After trash/recycling pick-up and snow plowing, landscaping is probably the next biggest area of importance to our community, even if we don’t think of it as an immediate and personal benefit as we might with trash pick-up and plowed streets when it snows. In budget terms, landscaping costs are, by far, our largest expense. 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, conducted three times late each autumn, we may be less aware of more than a dozen other “one-of-a-kind” services they provide – fertilizing, mulching, weed control, perimeter control (trimming), aeration & reseeding each autumn, etc. All of these services contribute to the very attractive appearance of the community and hopefully to the “curb appeal”, and hence, to the value of our properties. Our landscape expenses are as much of an “investment” as they are an expense.
For 2018 our “investment” via EE is $43,391 for our basic landscape maintenance contract – the same as it was last year. In addition to the basic maintenance contract, the 2018 budget includes $26,000 for one-of-a-kind investments, including tree cutting and tree pruning expenses, minor drainage and erosion projects, re-plantings, etc. For the past few years we have spent more than $10,000 per year just for tree services – and that does not count planting new/replacement trees, which are paid for out of our Capital Reserves. So far this spring we have been lucky and have not lost a significant number of trees from our heavy winds – two small magnolias have been damaged any may need to be replaced.
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. Easy entry to the school is via Entrance #4 (rear/south side).
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.