An agenda item for the Town Board meeting scheduled for Monday, February 8 at 5:30pm will be a discussion of the latest drawings (billed as “100% progress plans”) for the Forest Home Walkway Improvement Project. The intent is to field any last minute comments and make final updates to the plans in preparation for a future board resolution to authorize bidding once the package is complete. The Town has provided the Forest Home community with many opportunities to give input over the last two years.

There will be a “persons to be heard” section at the beginning of the 2/8 board meeting. For those not familiar with the usual format for Town Board meetings, the opportunity for public input at these meetings is in a special period at the beginning of the meeting. The form of this period is that individuals who wish to speak raise their hands and are invited in turn to the mike where they have up to 3 minutes to speak. Whether or not you are able to attend the meeting in person, you can also send email to the Town Clerk, Paulette Rosa, at

The new plan has a couple of updates wrt the December plans discussed at the 12/15 Public Works Committee meeting that may be significant to users of the Walkway.

* The December plan had handrails on the right-hand side (going up) both on the lower section and above the zigzag. This plan moves the handrail on the upper section to the left. Note that the plan also includes re-grading of that section so that it has a minimal slope from right to left — just enough to encourage water not to flow down the Walkway itself.

* The December plan offered two options for railing style. The final choice (as clearly preferred by participants at both December meetings) is for a single rigid “pipe” rail. The finish will be similar to rails used by Cornell Botanic Gardens, e.g. by the steps up to the Observatory from Sackett Bridge.

Recap of points highlighted for the December plans that still apply:

* The design follows the current path of the Walkway
* The design has one section with steps, the steep section just before the right-hand bend.
* The design allows for maintenance equipment to come down the Walkway as far as the flat section, where there is a turnaround area. This addresses the concern about dealing with trees that fall over the Walkway.

We will provide the agenda and Zoom details for the Town Board meeting when they are available.

The Town of Ithaca and the City of Ithaca have been working jointly since 2017 on a Green Building Policy, now known as the Ithaca Energy Code Supplement (IECS) which contains code requirements for new buildings and major renovations. These requirements are above and beyond the New York State Energy Conservation Construction Code. The objective is to substantially reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions while emphasizing affordability. An earlier draft was made available for comment in September 2019 and presented at a number of public events. Some of you may have attended some of those sessions.

Public comments on the new draft are requested by February 17, 2021 at noon. There will be a public hearing on the draft at the City of Ithaca Planning and Economic Development Committee (PEDC) meeting on February 17, 2021 (probably at 6pm). See the message from the Town below for details of where to find the draft code, how to submit comments and where to look for information about the PEDC meeting closer to the date. Although this is a City of Ithaca public hearing and Forest Home is in the Town of Ithaca, the Town is encouraging its residents to participate.

==== message distributed by Town of Ithaca =====
Date: January 28, 2021
To: Town of Ithaca IECS Review Committee
From: Nick Goldsmith, Sustainability Planner
Re: Public Comment Period for Ithaca Energy Code Supplement

The Town of Ithaca and the City of Ithaca have been working since 2017 on the Ithaca Energy Code Supplement (IECS, previously the Green Building Policy), which contains code requirements for new buildings and major renovations that will substantially reduce GHG emissions while emphasizing affordability.

The Town Board and the City Common Council have provided guidance and approval of previous drafts of the IECS, which have also undergone significant public review. Over the last several months, City and Town of Ithaca Planning and Codes staff, attorneys, and elected officials have contributed to the development of the IECS and the IECS Ordinance. The goal is to maintain common regulations that will be adopted by both the Town and the City.

The January 28, 2021 drafts of the Ithaca Energy Code Supplement (IECS) and the IECS Ordinance are now being circulated for public comment. Your comments are respectfully requested prior to February 17, 2021 at noon. Written comments may be emailed to or mailed to the Town of Ithaca at 215 N. Tioga Street, Ithaca, NY 14850. Oral comments may be presented at the City of Ithaca public hearing, which will occur at the February 17, 2021 Planning and Economic Development Committee (PEDC) meeting. Directions for watching the hearing and submitting oral comments will be described in the PEDC meeting notice, which will be released February 12 on the PEDC webpage: A Town of Ithaca public hearing will be scheduled at a later date.

