Tuesday, November 3, 2009

New Park Signs

The folks at Durham Parks & Recreation are in the process of removing old park signs and installing new, light-reflective signs.  Some have already gone in around Forest Hills Park.  Here are some photos.  Be on the lookout for more, including a new sign in front of the Club House.


The footpath bridge over the tributary flowing into the Third Fork Creek in Forest Hills Park will be installed within the next month.  Notice to proceed for construction of the pedestrian bridge was given on October 26th, and construction of the bridge footings should begin sometime next week.  The bridge is constructed elsewhere and will be shipped to and installed at the site in about three to four weeks.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Neighborhood Halloween Party!

Bring the kids to the annual Halloween party at the club house. 5:30 to 7, October 31st. Hots dogs and fear will be served.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Sewer Update

The large white trucks parked near the Park Picnic Shelter for the last couple of days are gone.  Earlier in the week a sewer line broke and released sewage into the Third Fork Creek.  The Durham Water and Sewer Department contracted with an Atlanta firm to repair the pipe and the repairs were completed yesterday.  The pipe being repaired runs south from a point near the Park Picnic Shelter between two concrete man holes.  The existing pipe is made of clay and is brittle.  It was repaired/reinforced by adding a new internal liner.  The process is essentially one of inflating a large long balloon like liner and then adhering it to the walls of the pipe.  According to a Durham Sewer and Water representative, this should give the pipe a 'new life' without breaks for the next ten to fifteen years. Sewer pipe running from Lyon Park south through the west side of the park was repaired/replaced earlier this summer.


Durham Parks and Rec will coordinate with Durham General Services to repair the park area rutted by the heavy vehicles/machinery.  Some work by Durham Water and Sewer also remains to be completed.  Much of this finishing work will not be able to be accomplished until the area dries out.

Sewer Work at the Park

You may have seen the large white trucks parked near the Park Picnic Shelter today.  Earlier in the week a sewer line broke and released sewage into the Third Fork Creek.  Durham Sewer and Water has contracted with an Atlanta firm to repair the pipe and repairs are currently underway.  The pipe being repaired runs south from a point near the Park Picnic Shelter to the next concrete stand pipe.  The existing pipe is made of clay and is brittle….(older than most of the residents of Forest Hills).  It will be reinforced and sealed from the inside for the length of the pipe.  According to a Durham Sewer and Water representative, this should give the pipe a 'new life' without breaks for the next ten to fifteen years. Sewer pipe running from Lyon Park south through the west side of the park was repaired/replaced earlier this summer.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The BIG Sweep, Saturday Oct. 3rd!

Its that time again when Forest Hills neighbors put on their gloves and work pants and help clean up the East Fork Creek and Forest Hills Park. In junction with the City of Durham's annual BIG SWEEP, FHNA is coordinating volunteers to help cleanup the Park on October 3rd. This year we will be concentrating not only on the East Fork Creek but also the Park grounds so we need lots of volunteers.

Doughnuts and coffee will be served beginning at 8:30 AM at the Park Shelter on Saturday, October the 3rd. This is a great opportunity to meet your neighbors and spend part of your Saturday helping beautify the Park. Gloves and pickup tools will be provided.

Please talk to your friends and neighbors about this important event and mark your calendars. We need a good showing of volunteers this year.   

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Goats vs. Kudzu: Round 1

Keep Durham Beautiful (KDB) recently sponsored a test of goat versus Kudzu at "Kudzu Corner" on East Forest Hills Boulevard.  In the short term, the goats won....in the longer term, the Kudzu returns.  Looking for an environmentally sensitive way to address the encroachment of invasive plants in the Forest Hills area, the Forest Hills Neighborhood Association coordinated with KDB to test the use of goats in reducing Kudzu.  The test was successful, and plans are currently being studied for additional use of goats at the corner.  This link to photos from Keep Durham Beautiful's web site shows step-by-step progress over a four-hour period.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Captain Peter to Speak at FHNA Picnic Sunday at 5:30

Captain Peter, District 3 Commander, Durham Police Department will attend the FHNA Fall Picnic from 5:30 pm until 6:15 pm.  He will address the recent spat of break-ins we have been experiencing in our neighborhood and will provide suggestions as to what we as individuals and as a neighborhood can do to reduce these intrusions.

Mindy Solie, our neighbor and Co-Coordinator for PAC3, will accompany Captain Peter and will explain the importance of the PAC3 organization to our community.

Captain Peter and Mindy are responding to a last minute request from FHNA and several of our neighbors to address crime prevention.  In particular Captain Peter is taking time away from his family to visit with us……so, please attend…..please arrive by 5:30 pm…..and please encourage your neighbors who may not be on the list serve to both attend Captain Peter's presentation and the picnic.

