Thanks go to the Town of Ithaca Public Works Department for several new enhancements to the Forest Home Walkway following the major project managed by the Engineering Department over the Summer. Last week, twenty-five new deciduous trees, including sugar maples and tulip trees, were planted alongside the walkway. The saplings are protected from deer by metal fencing and are poking through cardboard. FHIA will be hoping that community members will make sure that they are watered adequately; if you are prepared to help, send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
There are more trees further down, near the flat section. At the base of the Walkway, the crosswalk has been re-painted and the Stop sign has been moved to improve the sightline for vehicles wanting to turn left across the bridge. Last week, the Town brought some topsoil to put on the slope between the Stop sign and the path. Some of the day-lilies that have been near this intersection for decades have been rescued and planted in this triangular patch. Let’s hope for some rain to help them get re-established.
If you see any of the Town of Ithaca staff working in the area, please let them know how much the community appreciates their efforts to keep the Walkway safe and attractive. It has been in use for over a hundred years [see The Path] and we hope it will serve generations to come.
If anyone is interested in helping with some trail improvement work in the area across Flat Rock Bridge, Charlie Trautmann is organizing a work party on Sunday November 6 from 9am to 3pm — come any time, leave any time. [Reminder: that’s the day that clocks change at 2am.]. Lunch and snacks will be provided. Bring gloves and good shoes (plus shovel, wheelbarrow if you have them). The location is shown at https://goo.gl/maps/vmfRHDDdA8TGXreC7. And here’s a photo of the bridge that might help you find the location on Forest Home Drive between Caldwell Road and Varna.
The FHIA board is suggesting that we hold our usual potluck event in the Forest Home Park, as long as people are ready for it and public health guidelines indicate that it is safe. This longstanding community tradition has been on hold because of COVID.
We hope that residents will hold the date of Sat. Sept. 17 (with Sat. Sept. 24 as a rain date) for a dish-to-pass gathering in the Forest Home Park. Usually, we meet around 3:00 PM.
Look for a more detailed announcement later. If you can lend a grill, will help set up or clean up, are prepared to take a shift grilling, or can help with garbage or recycling, please let us know by emailing email@example.com.
As you have probably noticed, the Forest Home Walkway Improvement Project finally got started in the first week of May. This path was established in 1911 by George Warren, who lived in the house that is now 127 Warren Road, to ease his commute between his farm and Cornell where he was on the faculty of the new agricultural college. The early history was described in 1976 by Martha Hertel, daughter of George Warren, in The Path. In the early 1980s, the path was given to the Town of Ithaca, by Martha and her siblings.
The primary objectives of the current project are:
Safer and more comfortable walking, with steps on the steepest section and a more robust railing alongside the entire upper and lower sections of the trail
A graded compacted surface that is comfortable to walk on and more resistant to heavy rain.
New systems for drainage, intended both to divert water off the path surface and to avoid damage to and by adjoining properties at the lower end.
On the lower section, as well as installing pre-cast concrete steps, two important features are not visible, because they are below the ground.
immediately to the left (as in photo below) of the path, a drainage pipe with perforations on its top has been installed to take the water down to the existing catch basin near the bottom of the Walkway. The drainage swale behind 200 FHD, now also feeds into that pipe.
immediately to the right of the path concrete pillars have been embedded, ready for the new metal railing to be installed.
One feature of the improved walkway will be a metal railing alongside the entire trail except the flattish central section. On June 2nd, the contractors brought all the railing sections to the site to adjust the welded joints with a blow torch so that they will fit on to the embedded concrete bases.
At the bottom of the walkway there will be a concrete pad that connects to the crosswalk at the bottom of Pleasant Grove Road. The shuttering for the pad was put in place on June 1st and filled on June 3rd.
On June 14th, Kris Merschrod took photos as he walked down from Warren Road to the central flatter section and back up. Notice the connection to a new section of pedestrian path on the west side of Warren Road. The central flat section is now protected from the erosion that happens everywhere on the hillside by precast concrete blocks.
Many thanks to those who have already picked up trash along Forest Home roads or committed to do so.
