January 1, 2015
The Beautification Committee of the Forest Hills Neighborhood Association has been working on some plans for the new year and we will need support from our neighbors. First, we are going to re-landscape the island at the intersection of Stratford and Westminster and we are proposing to outsource the maintenance of the four largest islands at the intersections of: Stratford & Westminster, Wellington & Canterbury, Devonshire & Stratford, and Canterbury & Cambridge).
Columbia Green has recently granted the FHNA $1,800 for plants for the island at the intersection of Stratford & Westminster. We are planning to remove most of the old overgrown azaleas and replant with smaller varieties to improve visibility and reduce maintenance. The two points that are overgrown with weeds will be replanted with liriope to match the third point. The grant money is exclusively for the reimbursement of plant material purchased, not labor or irrigation. We have some money set aside for the removal of the old plantsand preparing the island for replanting, including repairing the very old irrigation system, but if costs exceed the estimate given for the work($1,400), the funds will fall short. So we would like to ask for donations to the FHNA beautification fund to ease this burden and to help with the maintenance of this island and the other three large islands.
We have been relying on neighbors to maintain the islands since the neighborhood was created over 80 years ago. This method has proven ineffective in recent years, as there is too much work that needs to be done and too few neighbors able or willing to do it. Some neighbors have generously contributed funds over the years and that money will help with the renovation of the previously mentioned island, but there is no money for maintenance. The islands not only need weeding, raking, and mowing, but
the irrigation systems must be maintained in order to work properly. There are a few tireless neighbors who have worked continuously on these islands – Hillary McDonald & Kaye Knight have taken care of the Wellington/Canterbury island and Jennifer & Dan Lott and their sons have taken care of the largest island at Devonshire and Stratford. Also, MaryAnn & Van Lott have been paying Mendoza to maintain the two islands near their house on Devonshire – they look great. Also, Sam Clarke worked for many years with 1 or 2 helpers to keep all the islands beautiful. Please thank these generous neighbors when you see them.
We would like to try to outsource the maintenance of the islands this year and see how well it works. Four lawn care professionals have given us quotes for this work. Blue Moon had the most reasonable quote of $2,400/year to come 4/year to the 4 big islands. This breaks down to an average of $150 per island per visit. This would include trimming azaleas after they
have bloomed, removing weeds and overgrowth, raking, blowing, mowing the grass, and maintaining the irrigation. If we cannot raise the $2,400, obviously we will not be able to outsource the maintenance this year and we will have to continue to rely on volunteers. These islands can significantly enhance the beauty of our neighborhood. Please consider contributing to their beautification.
Presley V. Hogue