Fall Picnic Sunday Sept. 13th 5pm

Come one, come all the annual Forest Hills Fall Picnic!

Sunday September 13, 2009
5:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Location: Park Picnic Shelter

The FHNA will have plenty of Dillard's BBQ and soft drinks on hand. Please bring a dessert (odd numbered households) or side dish (even numbered households) to share. 

Event will occur RAIN OR SHINE.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Thanks to Park Clean-up Volunteers!

On Saturday, August 15, eight students/parents/coaches from the DSA and North Carolina School of Science and Math cross country teams showed up to work alongside eight Forest Hills residents for a total of 16 volunteers. We removed 17 bags of garbage, styrofoam, and a wheel/tire that would have eventually made their way into Lake Jordan and our drinking water supply.

We also made significant progress on removing/eradicating the invasive ragweed that had been overtaking the no-mow zone of the park. The effort has significantly reduced the infestation.

Thanks go out to all of the volunteers who participated in our Forest Hills Stream/Park clean up. We are thrilled that the cross country team and their supporters asked to be invited back to the next clean-up day.

Interested in participating next time? Look for emails from the Forest Hills Neighborhood Association announcing opportunities to help keep our park clean, safe, and pleasant.

Photos from top: 1. Volunteers collected 17 bags of garbage; 2. and 3. Cross country team volunteers use "grabbers" from Keep Durham Beautiful to pick up trash; 4. Neighbor Brian Murray uses a machete to whack some ragweed; 5. Neighbor Sioux Watson's dog Izzie finds a new friend to toss tennis balls while Sioux does park clean-up.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Forest Hills Sign Update

By Aaron Cain

This article appears in the August 2009 FHNA newsletter... 

At the neighborhood spring picnic, the Forest Hills Sign Committee revealed the chosen design for our upcoming neighborhood sign (see below).  It was met with a great deal of enthusiasm by the more than 100 residents in attendance.

 In addition, a location for the sign has also been chosen, which will be near the corner of East Forest Hills Boulevard and University Drive.  Final details are still being worked out regarding placement so the sign is in as prominent a place as possible while  not interfering with the City’s plans to install a sidewalk on the east side of University Drive.

 Sign committee members are currently working through the City’s permitting process with both the inspections and parks departments so that construction of the sign may begin.  We are hopeful that we can have the sign up at or soon after the fall picnic in mid-September.

Forest Hills Park Bridge Update

By:  Aaron Cain

This article appears in the August 2009 FHNA newsletter... 

Forest Hills Park will soon be receiving a foot bridge on the east side of the park.  The bridge has been approved and permitted, and city engineers are in the process of completing construction drawings.  We anticipate construction of the bridge in October, but that date is not confirmed.  

Retiring in Place in Forest Hills

By Bob Otterbourg

 The following article appears in the August 2009 FHNA newsletter...

     I need your help!

     At July’s FHNA board meeting, I was asked to assemble a study group to examine ways the Forest Hills neighborhood could offer volunteer services to its retirement-age residents as well as other residents such as young mothers with children or someone who has broken a leg and is a temporarily invalid.

     Sue and I have been living on Beverly Drive going on 17 years. We enjoy every aspect of living here, but as we have aged we have become concerned about how we will handle living in a multi-storied home. Instead of relocating to one of several Continuing Care Retirement Communities serving this area, such as the Forest of Duke, we have elected to “retire in place.” This said, we are presently taking our carport and converting it into a first-floor bedroom and bath.

     The renovation takes care of our residential needs, but what happens if either of us or any other older residents are not able to drive a car and has a doctor’s appointment or needs to pick up groceries or drug products? The same question might apply to a mother with young children at home who is sick at home and needs someone to get her to the doctor’s office.

      This volunteer concept is not new. To be sure, there are a number of franchised organizations that will perform household errands or chores at a fee. More important, other communities in the U.S. have set up volunteer services. There is no reason that Forest Hills should not be able to put together a volunteer service. As such we would need men and women to volunteer as drivers or to perform some basic and simple household chores – change a ceiling light fixture, or repair a leaky faucet.

      The first step is to form a study group to put together an action plan to present at the FHNA board meeting at its September 14 session.

     To participate in the study group, give me a call at (919) 489-9591 or send an email to rkotter@aol.com








Durham Street Tree Inventory/Canopy Analysis

By Alex Johnson, Durham Urban Forestry Manager

The following article appears in the August 2009 FHNA newsletter...

Trees provide a lot to us as residents of Durham.  Just what it is they do for us is sometimes hard to assign a value to.  This makes it hard to justify spending the money needed to maintain an urban tree canopy, especially when other issues clamor for scarce resources.

