Hickory Farms

October 2020 Hickory Farms Newsletter

- Editor, Bill Berg (Farm House Ln)

Additions to Hickory Farms By-Laws Approved by Wide Margin

- By the Board of Directors

The Additions to our By-Laws were approved at the Special Meeting of the homeowners held on October 3, 2020, at 10 AM. Of the 75 valid proxy ballots and voting ballots submitted, 70 homeowners voted for the By-Laws Additions and 5 voted against. The existing By-Laws, dating back to the 1980s, included restrictive requirements for the holding of meetings of the homeowners; for example, our in-person October Annual Meetings at the Green Acres Center. The new By-Laws Additions give the Association the flexibility to conduct business through other means such as Electronic Voting, Use of Technology, and Meeting Remotely when the need arises, such as during the current coronavirus pandemic. The Additions, which were approved by the Association’s attorney, gives the Association the flexibility to use these tools when needed. However, not a single word of the existing By-Laws was changed, which means that when the pandemic abates - as it did in 1918 - we can hopefully resume meeting in person. The Board of Directors will continue to communicate with homeowners through the community newsletter, email, the Listserv, and other technologies.

Most homeowners are members of the Listserv email service. If you are not, PLEASE, PLEASE sign up.

To learn more about the Additions to the By-Laws, please see the information packet that was mailed to every home-owner.

The Board of Directors thanks everyone who participated in this important action.

Student Yellow Pages

If you offer services such as raking leaves, lawn mowing, babysitting, general home maintenance, dog walking, tutoring, etc., please email Bill at berg_bill@yahoo.com to be included.

Bridgette Buchanan (17) 703-307-7323 Babysitting and dog sitting
Britney Mulliner (17) 571-474-7277 Babysitting and dog sitting
Cody Dempster (17) 703-776-0101 Yard work, snow shoveling, housework
Dominic Cannata (17) 703-568-9896 Lawn mowing, shovel snow, cleaning, mulching
Erika Maaseide (17) 703-659-5321 Babysitting; Special Needs experienced
Kiera Stark (11) commonareas@hickoryfarms.org Pet sitting, plant/tree watering, weed picking and leaf raking
Kent Codding (18) 703-317-7319 Shovel snow, yard work, leaf raking
Paul Cannata (18) 786-445-5318 Lawn mowing, shovel snow, cleaning, mulching
Xavier Gilmer (15) 703-862-2192 Shovel snow; lawn mowing
Jaden Singh (17) 703-278-8800 Math tutoring, snow shoveling
George Codding (14) 703-223-4101 Snow shovel, yard work, leaf raking

Interested in Joining a Board Meeting?

Due to the pandemic and social distancing, HFCA Board meetings are on Zoom. Please contact a HFCA Board member for more information.

Join our Listserv

There’s no better way to stay in touch than through our Hickory Farms email listserv. Visit hickory-farms.org and click "Hickory Farms Listserv” on left and follow the instructions.

Attention American Disposal Trash Customers

Our yard debris (lawn clippings, leaves, etc.) pickup date has been moved from Wednesday to Saturday.

Voting Information Provided by Our Supervisor James Walkinshaw

September 18 - October 31: Absentee in-person/early voting began at the Office of Elections, 12000
Government Center Pkwy., Fairfax, VA. All absentee applications and voter registration forms must be
approved and will be processed in the order of receipt.

October 12: Office of Elections/Absentee Voting Closed for Columbus Day

October 13: Voter Registration Deadline. In-person: 5:00 p.m., Online: 11:59 p.m.

October 14: Absentee in-person/early voting begins at 14 satellite locations.

October 23: Deadline to request an absentee ballot by mail, 5:00 p.m.

October 31: Final day for absentee in-person/early voting, 5:00 p.m.

November 3: Election Day. You regular polling place will be open from 6:00 a.m. through 7:00 p.m.

Check the Citizen Portal to find out your polling place and confirm your voter registration status.

Returned Ballots:

November 3: Deadline to hand deliver absentee ballots to Office of Elections is 7:00 p.m.

November 6: Deadline for mailed absentee ballots to be received by Office of Elections is 12 p.m. Ballots
must be postmarked no later than November 3.

Returning an Absentee Ballot

The Virginia General Assembly has approved the use of drop boxes.

Voters can return their ballot to the Office of Elections as well as local satellite locations. On Election Day, November 3, from 6:00 am – 7:00 pm, voters can return their ballot to their regular polling place.

Currently, there is a drop box at the Office of Elections inside the building at 12000 Government Center Parkway. You don't have to wait in line to drop off your completed and sealed absentee ballot.

