Last Sunday's annual UHCA meeting started with a brief dedication ceremony for our new bus stop. Bill Gallegos, our "main man" responsible for its design and construction addressed the assembled neighbors and joined Bob Skapura for the ribbon cutting ceremony.
It has taken much time, effort, and dedication, but our new bus shelter is finally complete. It replaces an old bus stop that had deteriorated badly and was leaning, like an old and tired thing. Bill Gallegos led the project and did most of the work, but many others assisted, including his brother, Mark. We now have a beautiful, new shelter. Below are some pictures showing the building process.
Sunday the 5th of November turned out to be a beautiful day - the perfect time and setting for another Fall Festival. Details to come. For now, here are some pictures of the revelers. See our new bus stop? Almost finished - the bench still under construction.
The weather was ideal, the turnout impressive, the food yummy. The music was a perfect accompaniment to a perfect afternoon. Thanks to Sunroom, our local band, and thanks to all for joining together for this first of many festivals to come!
Several friendly residents sent in or otherwise published pictures of the event:
Last August was an awful time for residents of Druid Circle, helpless in the face of unprecedented flooding. The neighborhood rallied, of course, as neighbors helped neighbors evacuate and succeeded in saving a few of their possessions. Months later, a huge pile of debris still filled the circle and crowded out the oak in its center. When at last the city collected the mess, the residents were left with a badly scarred circle, littered with small bits of broken glass and sheetrock, the sod and topsoil scraped away with the debris.
Again neighbors rallied. A crew consisting of Bill Gallegos, Bob Skapura, Chris Liddy, Van Wade Day, Sarah Myers, Art & Nora Adams, Madison Romero, Alex Mazingue, and Tabby Boagian set to work cleaning and preparing the ground, with Canette Liddy providing nourishment (blueberry muffins). With money provided by the Civic Association, the circle was resodded and limestone placed under the concrete table and benches. The result is nothing short of beautiful.
When the City installed the Legacy Oak Irrigation System years ago, they decided not to use their trenching machine under the Oaks, so as to prevent damage to the tree roots. Instead, they laid the PVC piping on top of the grass and installed rebar to hold the plastic piping in place. Two problems resulted from this '"solution." With time and exposure to the sun, the PVC pipe became brittle and cracked. The rebar posed a tripping hazard.
The UHCA Landscape Committee decided to fix these problems by burying the PVC pipe in a very shallow hand-dug trench, burying the above ground sprinkler heads, and removing the rebar tripping hazard. There was a further problem, in that the City had located the irrigation system water takeoff in the lowest area of the median. As a result, the irrigation system control box would flood in heavy rainstorms. To address this problem and prevent the system controllers from being damaged by rain water, a new elevated control box was installed.
Here are some in-progress photos. Thanks, Landscape Committee, for your good work!
Although we might find ourselves attached to our distinctive concrete street signs, we have learned from years of trying that we cannot find affordable replacements for those that are damaged. Such was the case with the sign at the Tulane/Centenary intersection. It stood broken for some time, until, last year, the City finally installed a conventional replacement.
No Outlet signs have been another problem. In the past, such signs, placed at the entry to the neighborhood, have either been damaged or stolen. Last year, we asked the city to install a new sign. Finally, last month, they did. We all hope this one will have a long and useful life.
Here is what we do to keep the public grounds fresh and good-looking:
- Mow the median grass
- Weed and trim all plants on the median
- Plant new flowers and maintain the front flowerbed*
- Improve the median and flowerbed irrigation systems
- Refurbish the front sign
- Install protective bollards
- Acquire new trees and plants
- Protect and maintain our historic oak
- Clean out overgrown right-of-ways
Some of this work is hired out*; but most is done by a group of volunteers serving on the Landscaping Committee. If you would like to help keep our neighborhood good-looking, you might want to consider joining the committee. Bill Gallegos is its head and he is always looking for eager volunteers. You can contact him through our Contact form.
*Our flowerbed is maintained by: Simmons Solutions, LLC, 225-279-5730, Lawnguy9627@yahoo.com.
All of us who live near Loyola Dr. know the vacant house near the Centenary intersection. Over the years, members of the Board have asked the city to maintain the overgrown front yard. The city typically responded with a once a year mowing, at best. Impatient neighbors sometimes cut the grass themselves. One time, the Association, aggravated by the glacial pace of the city, paid for a mowing. These days the property looks quite a lot better. Whoever is responsible, thank you!
Did You Know?
Q: What's the real story about that strip of land that surrounds University Hills and do you own part of it?
A: Two-foot strips border the east and west sides of University Hills, one on the east side (bordering Plantation Trace) and another on the west side (bordering College Town). We could not determine if a strip runs along northern (Bayou Duplantier) side of the subdivision. There is no strip bordering Highland Road. An engineering plan dated 1934 by A. G. Seifried, Inc., indicates that eastern and western property lines of the subdivision run to the "edge of the swamp." In 1973, A. G. Seifried sold a portion of the strip on the eastern (Plantation Trace) side to the Association for $750 for "the use and benefit and on behalf of all persons owning property in University Hills Subdivision." The Association bought the land to keep the City-Parish from cutting a road between University Hills and Plantation Trace. The outlined area on the large map indicates the portion of the border sold to the Association. The smaller graphic is a close-up of that area. The portion of the border between the two small triangular lots and the lots themselves were included in the sale.
Thanks to Louis Castaing for this bit of history.
Thanks to Bill Gallegos, new to the neighborhood and the Board, the bollards on the median have a new look. Bill replaced those that were rotted or missing and washed and stained all of them. He then joined them together with a fresh, shiny chain. Thanks, Bill and the Landscape Committee, for giving the median a face lift for the holidays.
Earlier this year, during one of our Spring storms, the end of Tulane Drive was on fire. A large tree limb had made contact with the overhead power lines and ignited. When Board members went down to check, they noticed that weedy vegetation was hovering over the road bed. Some months later, after vigorous trimming by members of our Landscape Committee, Tulane has emerged from the weeds. More work needs to be done; but already we have a new and trimmer Tulane.
Erick Swenson has done it again! Our neighborhood sign now wears its Christmas suit. Thanks, Erick for supporting the holiday spirit.