The good news is that there is a way to estimate the value of an urban forest.  Thanks to a partnership between the Davey Resource Group and the US Forest Service, there is a suite of software called i-Tree that works in conjunction with a set of tools developed specifically for inventorying and evaluating the value, condition, and canopy density of an urban forest.

Last year, the city of Durham received a grant from the NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources to conduct a survey of Durham’s street trees. This involves taking a random sample of street segments amounting to 3% of the city’s overall “grid.”

Starting this past May, volunteers have come forward to be trained in collecting data along roadside rights-of-way.  Since then, they have been counting, measuring, identifying, and evaluating the health and maintenance needs of trees on city property as well as taking note of places where trees are absent but could be planted were there resources available to do so.  When all of the data come in, we will be able to provide the city with the following information:

·       Species composition of the urban forest

·       Age/condition distribution of city trees

·       % canopy coverage citywide

·       Number of vacant planting sites

·       Number of trees in need of maintenance

·       Benefits of city trees

o   Stormwater runoff

o   Air quality / carbon sequestration

o   Energy conservation / cooling

The overall “cost/benefit” analysis will provide proof that having and maintaining urban trees is a wise investment.  Many thanks to the volunteers that have come forward from Forest Hills to help out!  There is still much more to do, so if you are interested in participating, please contact me directly: Alex Johnson, Urban Forestry Manager, at alexander.johnson@durhamnc.gov or 560-4197, extension 275.

Note from FHNA President:  Four Forest Hills residents have volunteered and assisted Alex Johnson in the Durham tree survey:  Barbara Braatz, Carsten Rist (featured above), Norris Cotton, and Tracy Mancini


PAC 3 Needs You!

The following appears in the August 2009 FHNA newsletter...

By Mindy Solie


What is PAC3?

PAC stands for Partners Against Crime, where Durham citizens work with city and county officials to prevent crime and other problems in our neighborhoods.  There is a PAC group for each of Durham’s five police districts.  Our Forest Hills’ district is District Three, and we cover roughly the southwest quadrant of the city, from the Durham Freeway (147 south) and from Roxboro and Fayetteville Streets west to the city’s limits.


What Does PAC3 Do?

We meet every month except May on the second Saturday from 10:00 am until 12 noon at the Lyon Park Community and Family Life Center on Halley Street.  Joining us regularly are several police representatives including our District 3 Police Commander and Assistant Commander, our Crime Prevention Officer, and our H.E.A.T. Unit Supervisor; our Community liaison and Code Enforcement officers from the Department of Neighborhood Improvement Services; and representatives from the Departments of Solid Waste, Planning and Zoning, and Parks and Recreation.  PAC3 meeting attendees have an amazing opportunity to ask questions directly and work together towards finding sustainable solutions to quality of life issues. 


Additionally, PAC3 invites special guests to speak at the monthly meetings.  In the past year PAC3 has had State Legislators Paul Luebke and Mickie Michaux, Mayor Bell and the entire City Council, City Manager Tom Bonfield, District Court Judges Bushfan, Gordon, McKown, Morey, and Wilkes, District Attorney Tracey Cline, Head of 911 Jim Soukup, and Head of the Department of Public Works Katy Kalb.  PAC3 representatives also participate in the Durham Crime Cabinet, Project Safe Neighborhoods, Community Responses, National Night Out, and the Citizen Capital Improvement Panel.


How Can You Help?

Please Join Now! It’s Free!

·      Go to http://groups.yahoo.com/group/pac3/

·      Click on “Join This Group”

·      Sign up for a yahoo ID and create a password

·      Pattie Cloninger-Bourcy is our list serve moderator and Co-facilitator and can help you with any questions.  Her contact information is pcloninger@nc.rr.com. Or phone her at 403-6425.

·      By joining our PAC3 group you can access our monthly newsletters, minutes, and latest up-to-date information on crime in our area.



Join us at our next meeting on Saturday, August 8, at 10:00am at the Lyon Park Community Center and see for yourself how our PAC is operating. 


Opportunity to volunteer!

PAC3 would like one or more Forest Hills Neighborhood representatives to attend PAC3 meetings on a regular basis to represent the neighborhood and to report PAC3 issues/topics to Forest Hills residents...

Please feel free to contact me with any questions.


Mindy Solie

PAC3 Co-facilitator

15 Oak Drive




Friday, August 7, 2009

Volunteer for the August 15 Park Clean-up Day!

Forest Hills Neighborhood Association is coordinating a community service stream/park clean up on Saturday, August 15thfrom 08:30 to 11:00 a.m.  FHNA is requesting participation by allForest Hills neighbors.  We will be joined by members of the DSA and NCSSM cross country teams.  FHNA is coordinating with 'Keep Durham Beautiful' to have gloves/tongs/trash bags available for volunteer use.

