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.
~ Mechelle Minden
Related: Holly Hills Happenings
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.
Related content: Overview and amenities for Carondelet Park
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.