Neighborhood Sidewalk and Street Repairs

- Strategic Planning Committee

Based upon analysis last year of our Hickory Farms’ homeowners Survey, the HFCA Board’s Strategic Planning Committee identified over 50 sidewalk tripping hazards for walkers, the need for repainting the white safety road stripes at most of our stop signs, and deteriorating asphalt on our streets. We submitted to VDOT descriptions of work needed, sent VDOT photos, and spoke in person with a VDOT official about the need for new white safety road stripes at stop signs. We are pleased to report that, so far, VDOT has repainted the white safety road stripes at most (but not yet all) stop signs and has repaired the most serious (by not yet all) of the tripping hazards and the very worst (but not all) of the street asphalt deterioration. See photos below. If you would like to join us in the Strategic Planning Committee to improve the safety and quality of life in our community, please email us at strategicplan@hickoryfarms.org.

Birds of Hickory Farms

- Bob Cosgriff (Cotton Farm Road)

September is a transitional month between summer and fall. The weather moderates, with cooler temperatures and lower humidity. Flowers begin to fade, and some trees begin to shed their leaves slowly. For birds, nesting has ended. The challenge now is for the hatchlings to survive by taking advantage of abun-dant food sources. It’s hard to be a bird. For most birds, life expectancies are relatively short (three to six years); larger birds, such as geese and raptors tend to live longer, into double-digit ages. For songbirds, first-year mortality runs above 50% in a good year. Predation, starvation, extreme heat, avian disease, collisions with manmade objects, habitat loss, and the effects of pesticides all contribute to bird deaths. The number one killer is house cats that roam outside. Collisions can happen anytime, but the numbers go up in migration. Habitat loss can occur in breeding grounds, wintering grounds, and in between.

In our modest way, Hickory Farms is trying to protect and enhance our natural habitat so that birds can nest here or rest here in migration. By removing invasive species such as bamboo, planting native perennials in several areas, improving the condition of our tree stands, and avoiding the use of toxic herbicides and pesticides, we have created a healthy, bird-friendly environment. In the spring migration, we noted the return of three thrush species: Veery, Swainson’s Thrush, and Wood Thrush. The latter had not been seen or heard here for eight years. Our five-month daily yard census yielded a record 70 species, including an impressive 16 warbler species, including the first Ovenbird in 18 years. Everyone can, in effect, develop a mini-refuge in their backyard by providing three things: food, water, natural cover and by avoiding two things: toxic herbicides/pesticides and free-roaming house cats. It’s that simple.

Another example of what good habitat can do was seen on September 12 at the restored creek area when three migratory species were seen at the same time, two different warblers (American Redstart, Common Yellowthroat) and a perky Blue-gray Gnatcatcher. The plantings there provide just the right type of brushy habitat preferred by these insect-eating birds. Additionally, the pollinator-friendly plants such as Joe-Pye Weed and Cardinal Flowers have hosted various butterflies (including Monarchs) and Ruby-throated Hummingbirds this summer.

Most migratory songbirds and our resident hummingbirds will be gone by the end of September, although a few stragglers may show up into October. Then we will see the arrival of the White-throated Sparrows which migrate here from breeding grounds farther north; they will remain to brighten up our winter months. Chickadees, Tufted Titmouse, and White-breasted Nuthatch—all year-round residents—will become more obvious. American Robins and Eastern Bluebirds will be seen intermittently throughout the fall and winter. Other year-round “backyard birds” include Blue Jay, Northern Cardinal, Mourning Dove, Carolina Chickadee, Song Sparrow, and various woodpeckers, including Downy, Hairy, Red-bellied, Northern Flicker and even Pileated. American Goldfinch will show up in the winter where natural seeds or feeders are available.

Until the next time, consider what you can do to contribute to the overall habitat in the neighborhood and by all means, get out and about to enjoy the birds of Hickory Farms as summer passes into fall and the neigh-borhood comes alive with autumn colors.

"Branding" - What is It and Why is It Important

A common misconception is that branding is simply a logo or slogan.

Although these elements are a key part of it, it does, however, go far beyond this. Branding involves a logo and graphic design for our website, newsletter template, flyers for events, signage, advertising, etc. In short, branding is the way in which our community is perceived when others hear or think of us.

Why is branding important to Hickory Farms?

Branding promotes recognition. Effective branding can promote recognition for our community. If our brand is consistent and easy to recognize, it can help people feel more at ease when purchasing in our community.

A true brand is the differentiator which include logos, taglines, typefaces, and colors. At the end of the day, a good community’s brand is a promise a place makes to people. It is built over time and capitalizes on the imagery, feeling, and allegiance felt when people see the image of our community whether it is a symbol that evokes history (or progress), a tagline that builds pride of place, or colors and typefaces that evoke images or signals sense of place for the community.

We have a great opportunity to tell the story of our community through properly building an identity for the place where we live. Incorporating a quality graphic design and using brand elements like a proper and consistent typeface, logo, tagline or slogan, and a consistent color palette for signage and printed materials will help create an identity for our community.

