June 2017 Hickory Farms Newsletter
- Editor, Don Seymour (Farm House Ln)
Needed: More Neighborhood Watch Volunteers
Here’s the deal: we have 19 teams on neighbor-hood watch and want to get to 50. It’s a few hour shift on a Friday or Saturday night. Small commitment, big impact.
Those involved in our neighborhood property evaluations: Brian Roethlisberger, Dante Gilmer, Chuck Stewart, Melissa Stark, Bryan Crabtree, Debbi Buchanan, Mike Maloney, Bob and Judy Cosgriff, Rich Dudley, Donna Garfield, and Robert Patterson. And Melissa Stark and Girl Scout Brownie Troop 6898 for beautifying the area around the bird feeders in the lower common area.
Join Us @ the Summer Block Party on 6/24!
RSVP for the Saturday, June 24 event at https://goo.gl/Lnm1Il
All Hail the Corn Hole Champions
Please Join us for Upcoming Hickory Farms’
CORN HOLE TOURNAMENTS
JULY 8 & AUGUST 26
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Upper Commons Area
Back by popular demand: corn hole returns to Hickory Farms on Saturday, July 8 and Saturday, August 26.
Let’s also take a moment to recognize the greatness of Jeremy and Meredith Perkins who took on all comers and emerged as the champions of our first corn hole event in May.
No prior playing experience needed. Please feel free to bring your own beverage!
We need at least 8 cornhole sets. If you would like to share yours, please sign up.
For more information and to RSVP for JULY 8, go here: https://goo.gl/UXJTTC
For more information and to RSVP for AUGUST 26, go here: https://goo.gl/ZBt2BI
Community Property Review Wrap-Up
- Brian Roethlisberger, ACC Chair
During the month of April, eleven Hickory Farms residents graciously volunteered their time to perform detailed evaluations of all 198 Hickory Farm properties for violations of the Restrictive Covenants and Rules and Regulations.
Each volunteer or team evaluated approximately 20 properties. A special thanks to these volunteers for their service to our community: Dante Gilmer (Team Leader), Chuck Stewart, Melissa Stark, Bryan Crabtree, Debbi Buchanan, Mike Maloney, Bob and Judy Cosgriff, Rich Dudley, Donna Garfield and Robert Patterson.
The property evaluations consisted of a visual inspection of each residence and lot from public access areas (i.e., sidewalks and common areas) using a standardized Hickory Farms Property Inspection Checklist (available for viewing at hickoryfarms.org). Completed checklists and photos of potential violations were uploaded by each inspector to a cloud storage folder established for the effort. All completed checklists and photos were reviewed and evaluated by the Architectural Control Committee (ACC) Chairman. Any uncertain or potentially contentious issues were reviewed by members of the ACC.
Last month, 68 notices of violation were prepared and sent to homeowners by the ACC Chairman via mail or e-mail (in the case of absentee landlords that didn’t provide a mailing address). Four of the notices were delivered to properties where violations were considered extensive or severe. The remaining 64 notices were delivered to homes where one or more violations were considered low to moderate in severity.
The following summarizes the types of violations noted and the number of properties affected:
|Violation/Issue||Number of Properties|
|Significant, noticeable algae growth on the siding or other exterior components||49|
|Excessive storage/cluttered carports||15|
|Peeling paint or severe weathering on exterior components||10|
|Excessive grass/weed growth||10|
|Significantly faded vinyl window/door shutters||8|
|Significantly overgrown/unmaintained trees, shrubs and other landscaping||8|
|Yard debris (e.g., tree limbs, branches, leaves, pine needles, grass clippings stored on lots||8|
|Missing or significantly damaged window/door shutters or gable vents||7|
|Moss/lichen growth on roof (visible tufts/colonies)||6|
|Significantly sagging/warped fence, missing/broken components||6|
|Excessive material/equipment storage on lot||5|
|Significantly damaged or spalling driveway concrete||4|
|Encroachment/storage on common areas||2|
|Vehicle parked on lawn||1|
Unless otherwise specified in the notification letters, homeowners have 60 days to address identified issues. However, if additional time is needed, please notify the ACC Chairman using the contact information provided in the letters. Thank you to all homeowners that have already begun to take decisive action to correct identified issues. Your efforts and the collective efforts of all homeowners continue to keep property values high and make Hickory Farms a pleasant and beautiful neighborhood to live in!
An update on the improvements to the neighborhood that have been submitted to the Architectural Control Committee (ACC) for review.
