NMCA Newsletter (10/10)

The Board of Directors meets the first Wednesday evening of each month at 6:30 PM at various local venues – check the website for the location of the next meeting.

Neighborhood Night Out

Mark your calendars for Sunday afternoon, October 17, for the 2010 NMCA Neighborhood Night Out. Join us at the North Main Rotary Park from 4-7 PM for barbeque, music, games and fun. Sign up for free door prizes. Catch up with friends and neighbors and meet new ones. See you there!!

2011 NMCA Elections

This year our annual election will take place at the annual membership meeting, scheduled for December 2 at 7 PM at the Bobby Pearse Center on Townes Street. (This meeting will be in lieu of the board meeting for December) Officers will be elected by the members of the NMCA. Nominations have closed and ballots will be provided to all NMCA members in late October or early November. You can return them via mail or bring them with you to the meeting. Please mark your calendars now and plan to attend the membership meeting. We welcome your comments and input into how the NMCA board can better serve you next year!

District I Update

The following was emailed by Amy Ryberg-Doyle. We are providing it here for those who may not have received the original email. (864.616.2759 ADoyle@greenvillesc.gov )

“What is the status of the Stone Avenue Master Plan?”Currently, the City’s traffic engineering staff is working with the DOT to address issues of redesigning the traffic lanes for Stone Avenue. There is a Stone Avenue Task Force Committee comprised of neighborhood association presidents, Stone Avenue business owners and property owners who have contributed input on the road diet plan. You can see the presentation completed by design team Dover Kohl at their website. Please post your input on the site. The Stone Avenue plan recommendations will be presented to the neighborhood on Tuesday, October 26 from 5:30 to 7:30pm. The meeting will be held at the Greenville County Main Library at Heritage Green. During this meeting, the draft Plan for Stone Avenue will be presented for public comment. Come give your feedback, and bring a friend!

Crime Down, but please be vigilant!
Recently, Chief of Police Terri Wilfong briefed Council on the crime statistics for the City. The Police Department has seen a decrease in crime throughout all neighborhoods. Yet, the Police Department needs us all to be engaged neighbors. Please report suspicious behavior.
SAVE THIS NUMBER IN YOUR CELL PHONE: POLICE NON-EMERGENCY NUMBER: 271-5333

National Press on Greenville…..
While most of us think that Florida is an escape, there was recently an article in a Florida magazine about getting away to Greenville. Check out the most recent news coverage.

Want to underground your service power line to your house?
The City and Duke Power want to complete 300 homes by the end of the year. The City is paying up to $1500 per home to do so. You may apply as a single homeowner. (You do not need adjacent neighbor’s commitment.) It is based on a first come, first serve basis. Please read and apply at their website.

Bikeville.org is gaining momentum!
Bikeville Greenville, the City’s Cycling initiative, is offering a Traffic Skills 101 for those who are interested in becoming League Cycling Instructors.

The City’s new elementary school, AJ Whittenberg, is open and receiving tremendous feedback as the only elementary school in the state with a science and engineering focus! The school children have designed their new playground. The School District, the City of Greenville and private donors have all contributed to the new playground. Volunteers are installing the program and they need hundreds of more volunteers for Build Week September 29! To volunteer, please go their website.

Plan Stone Avenue Meeting Scheduled

Dover Kohl & Partners has scheduled a Plan Stone Avenue Community Meeting for Tuesday, October 26 from 5:30 to 7:30pm. The meeting will be held at the Greenville County Main Library at Heritage Green. During this meeting, the draft Plan for Stone Avenue will be presented for public comment. Come give your feedback, and bring a friend!

You may also want to take a look at the Stone Avenue road diet phasing presentation, given during an August meeting with the City of Greenville, the Dover Kohl team, and SCDOT. This presentation summarizes the evolution of the Stone Avenue Plan over the summer as the City and the consultant team worked together on implementation strategies for Stone Avenue.

Weather Tidbits

According to climate data at the GSP airport, the average maximum temperature for Greenville in October is 71.8°F, the average low is 49.4 °F and the average precipitation is 3.9”. In October, 1937, 15.18” of rain fell at Caesar’s Head. Last year our first frost occurred on November 4. The record low for October at GSP is 25°F. Check out the SC DNR weather site for more information and for educational ideas and games.