There are practical considerations as well. A well-executed brand is consistent, saves time, and doesn’t require a reinvention of the wheel every time a new publication, web page, template or sign must be created. In fact, well executed brands can be deployed in countless ways. A successful brand can also serve as a way for our community to better market our location.

Hickory Farms Holloween 2020 - All the Details...

This year Halloween is HAPPENING! Halloween 2020 will be a little different this year, but there will still be tons of (safe!) fun for all! Activities leading up to the big day include:

  1. Haunted Holiday Decorating Contest. Get out your over-sized pumpkins and witches on broomsticks -- we'll have prizes for the Most Festive, Spookiest, and Silliest homes. Neighborhood voting will take place October 28-29! Awards distributed on Halloween!
  2. Spooky Scavenger Hunt. Starting Monday, October 26, we will distribute a fun scavenger hunt for you to do as a family! Turn in your completed hunt forms for a prize on Halloween (prize homes will be identified on the Trick-or-Treat Map).

"Mask-arade" Trick-or-Treat Event on Saturday, October 31st from 5:30 – 8:00 pm!

PLEASE sign-up if your house will participate tiny.cc/HFHalloween2020 so we can include your house on the Trick-or-Treat map for our families to follow and plan!

*Participating houses will be identified on a map and the map will be distributed on Friday, October 30 via email.

*Also, we would love to surprise the kids with a socially distant candy forest in one or both of the common areas. If you can volunteer for an hour in the afternoon on Halloween day, please sign-up here - tiny.cc/HFHalloween2020

Trick-or-Treating to keep everyone safe (in line with CDC Halloween guidance - https://www.halloween2020.org/ for additional guidance)....Trick-or-treating will take place between 5:30-8:00pm this year. Please plan accordingly and participate during those designated times so that kids and neighbors stay coordinated and comfortable!


  • Stay home if sick
  • Use the trick-or-treating neighborhood map to follow homes that are safely handing out candy! Start your trek as early as 5:30 and head back home by 8:00!
  • Remain 6 feet apart from people not in your household
  • Wear a face mask covering both your mouth and nose when within 10 feet of anyone from another household.
  • NO KNOCKING ON DOORS or crowding porches this year. Homeowners will distribute candy outside their home.
  • Be mindful of other kids and leave enough for your HF friends!
  • Hand sanitize (with sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol) frequently while out.
  • Wash your hands as soon as you get back home.
  • Parents – check all candy as usual…if you are nervous about candy from other households, but want to participate, have a big bag of your kid’s favorite treats ready at home to swap with them for their collection!


  • Make sure you sign up to participate at tiny.cc/HFHalloween2020 so we can include your house on the Trick-or-Treat map for our families to follow and plan! BONUS POINTS! Take the CDC’s Halloween Safe House pledge and register as an official Halloween Safe House at https://www.halloween2020.org/ (scroll to bottom of the page)
  • Do not distribute candy if you are sick
  • Wear a face mask covering BOTH your mouth and nose whenever you will be 10 feet from another person not in your household.
  • Distributed candy in a socially distant way…ideas….
  • Position a distribution table between yourself and trick or treaters or sit on your porch or in a lawn chair and socially distant socialize! NO DOOR KNOCKING THIS YEAR.
  • Individually wrapped candy or goodie bags should be lined up for families to grab and go while continuing to social distance

Fun ideas for distribution…

  • Create a themed table at the end of your driveway! (ideas: https://www.orientaltrading.com/trick-or-treat-driveway-table-party-supplies-a2-13979786.fltr)
  • Hang candy on various tree branches or setup a lattice with candy clipped to it (make sure the kids can just pull to release and items are spread out so that there is not touching other’s candy) (ideas: https://www.orientaltrading.com/candy-hedge-supplies-a2-13980150.fltr)
  • Create a candy collection station on your driveway- fill plastic cups with candy or place goody bags in a socially spread-out way or make an obstacle course or maze for the kids to follow!
  • Create a Halloween candy slide out of PVC pipe! (idea: https://www.instructables.com/Halloween-Candy-Slide/)
  • Toss candy at the kids as they walk by, kind of like Mardi Gras!
  • When handling the candy (preparing goodie bags, treat cups, etc.), wear a mask and wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before and after preparing treats for distribution.
  • DO NOT use communal bowls for kids to grab from or leave bowls of candy outside. DO NOT hand candy directly to kids.

We hope that as many neighbors can participate to help create a little Hickory Farms magic and festive fun! All ages are encouraged to decorate, dress up and participate! If you have any specific questions, please email social@hickoryfarms.org. Otherwise, please RSVP if you will distribute candy at your house and/or can help setup the candy forest!