Our neighbor, Nancy Henley, recently reminded us in a list-serve update that now is the time to pull/cut ragweed with the objective of further reducing fall pollen counts.  So, volunteers to attack the park's ragweed are also encouraged to participate during the clean up.

Please turn out to support our park, community and environment!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Great Attendance at National Night Out Ice Cream Event

On Tuesday, August 4, Forest Hills Neighborhood Association Board members served ice cream to Forest Hills neighbors who attended our Forest Hills 2009 National Night Out event.  Approximately 65 neighbors visited between 6:00 and 8:00 p.m.  A Durham Police Officer and our local PAC3 representative, Mindy Solie, visited during our NNO.

Friday, July 31, 2009

August 4th, National Night Out!

The Forest Hills Neighborhood Association will host a National Night Out event on August 4th from 6:00-8:00 at the playground/shelter in Forest Hills Park. National Night Out is an event sponsored by the Durham Police Department to:
  • Heighten crime and drug prevention awareness;
  • Generate support for, and participation in, local anticrime programs;
  • Strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships; and
  • Send a message to criminals letting them know that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back.
Forest Hills Neighborhood Association members will be on hand to distribute public safety materials as well as ice cream sundaes.  In addition, officers from the Durham Police Department will stop by to introduce themselves and answer any questions residents might have.  Besides ice cream and crime prevention, it’s also a great excuse to get out and know your neighbors better. We hope to see you there! 

Friday, July 3, 2009

Fishing in Forest Hills!

Max Van Horn (L) and Connor Cain (R) with the Forest Hills Catch of the Day. 

On Wednesday, July 1, 2009, around 4 pm in the afternoon, two young men - Max Van Horn (6 yrs. old) and Connor Cain (7), and their guide, Ben Herst (16), embarked on a fishing adventure in Forest Hills.  They chose to cast their line into the Forest Hills Creek, near the East Forest Hills Blvd. Bridge next to the tennis courts.  Using a homemade rig consisting of a cork with a length of fishing line wrapped around it and a small hook tied to the end, Ben instructed the two younger anglers on the proper hand-jigging technique for success at his favorite local fishing hole.  Their bait was small pieces of sandwich bread, which the fish loved!  While standing on the sandy bank of the creek, Max and Connor caught five hungry fish, of various sizes.  The picture is of the first and biggest fish - roughly 9 inches in length - reeled in by Max and Connor.  All the fish were successfully released.  Future fishermen should be careful around the area, because of pointy sticks, thorns, spiky caterpillars, and slippery rocks.  The creek was abundant with fish, minnows, and tadpoles.

Got Mulch?

Forest Hills residents volunteered 80+ hours of physical labor over the last two weeks of June to move and spread mulch around trees bordering the Forest Hills park. In coordination with Durham Forester Alex Johnson, FHNA arranged the donation of the mulch from local area power-line tree pruning. Piles of mulch were left on EFHB, University and WFHB. Mulch spread at tree bases reduces the risk of soil/root compaction when cars are parked under the trees. Mulch also helps retain moisture which is beneficial to the trees. At the time of this posting, the spreading of much continues along EFHB, University, and Wilshire.

Monday, June 8, 2009

New Sign

Forest Hills is getting a new sign. Let the rejoicing begin. 

Monday, April 13, 2009


It is that time again when the grass turns green, the trees and flowers bloom and garbage collects along the stream banks.

Actually, the garbage collects along the stream banks throughout the year. Neighborhood volunteers have historically helped to keep the stream clean of trash by organizing stream clean up efforts. The Earth Day Celebration sponsored by the Durham Parks and Recreation is one such clean up event which FHNA wants to participate in a big way .


Meet us on Saturday April 25, 2009 at 8 :30 a.m. at the shelter where we'll start with donuts and coffee and then move out through the Park, especially along the stream, to help our fellow neighbors and other volunteers pick up trash. Past clean up efforts have always been successful and we have received repeated recognition from the City for our efforts to clean up both the East Fork Creek in the Park as well as along Lakewood Avenue. This year we are going to concentrate on the stream within the Park boundaries.

COME ONE AND COME ALL! ! ! APRIL 25, 2009 @ 8:30a.m.
Gear : Please wear boots and bring gloves.
Supplies: FHNA w ill provide trash bags and pick up tools.


Wednesday, March 11, 2009

New Bridge

The east side of the park is getting a new bridge. Pictured below is what said bridge will look like upon completion.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Turkey Trot. The Movie.

Watch! If you dare!