Neighbor Charlie Trautmann is organizing work parties to repair the trail alongside the creek near the footbridge at Flat Rock. Here is his description:
Sat April 23 (rain date Sat April 30) – Volunteer work day to re-gravel the trail across the bridge and carry precut lumber 200 yd across the bridge to where it’s needed. We’ll need lots of strong willing workers with gloves and shovels, plus any wheelbarrows would be welcome. Any amount of time volunteered would be helpful!
Sun April 24 and Tues-Wed Apr 26-27 – Volunteer work days, as needed, to assemble 150 feet of boardwalk. We’ll need a few relatively skilled people – cordless drivers and batteries would be helpful.
Charlie adds: We need people to staff a sign-in table, hand out drinks and band-aids, walk with the public who come by, tell workers where to put stuff they are carrying, where to go, etc., so no skill level is too small to be helpful!!!
Contact Charlie directly at 607-227-1910 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Please save Saturday, April 16 for the annual Forest Home Improvement Association spring roadside cleanup. We will meet in the park at 10 a.m. There will be garbage bags, gloves if you need them, and a few mechanical picker-uppers. We will divvy up the road assignments as we arrive. As an added incentive, volunteers may keep any $100 bills they find!
The FHIA is also looking for volunteers to help maintain the park. Tasks include weeding, watering the flower box, communicating with the Town’s park department, etc. A special need will be for someone to plant and maintain a small triangle of land near the down hill walkway sign after the path is rebuilt, hopefully this spring. The FHIA will pay for the native plants and materials.
See previous post Spring Cleanup — Tentative Date for information about some invasive plants that might already be showing up at the roadsides or in your yard.
Spring is really on the way. Some snowdrops and winter aconites were showing before the latest fall of snow. What this means is that it’s time to set a date for the neighborhood Spring Cleanup, when FHIA encourages residents to volunteer to pick up the trash that has accumulated by the sides of our streets over the winter or participate in other activities to keep the neighborhood looking attractive. Watch for details from email@example.com.
Meanwhile, you may want to keep an eye out for Garlic Mustard or Hairy Bittercress. These aggressively invasive plants overwinter without dying back and you may notice them soon. Below are some useful documents FHIA has circulated in the past about dealing with them.
Leaf collection in the Town of Ithaca will start at 7:00AM on Monday, November 8th, 2021 and will continue throughout the week until finished. Leaves should be at the curb by 7:00 a.m. on the first day of collection. Leaves may be raked to the shoulder of the road or bagged in biodegradable paper leaf bags (30 gallon bags are available at many stores in the area). Other debris such as pine needles, dead flowers, garden waste, grass clippings, etc., cannot be vacuumed and should be placed in bags. Please fill bags and place on road shoulder, folding over openings of bags to close —- do not staple or tape. No plastic bags will be picked up.
The Town’s crews will go around the entire Town once with the leaf vacuum. For the rest of the month of November, the crews will begin picking up paper-bagged leaves each Monday, which could extend through early week to encompass the entire Town.
After the usual association business, President’s Report, Treasurer’s Report, etc., there will be a demonstration by Lars Washburn and his sister Katrina Mackey of the high-end radio their grandfather bought in the mid-1930s, which has recently been restored to functionality. Lars lives in the house on Judd Falls Road that his grandparents moved into in July 1929. The radio is a McMurdo Masterpiece V. Much more intricate than other radios from this era, it would have been that decade’s equivalent of today’s high-end home theater setups.
Lars says, “I can demonstrate the radio from my grandmother’s chair in my Forest Home living room, situated as photographed in the attached 1930s picture.”
He will have an HD camera and separate microphones on hand to distribute the sound and images via Zoom.
The Public Works Department will be picking up brush, limbs, and branches starting Monday, October 18th, and will continue throughout the Town until finished. All yard waste must be at the roadside by 7 a.m. on the first day of collection. There will be no second collection and no callbacks.
Leaf collection will begin at 7 a.m. on Monday, November 8th, 2021 and will continue throughout the week until finished.