- 4357 Farm House – Enclose Carport
- 4354 Harvester Farm – Enclose Carport
- 4372 Harvester Farm – Replace Exterior Lighting
George Mason University Recreation Memberships
- Jennifer Maloney
It will soon be time for HFCA members to renew their memberships in Mason Recreation. New HFCA members are welcome to join. New and renewed memberships will be effective August 16, 2017 – August 15, 2018.
HFCA has been a Mason Recreation corporate member since 2014. Membership provides access to Mason recreation facilities on the Fairfax campus, including use of the pools and gyms, and access to most group fitness classes. Parking passes, for general lot use when using the recreation facilities, will require a separate $15 registration fee.
Annual membership levels/fees are:
- Green— $400 per membership for 10-25 memberships plus a $500 tax deductible donation
- Gold— $350 per membership for 26 + memberships, plus a $1,000 tax deductible donation
HFCA currently has the Green level membership, meaning for the current year (August 16, 2016 to August 15, 2017), each HFCA member paid $400 plus an equitable portion of the $500 tax deductible donation.
Mason’s corporate membership policy requires us to provide a roster with each member’s full name, address, and date of birth. Members must be residents of Hickory Farms.
If you wish to renew your membership or become a new member, please contact Jennifer Maloney at firstname.lastname@example.org. Annual membership payments will be due early August.
We have 12 regular players and meet the 3rd Thursday of the month at 7:00 PM. But when someone can’t make it, we need a substitute. For questions or to be added to the sub list, email Krissy at email@example.com
Birds of Hickory Farms
- Bob Cosgriff
May is migration month, the time when neotropical songbirds return from Central and South America en route to their breeding sites here and farther north. This year, the migration was a little strange, most likely due to the weather. Many birds were reported farther north before we saw them here. A possi-ble explanation was their overflying this area to take advantage of the winds and/or to avoid bad weather here. Additionally, it was cool and very rainy in May, which hampered birds and birders alike! As a result, we did see a some migrants, but not in numbers we would have liked, but enough to give us the following highlights:
- The backyard species count rose to 52 for the year as we added 11 species in May
- Six species of warblers were seen: Myrtle, Common Yellow-throat, Northern Parula, Black-poll, Black-throated Blue, and Magnolia. I believe if the weather had been better, we would have added possibly three or four more species
- A Veery, an uncommon thrush, seen here only twice in the past, visited on five different days (however, the other thrushes seen here in the past were no-shows)
- We had female Rose-breasted Grosbeaks here on two consecutive days, and the striking male here for just one day
- An Osprey, typically seen near rivers and large bodies of water, flew overhead on May 14th. This is only the second neighborhood record
For the period 1 January – 31 May, our average daily species count was 16. Our highest single day count was 24, achieved twice (on February 21 and April 7) and our lowest single day count was five (February 6). Of the birds that visited between January and April, the highlight was the unprecedented, prolonged visits by Fox Sparrow for two days in late February, and then 12 days in April, including 11 consecutive days; and Purple Finch for 22 separate days between March 24 and April 29. In the past, both of these beautiful birds, if they appeared at all, showed up for only one or two days. Having them here for so long made 2017 special.
As for the bluebirds, we had a successful fledging of five young in early May (lower common grounds) and shortly thereafter, there was a second nest with five eggs in the same box. Meanwhile, a week later, a new nest with five eggs was tallied in the upper common grounds! Based on the length of time it takes from egg-laying to fledging, we should see the birds leaving the first box in early June and mid-June for the second box. This means there is still time for one more round of egg-laying (called “double-clutching”). This would make 2017 a much better year than last year, when only two successful bluebird broods were counted. Strangely, there is no other nesting action by any other species (house wrens, chickadees, tree swallows) in any box as of the submission of this article. I’m not sure why this is the case. We’ll have to see what the rest of the summer brings.
Thanks to Melissa Stark and her Brownie troop for beautifying the area around two of the boxes in the lower common grounds by adding beneficial wild flowers in a circular area around the poles. In addition to being very attractive, this protects the poles from possible damage from lawn-mowing equipment. I invite you to go and see this very nice addition to the common area.
This ends the “Birds of Hickory Farms” series for now. I’ll pick it up in the fall to let you know if any other backyard “year-birds” or neighborhood “firsts” were spotted over the summer, and also how the bluebirds fared.
Like writing? Taking photos? Have an idea for an article or feature you’d like to share? Email firstname.lastname@example.org to get involved with the community newsletter today!
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