We plan to have regular hamburgers and hotdogs, as well as beef hotdogs.
I hope everyone is looking forward to getting together tomorrow!
Here’s the plan so far:
The activities planned are as follows:
Trail cleanup –
- Trash pickup
- Small branch removal
- Landscaping review
- Picnic table location review
- Exercise equipment review
Cedar Grove Way
- Trash pickup
- Flower arrangement / planting
- Neighborhood Watch sign placement
- Neighborhood Watch sign placement
- Construction trash pickup
Please let me know if you plan to attend – I want to have enough coffee and doughnuts for everyone. I have PLENTY of gloves and bags – and a bunch of those pickup things for reaching into the bushes…
And REMEMBER – if you can just make it out for a little while we’d love to see you! The activities are planned from 8:30 am to noon, but if you only have 30 minutes or an hour, come on out to the tot lot and talk to everyone while we’re getting organized! The work will be VERY light – all the heavy work has been done… the trees have been cut up and moved, the underbrush has been cut down, and all that we need to do is make sure it’s a pretty walk! This will be a GREAT opportunity to meet your neighbors and share in making our community a beautiful place to live!
Again – PLEASE let me know if you are coming so I can plan for the coffee and doughnuts! See you tomorrow! You can enter a comment here, or reply on Facebook, or email me directly – email@example.com.
The neighborhood watch captains have been provided with door hangers for every house in the neighborhood advertising the upcoming community events – if you live on one of the roads that I was responsible for you received yours today. (You may also have received them already if you live on other streets – I haven’t communicated with them yet.)
I have to say, I really love this neighborhood! I had a great time today talking with those of you who were at home and able to come to the door when I rang the bell. And thanks by the way for answering – you never know what to expect when you answer the door, and I’m not the most polished looking guy with my dirty Pierces Barbecue hat and my flannel shirt and sweat jacket. (At least I didn’t wear my crazy guy sunglasses – maybe that’s part of the reason so many people went ahead and took a chance and opened the door…)
Anyway, I’m always energized after talking to my neighbors. In a world where texting, social media – Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, Blogs, teleconferences, blah blah blah – seem to be taking control of every spare minute of everyone’s time, the good ole’ fashioned pastime of talking seems to be on the wane. I delivered about 50 door hangers, and I had the pleasure of talking to at least half of the residents I delivered to. I met a bunch of new people, saw some beautiful yards, listened to a few concerns, got some great feedback, found a volunteer for the social committee (WOO HOO!) and met a few of the people that read my blog. (That’s always fun!)
In my experience, when neighbors know each others names, and talk with one another, the neighborhood is a much warmer, happier place. And I personally think that’s what being at home is all about – warmth and happiness. You can laugh if you want, but I still watch the old Andy Griffith, Leave it to Beaver, Petticoat Junction, Green Acres, Beverly Hillbillies shows – the ones they show on MeTV – the shows I grew up watching. And the lessons I learned were that you don’t have to do the same things, or like the same things, or be in everyone’s business to have a good neighborhood – you have to feel comfortable and safe. I hope that’s how everyone feels here – I know I do.
So I’m REALLY looking forward to seeing everyone around the neighborhood! We have the planned events coming up – if you have time to participate, I’m sure it will be fun. If nothing else, come out and talk to the neighbors on those days! Walk the trail with us on the 25th – it’s a great hike! Let’s get all the pink lemonade vodka bottles out of the bushes along the main road – and the construction trash out of the bushes in the Hennington streets … let’s plant a few early flowers at the entrance … let’s plan the best sites for new picnic tables and flower beds along the trail. Plan on coming to the picnic in April – it should be awesome weather this time – we’ve planned it far enough in advance so that it won’t be in the middle of the summer this time. And there are more ideas that we have for neighborhood fun all to make this the best, warmest, friendliest, safest neighborhood that it can be.
Neighborhood Trail Cleanup Date –
Saturday March 25th appears to be a safe target for our walking trail cleanup day:
The temperature typically varies from 48°F to 66°F and is rarely below 43°F or above 72°F.
There is either very little precipitation on March 25, or the weather station does not reliably report the conditions.
Either snow is exceptionally unlikely to fall on March 25 or this station does not reliably report precipitation types.
As a backup date, April 1st also looks like a good bet, maybe even a little on the too-warm side:
The month of April is characterized by rising daily high temperatures, with daily highs ranging from 65°F to 74°F over the course of the month, exceeding 79°F or dropping below 59°F only one day in ten.