Late Summer Babies of a Different Kind

As you prepare your garden for winter… mulching, digging and dividing bulbs, planting pansies, etc., don’t be surprised if you run into some late summer babies. There is one group of creatures whose young arrive in late summer and fall, either by egg or by being born alive, depending on the particular species. Thirty-two of thirty-eight snakes in South Carolina are harmless, and most are in fact beneficial. Statistically, non-venomous are the snakes that people most often encounter. Because of habitat loss many snakes now need to live among humans, often in urban areas. Snakes can live in every type of habitat and at some point you will likely find one near your home. If you see a snake in your yard, it is rare that you will need to do anything. Most snakes, when encountered, prefer to escape as quickly as possible and will do so if left alone. Even rattlesnakes will avoid humans, if given the chance.
Being a Good Neighbor- Help, Not Harm – Many people think that snakes are incapable of feeling pain. However, snakes have pain receptors just like humans. If a snake is injured after being run over by a car or hit with a lawnmower, it is in need of medical assistance the same as any other any animal suffering from such injuries. Many rehabilitators, exotics veterinarians, and herp specialists are trained and willing to provide medical and supportive care to injured wild snakes. Snakes have their place in the environment, as do all wildlife, and there are ways that we can help them live as nature intended.
Assisting Snakes Across The Road – If you encounter a snake on the road, and it is possible and safe, help it across in the direction it is heading. Often, simply walking towards it will be enough to cause the snake to slither away. But if you must, use a long stick and gently tap the road just behind its tail to encourage it to travel across. This ensures that both you and the snake will not be injured. You can also find more information on snakes at the Carolina Wildlife Website.

Safe Haven – Home to Rescued Exotic Animals

Did you know that Greenville County has a place of rescue and refuge for exotic animals? It’s called Safe Haven, a non-profit organization which provides permanent sanctuary for rescued exotic wildlife. Established in 2007, it is home to nearly 200 animals that have been abandoned, abused, lost their home through death of the owner, or found to be more than the owners can handle. They house everything from cockatoos to kinkajoos. Safe Haven provides educational programs for children and adults for schools, scout troops, birthday parties, lectures and other special events. The directors have a vast array of experiences to draw from and they can cater to almost any request for an educational program for all ages. Some program topics include native wildlife, exotic animals, various habitats, responsible pet care and animal behavior. All programs are done on an outreach basis because Safe Haven is not open to the public on a regular basis. An open house for anyone to visit Safe Haven is held a couple times a year. Go to the Safe Haven website to learn more or to read the latest newsletter. The next open house is planned for the spring.

What are Heritage and Legacy Trees?

We’ve all been hearing a lot about legacy and heritage trees, but just what gives a tree that distinction? According to the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA), most definitions include a combination of criteria. Individual trees may be considered important community resources because of unique or noteworthy characteristics or values. Most commonly used criteria include such things as size, species, age, historic significance, ecological value, aesthetics, location or other unique characteristics. The International Aboriculture Associaiton has more specific information.

If you were a Clemson student, you may be familiar with a good example. South Carolina’s 2009 Heritage Tree was the Clemson Centennial Bur Oak. This massive tree, which serves as a campus landmark, a favorite meeting location, and a reminder of the school’s history, is purported to be more than 100 years old. It is believed that this tree was a sapling on the land that Thomas Clemson IV included in his 1883 will that would become the Clemson campus. The tree was named the Centennial Bur Oak when Clemson celebrated 100 years of existence in 1989. It is the largest bur oak in South Carolina and has been carefully protected as the campus grew. The tree has been cited in the 2009 University Preservation Master Plan and the book, The Nature of Clemson: A Field Guide to the Natural History of Clemson University.

Flower Vases Needed for Horticultural Therapy Activities

Horticultural therapy (HT) is not only an emerging profession… it is a time-proven practice. The therapeutic benefits of peaceful garden environments have been recognized since ancient times. HT is defined as “a process utilizing plants and horticultural activities to improve social, educational, psychological and physical adjustment of persons thus improving their body, mind, and spirit.” Many of us participate in HT every day as we work in our gardens or landscapes. Participation can range from simply enjoying a plant or flower arrangement to learning horticulture skills as a vocation for those with mental or physical disabilities.

