In every Newsletter, we make the claim that after trash/recycling pick-up and snow plowing, landscaping is probably the next biggest area of importance to our community. In budget terms, landscaping costs are, by far, the largest component of our budget. While we’re probably all aware of the common area mowing conducted by our contractor, Environmental Enhancements, Inc. (EE) – 24 times per year, and leaf removal services conducted three times late each autumn, and more than a dozen other customary services, we may be less aware of other “one-of-a-kind” services they provide. We think that all of these services contribute to the attractive appearance of the community and hopefully to the “curb appeal”, and hence, to the value of homes in the community. We believe our landscape expenses are as much of an “investment” as they are an expense.
The biggest of these investments this year will be to expand two ground cover test beds planted last fall on the hillside behind 6808 – 6810 MPC as a means to control the erosion of the problematic Kirby hillside. We are currently awaiting a cost proposal for this work and expect it to be undertaken in the latter half of September
Another project that will be scheduled this summer will be the next installment on the never-ending tree cutting and tree pruning “to do” list. This time around we have three or four dead trees to be removed and another 12 to 15 to be pruned and trimmed – including those with dead limbs hanging in the upper portion of the canopy – always a safety hazard should they fall and hit anyone.
Currently we are well under budget for 2017, having spent around $7,000. However, the two projects describe above will probably bring our YTD expenditures closer to $18 - $20,000 upon completion. Our total landscape repair and renovation budget for this year is $26,000.
All of the above is coordinated by our Landscape Committee (LC). The LC is a group of volunteers that help plan and shape how our landscape budget is spent on our common areas. The LC meets at 7:30 PM, the 2nd Wednesday of each month at Longfellow School, Room 118. 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 is looking for new members that have an interest in the maintenance and enhancement of the common areas, especially those who would like to help with some of our hands-on, do-it-yourself projects. It’s good exercise and a good way to meet your neighbors in the community. For more information, contact Steve Smith, Chairman of the LC: firstname.lastname@example.org or call him at 703-405-8292.