I just wanted to say thank you for my recent election as President of the Holly Hills Improvement Association. I’d like to share a little of my background for those of you who were not in attendance at our last HHIA meeting, so you can get to know me better.
I have been on the HHIA Board for the past five or six years and am a resident of Holly Hills going on 17 years. I am very passionate about our beautiful community of Holly Hills and that’s mainly the reason I decided to take on this leadership role. I am recently retired from the construction industry as a project coordinator and now am wearing a parttime sales associate hat at Dillard’s South County. I am still active with the National Association of Women in Construction organization here in St. Louis, of which I am a Past President and have been with the organization since 1992. As your new HHIA President, I know I will be filling my life with some special moments and unforgettable times!
I would like to invite all of you to our HHIA Holiday Gathering on Monday, Nov. 16 at 7 PM a the Marine Corps League at 5700 Leona Street. This is a chance to get to know each other in a relaxed atmosphere, with some festive treats and a cash bar. We will be selling chances for a holiday gift basket and our usual 50-50 jackpot. All Holly Hills residents and guests are welcome to attend.
The Holly Hills Green Space Committee (HHGSC), coordinated volunteer Saturdays in July, August and this month of September. Turnout was very low with only a couple of residents showing up to help with major naturalization projects, so our timeline for removing invasive honeysuckle, volunteer mulberry trees and weeds has been delayed. On the bright note, we should finish some bed naturalization projects on Federer Place before fall.
HHGSC is coordinating with the Parks Department on the removal of the defunct planter pots placed around the neighborhood. We hope to start the removal of the very large and heavy pots this fall. The majority of the pots is broken and will be recycled while a few have been adopted by residents and businesses who have taken on the planting and maintenance duties. A round of thanks to them!
We have many great neighbor volunteers! Many adopted beds look fantastic (special kudos to the residents of Bellerive!) In the coming remaining weeks before cold weather,we hope to schedule weeknight events and perhaps and perhaps one more Saturday even, so watch your email! If you wish to get on the email list, wish to adopt a remaining bed, get plant ideas or request mulch for a public area, contact the committee at:
Important note: the Parks Department does not have vacuum equipment or sweepers to remove leaves from the boulevards, so please blow/sweep all leaves to residential curbs for pickup, not those of the bouelvards or other green spaces witin the neighborhood. Leaves in the boulevard will sit,kill the grass and encourage weeds.
In the past two months, the Holly Hills Green Space Committee (HHGSC) has coordinated two volunteer events. The first, held April 18th, focused on naturalizing a bed on Leona and we started the process for several beds on the eastern end of Federer Place. The second, held May 16th, focused on moving mulch onto the beds at the ends of each boulevard at Federer and one bed on Holly Hills. We will coordinate additional events to focus on removing invasive honeysuckle, volunteer mulberry trees and weeds from affected beds. The process can be accelerated with volunteer turnout.
The spring rains have hampered the Parks Department’s plans to remove the defunct pots around the neighborhood. Once their grass cutting duties have slowed, we hope to start the removal of these very heavy pots. Most of the pots are broken and will be recycled; any survivors will be stored for future use as part of a new neighborhood landscaping plan.
We have many great neighbor volunteers. Some have adopted the beds and others help out when needed. If you wish to adopt a bed, get plant ideas or request mulch for a public area, please contact the committee at firstname.lastname@example.org.
With maintenance work and upgrades on the Boathouse currently underway, several additional improvements will be coming to Carondelet Park over the next year. Birds returning from their winter vacations next year should be able to relax in their very own bird habitat in spring 2016. The long-discussed habitat incorporating the old bear pit is in the design stage with requests for bids sought by mid-summer and construction to begin in the fall. The $80,000 project will include walking paths, benches, bird-friendly native plants and interpretive signage.
In addition, three “monument” entrance signs will be erected at the southeast, southwest and northeast corners of the park. Two more new types of signs, similar to those in Forest Park, will help orient visitors within the park. Destination signs will identify areas such as the Lyle House, the Boathouse and the Rec Plex, while vehicular signs will direct cars to these destinations as well as Horseshoe Lake, the playground, the mulch/recycling area and others. Improvements currently underway at the Boathouse include upgrading the dock, restoring the restrooms and making them ADA accessible. The cost of the projects will be covered by proceeds from a parks bond issue approved by the Board of Aldermen and the mayor in 2011.
The neighborhood meeting on Jan. 26 will include two breakout sessions to brainstorm ideas for a couple issues facing Holly Hills. The first group will discuss ideas for planting and maintaining the flower beds and pots, now that Tim Bolt has moved out of the neighborhood. The second group will discuss the neighborhood social media site Nextdoor.
“It’s really amazing everything that Tim Bolt did to beautify our neighborhood and we will certainly miss him,” said HHIA President Stacy Ross. “The unfortunate part is that the board and I cannot see a way to maintain this extensive network of more than 200 beds and pots now that Tim has moved. We would like to come up with a way to keep at least some of the beds and pots, but we need the neighborhood to help us with come up with a workable solution.”
Regarding Nextdoor, some neighbors have expressed concern over the tenor of discussions on the site that was originally marketed by its San Francisco based developers as a way to “talk to your neighbor over the backyard fence” in the age of social media.
The breakout session will seek to discern “what the general consensus is in our neighborhood regarding comments and
opinions that are helpful or just downright insulting and sarcastic,” said Holly Hills Nextdoor neighborhood moderator Trish Richardson Turek. She will lead the Nextdoor session.
Everyone’s participation is important in making these decisions Ross said. It may be tough to leave the comfort of a warm home on a chilly January evening to attend a neighborhood meeting, but the issues are more important than they may seem.
“The board and I want these decisions to reflect the wishes of neighborhood,” Ross said. “The decisions we make will help determine how our neighborhood looks and the civility of our conversations with each other, at least in the context of Nextdoor. We are really talking about what kind of a neighborhood we want Holly Hills to be. ”
Please join us for this important discussion.
Come explore this south St. Louis jewel. Holly Hills