Members of the Hillcrest Garden Club gather flowers each month and make them into bouquets to be distributed at Safe Harbor, a shelter for abused women and their children. If you’re like me, you seem to end up with more vases than you can use from gifts of flower arrangements, etc. If you’ve got extra vases of any kind, you can drop them off at the Bobby Pearse Community Center on Townes Street and we’ll make sure the Garden Club receives them. They will help make the floral presentations to the home much nicer. For more information on Horticultural Therapy, check out their website. If you are interested in becoming a member of the Hillcrest Garden Club, please email Mary Roberts at megil@infionline.net

Biological Control of Kudzu – “Rent-a-Goat”

Though not new, it’s gaining attention and momentum….the use of goats for kudzu control. Used by private property owners and county and city governments around the Southeast, goats are the ultimate bio-control. One company in NC has 170 goats for rent and gets requests for cleanup of all kinds of vegetative growth, but mostly kudzu, bittersweet vine, English ivy and privet. Ten goats can clear an acre in 3-4 weeks. “It’s like having 10 quiet weed eaters going nearly 24 hours a day.” If it’s green and in reach of the goats, it’s gone! According to one report, the County used him to clear the kudzu at Campbell’s Covered Bridge. There is a minimum acreage that they will bring the goats in for, and in some cases they leave a guard dog…very docile and friendly to people but vicious around goat predators. They even have portable fencing if needed. Back in 2006, goats were so successful in an area called Missionary Ridge in Chattanooga, TN, that a song was written just for them called “Ode to Billy Goats”. If you really want to hear it, a google search of the song title will take you to it. For more information on kudzu control with goats, see the article in Southeast Farm Press.

Croft Park Goes Green

Stone Academy’s PTA has advanced the $12,000 cost for irrigation and sod at Croft Park. They are currently seeking 48 families, corporations and organizations that can contribute a one-time monetary gift of $250 to Croft Park’s new green space. All donors will receive name recognition on a permanent monument in Croft Park. Interested in making a donation? Please contact Jennifer Medlock at i_set_u12@yahoo.com or 957-3087. Jennifer is an Earle St. resident and Stone Academy PTA representative.


Calendar

City Council Formal Meeting and Work Session schedules can be found at the City Website.

October 14 – Hillcrest Garden Club Program on “Gardening for our Butterflies”. 10:30 am. Greenville Woman’s Club. If interested in attending, please contact Mary Roberts at megil@infionline.net

October 16Park Work Day. Meet at the North Main Rotary Park at 9 am. We’ll be spreading 100 bales of pine straw on the creek bank. Even if you only have an hour to spare, come join the fun!

October 16 National Feral Cat day. A day for educating the public about the importance of spaying and neutering feral and stray cats to reduce the population of unwanted animals. Hundreds of groups work on behalf of stray and feral cats, while millions of Americans have reached into their hearts and their wallets to care for and feed them. There is still work to be done. National Feral Cat Day is a perfect opportunity to tell others about our feral feline friends and truly make a difference in cats’ lives.

October 17 NMCA Neighborhood Night Out. North Main Rotary Park. 4 – 7 pm. Don’t miss it!! We’ll provide food and soft drinks. Bring the kids and maybe a chair, get to know your neighbors and make new friends. See you there!!!

October 19 Native Plant Society Upstate Chapter. “Gardening as if All Life Mattered. 7:00 pm. Greenville Tec @ McAlister Square, 225 S. Pleasantburg Dr., Speaker: Judith Kramer (Singing Woods Garden & Design) Discover ways to live beautifully in your landscape while supporting the wildlife that shares your space.

October 23Springwood Cemetery Tour – a walking tour of one of Greenville’s oldest places of final rest. Presented by the Upcountry History Museum and Friends of Springwood Cemetery, these hour-long tours begin at Springwood Cemetery at 4:30 and 6:30 pm. Reservations required and space is limited. Don’t forget your flashlight! Tickets are $10 for members of UHM and the Friends of Springwood Cemetery. $15 for guests.
Call (864) 467-3100 to reserve your space.

October 26Plan Stone Avenue Community Meeting. 5:30 to 7:30pm. The meeting will be held at the Greenville County Main Library at Heritage Green.

October 28Bouncing Babies Boo Bash. Babies up to 18 months are invited to a special Halloween celebration featuring stories, songs and finger plays. Prizes will be awarded for the best baby and adult costumes! No groups. Greenville Main Library (Story room): 11:00 – 11:30 am. Taylors Branch: 10:30 – 11:00 am.

October 29-31Friends of the Greenville County Library System Used Book Sale.

