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.