The FHIA board is suggesting that we hold our usual potluck event in the Forest Home Park, as long as people are ready for it and public health guidelines indicate that it is safe. This longstanding community tradition has been on hold because of COVID.
We hope that residents will hold the date of Sat. Sept. 17 (with Sat. Sept. 24 as a rain date) for a dish-to-pass gathering in the Forest Home Park. Usually, we meet around 3:00 PM.
Look for a more detailed announcement later. If you can lend a grill, will help set up or clean up, are prepared to take a shift grilling, or can help with garbage or recycling, please let us know by emailing email@example.com.
As you have probably noticed, the Forest Home Walkway Improvement Project finally got started in the first week of May. This path was established in 1911 by George Warren, who lived in the house that is now 127 Warren Road, to ease his commute between his farm and Cornell where he was on the faculty of the new agricultural college. The early history was described in 1976 by Martha Hertel, daughter of George Warren, in The Path. In the early 1980s, the path was given to the Town of Ithaca, by Martha and her siblings.
The primary objectives of the current project are:
Safer and more comfortable walking, with steps on the steepest section and a more robust railing alongside the entire upper and lower sections of the trail
A graded compacted surface that is comfortable to walk on and more resistant to heavy rain.
New systems for drainage, intended both to divert water off the path surface and to avoid damage to and by adjoining properties at the lower end.
On the lower section, as well as installing pre-cast concrete steps, two important features are not visible, because they are below the ground.
immediately to the left (as in photo below) of the path, a drainage pipe with perforations on its top has been installed to take the water down to the existing catch basin near the bottom of the Walkway. The drainage swale behind 200 FHD, now also feeds into that pipe.
immediately to the right of the path concrete pillars have been embedded, ready for the new metal railing to be installed.
One feature of the improved walkway will be a metal railing alongside the entire trail except the flattish central section. On June 2nd, the contractors brought all the railing sections to the site to adjust the welded joints with a blow torch so that they will fit on to the embedded concrete bases.
At the bottom of the walkway there will be a concrete pad that connects to the crosswalk at the bottom of Pleasant Grove Road. The shuttering for the pad was put in place on June 1st and filled on June 3rd.
On June 14th, Kris Merschrod took photos as he walked down from Warren Road to the central flatter section and back up. Notice the connection to a new section of pedestrian path on the west side of Warren Road. The central flat section is now protected from the erosion that happens everywhere on the hillside by precast concrete blocks.
Many thanks to those who have already picked up trash along Forest Home roads or committed to do so.
Neighbor Charlie Trautmann is organizing work parties to repair the trail alongside the creek near the footbridge at Flat Rock. Here is his description:
Sat April 23 (rain date Sat April 30) – Volunteer work day to re-gravel the trail across the bridge and carry precut lumber 200 yd across the bridge to where it’s needed. We’ll need lots of strong willing workers with gloves and shovels, plus any wheelbarrows would be welcome. Any amount of time volunteered would be helpful!
Sun April 24 and Tues-Wed Apr 26-27 – Volunteer work days, as needed, to assemble 150 feet of boardwalk. We’ll need a few relatively skilled people – cordless drivers and batteries would be helpful.
Charlie adds: We need people to staff a sign-in table, hand out drinks and band-aids, walk with the public who come by, tell workers where to put stuff they are carrying, where to go, etc., so no skill level is too small to be helpful!!!
Contact Charlie directly at 607-227-1910 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Please save Saturday, April 16 for the annual Forest Home Improvement Association spring roadside cleanup. We will meet in the park at 10 a.m. There will be garbage bags, gloves if you need them, and a few mechanical picker-uppers. We will divvy up the road assignments as we arrive. As an added incentive, volunteers may keep any $100 bills they find!
The FHIA is also looking for volunteers to help maintain the park. Tasks include weeding, watering the flower box, communicating with the Town’s park department, etc. A special need will be for someone to plant and maintain a small triangle of land near the down hill walkway sign after the path is rebuilt, hopefully this spring. The FHIA will pay for the native plants and materials.
See previous post Spring Cleanup — Tentative Date for information about some invasive plants that might already be showing up at the roadsides or in your yard.
Spring is really on the way. Some snowdrops and winter aconites were showing before the latest fall of snow. What this means is that it’s time to set a date for the neighborhood Spring Cleanup, when FHIA encourages residents to volunteer to pick up the trash that has accumulated by the sides of our streets over the winter or participate in other activities to keep the neighborhood looking attractive. Watch for details from email@example.com.
Meanwhile, you may want to keep an eye out for Garlic Mustard or Hairy Bittercress. These aggressively invasive plants overwinter without dying back and you may notice them soon. Below are some useful documents FHIA has circulated in the past about dealing with them.
Leaf collection in the Town of Ithaca will start at 7:00AM on Monday, November 8th, 2021 and will continue throughout the week until finished. Leaves should be at the curb by 7:00 a.m. on the first day of collection. Leaves may be raked to the shoulder of the road or bagged in biodegradable paper leaf bags (30 gallon bags are available at many stores in the area). Other debris such as pine needles, dead flowers, garden waste, grass clippings, etc., cannot be vacuumed and should be placed in bags. Please fill bags and place on road shoulder, folding over openings of bags to close —- do not staple or tape. No plastic bags will be picked up.
The Town’s crews will go around the entire Town once with the leaf vacuum. For the rest of the month of November, the crews will begin picking up paper-bagged leaves each Monday, which could extend through early week to encompass the entire Town.
After the usual association business, President’s Report, Treasurer’s Report, etc., there will be a demonstration by Lars Washburn and his sister Katrina Mackey of the high-end radio their grandfather bought in the mid-1930s, which has recently been restored to functionality. Lars lives in the house on Judd Falls Road that his grandparents moved into in July 1929. The radio is a McMurdo Masterpiece V. Much more intricate than other radios from this era, it would have been that decade’s equivalent of today’s high-end home theater setups.
Lars says, “I can demonstrate the radio from my grandmother’s chair in my Forest Home living room, situated as photographed in the attached 1930s picture.”
He will have an HD camera and separate microphones on hand to distribute the sound and images via Zoom.
The Public Works Department will be picking up brush, limbs, and branches starting Monday, October 18th, and will continue throughout the Town until finished. All yard waste must be at the roadside by 7 a.m. on the first day of collection. There will be no second collection and no callbacks.
Leaf collection will begin at 7 a.m. on Monday, November 8th, 2021 and will continue throughout the week until finished.
Given the spike in asymptomatic Covid-19 cases in Tompkins County and concern about transmissibility of the new variants, we are simplifying the event. It is no longer the usual barbecue, but a simple Ice Cream Social. We will not be grilling and are not asking residents to contribute side dishes and desserts.
We encourage individuals and families from Forest Home to bring their own beverages to the park — no alcohol, please. Some families may want to bring food to eat themselves. Bring masks and be thoughtful about social distancing. Come any time after 3pm. Consider bringing chairs.
Starting around 4pm, we (FHIA volunteers who are vaccinated, masked and gloved) will serve ice cream. We will provide bowls, spoons, and napkins.
It’s not necessary to bring anything but yourselves and your appetites, but if you are inclined to bring something to share, we ask that it be finger food that can be picked up easily without any serving utensil and without digging into a deep container. It could be presented on a tray or platter with items separated, preferably individually wrapped.
We will have a supply of masks, hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, and gloves.
You may have noticed that the damp weather has brought out a lot of mosquitoes. Consider applying your preferred repellent before you come. And check for ticks afterwards.