October 30 Spinxfest 5K for Pawsitive Effects – If you’re not familiar with Pawsitive Effects, it’s a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of dogs by ending life on a chain….a dangerous, cruel and abusive practice. This is a 100% volunteer group that builds fences for dogs that have been chained/tethered for years. They also educate the public and advocate legislation to restrict this practice. One of our NMCA members, Grant Hursey, is running to raise money for this cause. He also volunteers to help build these fences at no charge to the owner(s). If you would like to sponsor Grant or find out more information about this group, you can email him at granthursey@att.net You can also check out their website to find out about other ways to help.

November 7Daylight Savings Time Ends.

The following classes will be held at the Bobby Pearse Community Center, 904 Townes St., on the dates indicated. For additional information or to register for programs call or email Pam Davis at 864-467-4331 or pdavis@greenvillesc.gov .

The Greenville Storytellers Guild meets at Bobby Pearse at 7pm on the 3rd Tuesday of each month. Storytellers and listeners are welcome! The stories must be approximately ten minutes in length (or shorter) and appropriate for all audiences. Genres include local folk lore, ghost stories, family narratives and classic tales. The Greenville Storytellers Guild is open for anyone to join.

The Greenville Chess Club meets at Bobby Pearse each Thursday evening at 7pm. Both rated and informal games are played, and everyone is welcome.

September 7 – December 9 – Tuesdays and Thursdays, 8:30 – 9:30 am. Fitness Aerobics for Adults. FREE. In this class, participants will get a great cardio aerobic workout. The class will be geared to adult participants. All levels are welcome! Participants do not need to pre-register for this class. Instructor: Colleen McCullough.

October 11 and October 18 – 6:30 pm. Yoga. All levels welcome. No preregistration required. Cost: $5 payable at the door.

October 16 – November 20 – Saturdays 9am – 10am. Eight Pieces of Brocade and Qigong. Fee: $30 for six week session. In this class, we will work with several basic Qigong movements, as well as learn a complete Qigong set called the Eight Pieces of Brocade. The name of this well known form refers to the eight individual movements of the set which are said to impart a quality of health of the body to be likened to fine brocade – a richly decorative fabric. The Eight Pieces of Brocade date back to the Song Dynasty (between 960 and 1279.) Register on-line.

THE WRITING ROOM: The City of Greenville Parks and Recreation will be partnering with the Emrys Foundation to offer The Writing Room at the Bobby Pearse Community Center. Register for current classes at the Emrys website or email mindyfriddle@gmail.com or contact Pam Davis at the Bobby Pearse Community Center @ 467-4331 or pdavis@greenvillesc.gov.

• Monthly Writing Workshops: Out of Your Head and Onto the Pages – the second Sunday of the month: Sept. 12, Oct. 10, Nov. 14, Dec. 12 from 2 – 4 PM. Cost is $5, cash only, payable at the door. These writing workshops, led by various members of the Writing Room faculty, are designed to stimulate creativity and generate ideas for fiction and nonfiction. We’ll use a series of short in-class writing exercises to inspire n ew work and deepen your writing. Come prepared to write in class, to share your exercises without fear or self-judgment, and above all, have some fun. For all levels.

• Memoir: Work & The Story of Your Life – Sunday, October 24, 2-4 PM. Cost $25. $20 for Emrys members. We’ve all held a variety of jobs, both paid and unpaid, and even if we didn’t realize it at the time, we were collecting immersion research material for possible future essays. In this class, we’ll use a focused reading of work essay excerpts as jumping-off points for our own work, and start drafting essays about our various work experiences. All levels. Instructor Joni Tevis (teaches literature and creative writing at Furman University).

• Creative Writing 101 Workshop – Wednesdays: Nov 3, 10, 17 and Dec. 1, 8, 15. Time: 6:30 – 9pm Fee: $180 ($170 for Emrys members) This six-week workshop provides an excellent overview for beginners or anyone who wants to brush up on the craft and practices of creative writing. You’ll get a mixture of brief lectures that hit the high-points and weekly writing exercises that let you try your hand at what you’ve just learned. You’ll also have the option to share and discuss each other’s work. Level: Beginner to Intermediate. Instructor: Mindy Friddle (Founder and Director of The Writing Room and award winning author).

Don’t forget to renew your NMCA membership. Only $10 annually. You can renew easily via PayPal or download, complete and mail the form found at our membership page. Membership runs on a calendar year from Jan 1 to Dec 31. If you are not sure if you are current in your dues for 2010, please let us check for you. Just email pgilreath@aol.com and we’ll let you know.

We need your participation!! Tell your neighbors, too. Thank you!!

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NMCA Newsletter (10/10)
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