After trash/recycling pick-up and snow plowing, landscaping is probably the next biggest area of importance to residents of our community. In budget terms, our Landscaping costs are, by far, the largest component of our annual MPHOA budget. While we’re probably all aware of the common area mowing conducted by our contractor, Environmental Enhancements, Inc. (EE) – 24 times per year, we may be less aware of the multiple other services that EE performs to maintain and enhance the appearance of our community. Those additional services include:
Edging – 12 times yearly;
Weeding of tree mulch rings and shrub beds – 12 times yearly;
Shrub Pruning – 4 times each year;
Tree Pruning – twice each year;
Perimeter Control – cutting back weeds, vines, and bushes at the edge of wooded areas – twice
Mulching of tree rings and shrubs – each spring and fall;
Turf fertilization, pre-emerge crab grass control, broadleaf weed control, insect control,
liming, aeration and over-seeding – various times each year;
Spring Clean-Up and Fall Leaf Removal; and,
Seasonal Flower Planting – three rotations each year at the front entrance.
Our original three-year contract with EE ended in 2016. Rather than re-compete this contract as we did at the end of our prior landscaping contract in 2013, we elected to extend EE’s contract through 2017, with an option to extend in 2018 before we re-compete again.
In addition to our basic Landscape Maintenance contract, we also undertake a number on one-of-a kind repair and enhancement projects with other landscaping contractors. In 2016, our most visible enhancement project was the plantings in the mulch beds at the Gervais circle.
Another notable project in 2016 was the planting of six American Hollies and three Eastern Red Cedars in the wooded area between Gervais circle and the storm water detention pond on the opposite side of the woods. This $1,861 project was partly funded by a $941 grant from the Virginia Trees for Clean Water (VTCW) program. VTCW helped support the project’s three objectives: reducing nitrogen and phosphorus runoff from adjacent turf areas into the storm water pond, improving the year-round sight and sound barrier between homes and Kirby Road and Great Falls Street, and improving the wildlife habitat in that area. Thanks to the resident volunteers who helped with site preparation for the plantings.
Our first notable project in 2017 will be an expansion of the ground cover test beds that were installed on the hillside behind 6808 – 6810 MPC to help control the erosion in the problematic Kirby hillside area.
Much of the above is coordinated by our Landscape Committee (LC). The LC is a group of volunteers that help plan and shape how our budget is spent on the common areas of the MPHOA. We meet at 7:30 PM on the second Wednesday of each month at Longfellow School, Room 118. LC meetings are open to all members of the community. Look for signs announcing our meetings – they are posted each month at the two entrances to the community.
The LC welcomes new members that have an interest in the maintenance and enhancement of the common areas, especially those who would like to join in helping with some of our hands-on, do-it yourself projects. It’s good exercise and a good way to meet your neighbors around the community. For more information, please contact Steve Smith, Chairman of the LC: firstname.lastname@example.org or call him at 703-405-8292.