The average probability that some form of precipitation will be observed in a given day is 1%, with little variation over the course of the month.
Either snow is exceptionally unlikely to fall in April or this station does not reliably report precipitation types.
Trail debris cleanup and removal
NOTE – This activity is under consideration. There is a bid from the grounds contractor to clear this area, and that may still be an option. This activity represents a lot of physical labor, so we may not have the capacity to do this work.
- The goal will be to clear a path at least 6′ wide so that the grounds contractor can get the plow and mowing equipment through the whole trail, and keep the overgrowth down all summer. There are about 12 -14 spots where fallen trees or limbs are blocking the path. If we can get those cut on either side of the trail then we can move them aside.
- There are also a few places where there is trash that has blown onto the trail.
Removal of trash from shrubs along Cedar Grove Way
- There are bottles, bags, cups, etc. that have blown into the bushes along the main Cedar Grove road.
Removal of trash from the end of Hennington Court
- The wind from the last few weeks has blown a lot of trash into the common area at the end of the cul-de-sac in the Hennington section.
Flower Bed maintenance at Entrance
- If anyone has a passion for gardening, it would be great to get some flowers planted at the main entrance to the neighborhood.
Placement of Neighborhood Watch signs
- We have the signs from the County – we just need to install them. That will be one of the projects that day if we haven’t done it prior to then.
We’ll meet at the Tot Lot at 8:30 am Saturday morning. I expect we have 4 to 6 hours worth of work to do, depending on how many people are available to help, but if you can only commit to an hour or 2, that’s great too!
What do you think?
For this to work, we’ll need a bunch of people to help. We don’t have to clean up the trail like this – we can pay the grounds contractor to do it. If there aren’t enough people that are able to help, we may still have to do that. But at a minimum, it would be great to get a bunch of people together to do the flower bed at the entrance and clean up the trash along the Cedar Grove planting strips. Please let me know if you think you can help either of these days, and please let me know if you think it would be better to just get the grounds contractor to do it. Either way is fine – but I need to hear what you think. You can enter comments on this post, or Facebook, or you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m looking forward to hearing from you!
One of the areas of community interest has been the walking trail around the neighborhood. A number of residents have stated that this feature of the neighborhood contributed to their decision to buy their homes here. While some of the exercise equipment is starting to show signs of exposure to the elements, for the most part the equipment is still usable.
If you have a chance to walk the trail, you’ll see that there are several places where trees are blocking the path – not so much that you can’t get around them, but enough to stop the mowing in those areas. I guess you could look at those as part of the fun of walking the trail, but for the most part those areas are just a blotch on the aesthetics of the trail.
During one of the Board meetings we discussed having the trail cleared so that it could be used around the neighborhood as designed. The point was made that there may be environmental impact that we had to be sure of prior to disturbing the area (even though the trail was cleared by the developer and again a few years ago by the County).
After a couple of rounds of discussions with the County, which included a bunch of pictures of the areas of concern, I just got word back from them that we are ok to clear the blocked areas along the trail. This is GREAT news to all of us who enjoy that very scenic walk! This means that once we get those areas cleared up, the grounds contractor will be able to plant new grass seed this spring, and mow the whole trail, end to end.
This represents an opportunity for the neighborhood. We have a VERY beautiful wooded area along the border of our neighborhood, with a running stream, that we can all enjoy year round. But that kind of opportunity also comes with some responsibility. It’s true that we have a grounds contractor that is responsible for maintaining the grass, however, anything beyond that (mowing the grass) would be an additional cost. Any additional cost would need to come from our operating budget, which eventually translates to potential increases to our annual dues. I for one, prefer to avoid that eventuality if we can.
So here’s the ask: I’d like to schedule a neighborhood cleanup date for some time in late March or early April. On that date, as many as are willing would participate in cleaning up the debris from the trail, including the fallen limbs, any trash that has blown into the bushes, etc.
We could also plan to plant shade loving flowers in key areas, and mulch those as appropriate. There are some really pretty views of the stream in a couple of areas – so we may even want to add another picnic table or 2. If you have any suggestions, I’d love to hear those as well. The goal here is to create our own park that all of us can enjoy.
Please think about it – talk to your families about the idea – let me know your thoughts and any time recommendations. I’ll get with Mike (the web master) and see if we can get a survey/poll in the works to measure interest in participation. I’m hoping to hear from you!