Fieldview Homeowners Spring Newsletter
Finally! Our long, cold winter is showing signs of leaving us, and the blanket of pollen has slowed so that we can, hopefully, begin enjoying spring! As spring begins, the HOA Board wanted to update you on a few of the things that we have been working on as well as some upcoming activities.
First, let us touch on a subject that has been debated to death with no positive conclusion — pine straw! Last fall we agreed to get a contractor to distribute the pine straw for our fall application, as their price was competitive, and they were doing this for many area neighborhoods. We had a specific amount budgeted for this, and CMG, who facilitated the project, was aware of that budget amount. They did an exceptional job to begin with — really quality pine straw, well distributed, and the street trees looked great. However, they only spread the pine straw in a little more than half of the neighborhood. We complained to CMG, and they assured us they were coming back out to complete the project. However, because of a change in personnel with the contractor, that didn’t happen for awhile. And, because they had used a majority of the budget on the first spread, the second distribution, when they finally returned, was completely inadequate. It was actually some time before we realized that they truly had come back because the distribution was so inadequate. We regret that the job was not done to our standards nor to our expectations. Future applications will be different — lesson learned.
You may have noted that all our street trees have been tagged and numbered. We have hired a tree care specialist to inventory all our street trees, cataloging them per their species and their health status. Our tree scape is one of our greatest amenities, and we want to make sure we preserve it and that we catch issues prior to having to spend the money to replace trees. We have learned how extravagantly expensive it is to replace a mature canopy tree, and want to do everything possible to mitigate that expenditure in the future. We also have certain requirements for the Town of Summerville, and the inventory will be helpful in that regard.
One of the concerns of the arborist is the way most of our street trees have been planted. Many of our trees have been planted with an excess of soil piled around the trunk of the tree; the pine straw added to that excess soil exasperates the problem. We have been warned that this jeopardizes the health of the tree, as there should be a “collar of excavation” dug around the trunk of the tree. This means we must dig out the extra soil from around the trees so that the roots of the tree are visible. Also, the pine straw is not to be piled up around the trunk of the tree as it has been in the past.
We hope that you will help us in taking care of this by inspecting the trees along your street front and determining if your tree is one of those which needs to be dug out. Those who have worked on their trees already have found burlap, plastic ties, and other trash surrounding or embedded into the trunk, thus not allowing the tree to grow unimpeded. Please let us know if you have questions about this or if you wish to have us help in the process.
Because of this concern and per the advice of the arborist, we are rethinking the spring pine straw distribution. More to come on this at a later date.
WRIGLEY BLVD. SWALE
Also being attended to is the swale on Wrigley Blvd. In speaking to professionals last fall regarding getting rid of the saplings and weeds growing in the easement, we were advised that because the easement fed into the overall stormwater system for the County, we needed to be very careful about what was used and that we should use a professional with an aquatic license. We were then advised that, because the cattails are an extremely invasive plant, we should really get rid of them as well, as eventually they would jeopardize the integrity of the swale. So we had the cattails sprayed, and after they died off several of our neighbors spent their Saturday digging out the debris. Once that was accomplished we realized we had a significant build up of silt within the easement which had gravitated to the drainage pipes within the easement — probably due to the overgrowth of the cattails. During the past several months we have been speaking with various engineers and consultants about our options. At this time we are getting bids for having some of the silt removed from around the drainage pipes and then to go forward with making sure the easement is more attractively planted. We have been told that because of the change in the contours of the easement as well as the completed build out of the neighborhood (which results in a significant increase in water run-off), the swale will no longer be a dry easement.
YARD OF THE MONTH
Beginning in mid April we will be beginning a Yard of the Month contest. During the months of April through August we will have one household per month designated as our Yard of the Month. You will be rewarded with a yard sign that you may display for the month. There are many of you who continually work hard to make your yards look so lovely, and we are looking forward to advertising our appreciation.
MARK YOUR CALENDARS – OPEN MEETING MAY 31st
Please join us on Thursday, May 31st, at 6:00 at the Public Library on Old Trolley Road for an HOA open forum meeting. There will be no agenda for the meeting; instead, we hope it will be an opportunity to share ideas and concerns as well as to allow us the opportunity to get together at a time other than just our annual meeting. We are hoping we can share ideas about the future of our neighborhood, how to get to know each other better, and what projects might be important in the future. Please mark your calendars if you wish to attend. Hopefully we will have a great turnout.
Thank for reading!
Your HOA Board