HCCA News: March 2022

A few neighborhood updates during this time of ongoing turmoil –

Sidewalk Update

With regard to the New Haw Creek sidewalk we’re all eager to see built, our contact at the City of Asheville states:

“Since the property owners along New Haw Creek Road have been contacted regarding any needed easements, we have been working on putting together a Community Engagement Meeting.  We have some draft materials prepared and under review.  We expect everything to be finalized and the meeting to occur remotely by the end of March 2022.”

In terms of sidewalks and greenways throughout Asheville, the city is entering their “final round of public engagement” with regard to strategic planning around sidewalks and greenways. They encourage all residents to participate in the Close the GAP public survey.

Haw Creek Green and Clean

An update from our amazing, doggedly determined, Renate:

Brush Collection

We’re all starting to tackle spring clean-ups in our yards, and brush piles will be part of our neighborhood landscape for weeks.  Our Asheville Sanitation folks collect 10,000 tons of brush, tree limbs and shrub trimmings, annually. I’m always stunned by this number.  And, as I look at some of the current brush piles around, I see that some don’t conform with our brush collection instructions, so here they are as a reminder:

  • Brush/limbs need to be cut into 4′ sections, no more than 6″ in diameter. Sanitation   will NOT collect otherwise
  • Any THORNY vegetation needs to be in 2′ sections.
  • Construction-type materials/lumber will NOT be collected by the City and will just sit at the roadside forever if you leave it there hoping for pickup.  You need to take it to the landfill.

Remember: Brush collection is only for brush, sticks, and other yard waste!

Litter

Five members of the “Litter Brigade” did a thorough clean-up along the chain link fence from our entrance to 240 in mid-February, and there was plenty to collect! DOT picked up the many bags we filled up.

We want to aim for a litter-free Haw Creek and appreciate so many of you who have offered to help!  We hope that we can organize regular litter sweeps this year without COVID limiting these plans!

 

Road Repairs

Chad Young, our current DOT Maintenance Supervisor, responded to Haw Creek Green and Clean’s request to repair/improve the pull-off at our main entrance to the neighborhood, which had become very eroded and washed out. It is now safe for utility vehicles pulling off there for repairs, for food pantry access, litter clean-ups etc. Thank you, Chad!

DOT also did a great job clearing and sweeping a long section of the storm drain gutter along the sidewalk on New Haw Creek Rd., which was clogged with years of accumulated dirt and weeds.

Drainage Ditch Maintenance

The Asheville Stormwater Department responded to our request to “rejuvenate” the storm drainage ditch along Bethesda Road at the Haw Creek Elementary School property.  It was totally clogged with leaves and debris: not useful as a drainage ditch.

Tony Chapman of our Stormwater Division sent a crew out to fix the problem – thank you, Tony!

Water run-off is now flowing in the ditch rather than the road!

Food Scraps Composting 

The Asheville Sanitation Department has started a pilot program to collect and compost food waste instead of sending it to the landfill where it presents plenty of problems.

Renate’s been taking all my food scraps to a little collection shed at Stephens-Lee Recreation Center.  She’s been in contact with the folks at Sanitation who are developing this new – and hopefully successful –  composting program for Asheville, to have Haw Creek be “in the running” for being another “drop-off” location, knowing that there are many committed people in our community to support this program.  Let’s hope for the best!

 

Greenworks Replaces Haw Creek Trash Trout

“On Friday, January 28, Asheville GreenWorks installed a new Trash Trout™ Jr. litter collection device on Haw Creek, replacing one that was vandalized last March and kicking off a statewide effort to keep trash out of Carolina waterways.

“The Haw Creek Trash Trout is one of ten that Asheville GreenWorks currently maintains on WNC waterways, but in March 2021, thieves cut away and stole the aluminium pontoons that keep the Trash Trout afloat.

“When we posted about the vandalism, we received a huge outcry from this community. We were amazed so many people stepped up with donations to make things right. Thank you to everyone who donated!”

Copies from the Greenworks newsletter

The City of Asheville Supports Migratory Birds

As part of the Audubon Society’s Lights Out campaign, the city pledges to turn off unnecessary lighting during spring and fall migration, and encourages all businesses, residents and building managers to do the same.

Bright city lights can disorient migrating birds, often leading to fatal building collisions. These deaths are one of the leading causes for the loss of nearly 3 billion birds in North America since 1970.

Blue Ridge Audubon and UNCA Audubon formed the Coalition for a Bird-Friendly Asheville and together have been working with other community organizations on this initiative. They are thrilled that this hard work and cooperation has paid off!

Please join the Audubon Society in congratulating the Mayor and City Council for taking this step; and remember to turn off your outside lights!

https://www.birdsafeavl.org/

Save the Date: Haw Creek Commons Spring Welcome

Join the Haw Creek Commons on Saturday 30 April from 11am – 2pm for their spring festival. The Commons is now looking for vendors, with an emphasis on local makers and creatives; as well as environmental groups that wish to provide information and resources to our community.

They also need volunteers! To get involved, please contact Morgan Welch, Community Storyteller, at mwelch@hawcreekcommons.com or 828 220-5527 Ext.103.