You will find the following IECS documents and additional project information at .

Ithaca Energy Code Supplement: A local energy code supplement with requirements above and beyond the New York State Energy Conservation Code.
IECS Ordinance: IECS-enabling legislation for the City of Ithaca that enacts the IECS as the regulatory document containing requirements for compliance. The Town of Ithaca will not be adopting an ordinance, but will be incorporating similar language into the IECS.
IECS Short Environmental Assessment form part I and II for the City of Ithaca
A document summarizing comments and responses relating to the previous IECS draft (08-08-19), which informed the current draft, will be posted on the website soon.
An IECS Reference Manual, which contains non-essential information to help understand and use the IECS, will be completed and posted at a future date.

The FHIA Holiday Party Planning committee is proposing the following events to celebrate the holiday season together in lieu of our usual holiday party in a neighbor’s home:

Holiday Treat Exchange
Saturday, December 5 from 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. Forest Home Park

We will explore safe ways for people to share cookies and similar holiday treats. We will also explore the possibility of making contact-less delivery of treat bags to neighbors who may wish to avoid being in even an outdoor, masked, and socially-distanced group.

Swag Making
Saturday, December 5 from 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. Forest Home Park

Those in the community interested in making an evergreen swag would receive materials (greens, wire, ribbon, decorative berries and the like) and some instruction on how to put together a simple, but lovely swag. We could post photos on the website of swags displayed inside or outside people’s homes.

Community Zoom Get-Together with Seasonal Readings and Performances
Friday, December 11, 7:00-7:30

The general idea is to invite neighbors to join and share a brief reading of seasonal content or a solo performance of a favorite seasonal song or tune.

More details and an opportunity to sign up will follow.

FHIA Holiday Party Planning Committee

Constance Stirling-Engman

Michael Bend

The Tompkins County Highway Department will be closing the Downstream Forest Home Bridge in the Town of Ithaca, on November 6, 2020 from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm for bridge inspection. This bridge will be closed to all through traffic and a detour will be in place. Please contact the Highway Department, at (607) 274-0300, with questions or concerns.

The FHIA Annual Meeting will be on Wednesday October 21 at 7pm, by ZOOM. This is the meeting at which officers for the coming year are voted on. We hope to see you there. The President and Treasurer will present reports for the year ending September 30 and Forest Home resident (and FHIA past president) Jon Miller will tell us about his experience with a heat pump installation.

More details, including ZOOM link to follow.

Participants in the first annual FHIA Scavenger Hunt, held this past Saturday, September 12, from 3:00 – 5:00pm enjoyed socially-distanced good fun as they hunted for the answers to clues around the neighborhood. The Forest Home Park served as an important waypoint where hunters could stop to chat with others and guess the number of chocolates in a jar. This may become a new FHIA tradition along with the fall picnic (missed this year due to COVID-19) in years to come.


Forest Home residents who did not complete the original survey can still join the hunt.  Please email us with your name, address, and the number of participants from your household by Thursday, Sept. 10 OR  just show up in the park on the day of the hunt at 3:00pm.

Everyone participating MUST follow social distancing guidelines, including maintaining appropriate distances and wearing masks. At the same time, we encourage you to interact with your neighbors along the way. We hope that this event serves as an opportunity for us to come together safely, to learn a bit about our community, and to have fun.

Those who expressed interest (on the survey) in “hunting” will receive a packet with a map of the neighborhood divided into 4 zones, and a list of clues (in the form of questions to be answered) to look for by zone. This packet will be hand-delivered to your door around 2:00pm the day of the hunt. Be prepared to write clue answers on a handout in the packet.