The October 2021 newsletter is linked below. If you have any comments or questions, email email@example.com.
Three Months Focus on the Ashton Heights 100th Anniversary
By Scott Sklar, President, AHCA
In our September AHCA meeting – our first in-person meeting in 18 months – we had the beginning of formal presentations on AHCA’s history. Our AHCA historian, went over a few of the reports on the beginnings of Ashton Heights, named after Ashton C. Jones as he massed land holdings in 1921. In 1892 the electric trolley was introduced and transformed rural Arlington into new subdivisions growing from 6,430 people to 10,231 people. Ashton Heights grew from 1910 -1930, with 1914 being the first County rule requiring approval of subdivision plans by the County Engineer.
Peter W. Dickson, historian, also presented, and offered his new book, Ashton Heights: It’s Origin and History (you may buy a copy for $10, Peter’s email: firstname.lastname@example.org). On page 6, of his book, he recounts that by 1919, there were 45 homes on the 600 to 800 bocks of North Irving, North Ivy, North Jackson, and North Kenmore that eventually became the beginning core of Ashton Heights.
Saturday, September 25th was the AHCA Birthday Bash from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Arlington Arts Center. Again, this was a chance for our community to come together and celebrate not only our anniversary but our connections together making this community a better place, and coming through our ordeal of the pandemic. Kudos to Matt Hall, Ann Felker, and Julie Mangis among others to make this happen!
Saturday, October 2nd is the “Notable Tree Tour” coordinated by Brooke Alexander who heads our Tree Canopy & Native Plants Committee. Our tree canopy is what differentiates us from many other parts of Arlington – providing buffer from noise & pollution, habitat for birds and other wildlife, and has a cooling effect in light of changes due to global warming. Note: October 3rd is the National Solar Home tour, from 10:30 a.m. To 3:30 p.m., of which my 100 year old North Ivy Street house has been featured for the last decade.
At our October AHCA meeting, Jim Terpstra will discuss the Ashton Heights Style Guide, first published in 2003, to go over the unique house styles that principally make up a good portion of Ashton Heights residences. Also at our meeting on Wednesday, October 20th, we will have presentations from the Arlington Hospital Center and their Foundation, an outstanding Arlington institution.
So that brings me to what the Ashton Heights Civic Association’s (AHCA) role is today at this point in our first 100 years. From my view, AHCA’s focus has been to “keep the character of Ashton Heights as we grow and urbanize, so as to maintain our unique comfort, safety and livability”.
To do that our AHCA Committees composed of members of our community are doing the following:
▪ Development – ensure development in and around Ashton Heights protects light as well as protects against noise, maximizes open space, tree canopy, on street businesses and services, and enhance sense of community
▪ Housing – assure affordability and livability, track County initiatives
▪ Open Spaces – increase and enhance our parks and playgrounds
▪ Tree Canopy & Native Plants – significantly increase tree canopy and utilization of native plants
▪ Safety & Security – maintain dialogue with Arlington County police, inform community of crime & safety challenges and trends
▪ Schools – improving teaching and facilities, preserve walkability to schools, and enhance safety traveling to and within schools
▪ Transportation – embrace traffic calming, protect neighborhood parking, increase bike lanes and paths, pedestrian walkways, and noise reduction
These functions are essential to keep the best qualities of our community. So in this celebration of our 100 years, let us also rejoice that we are actively engaged to preserve, protect, and evolve for the upcoming 100 years.
I wish you all a happy and safe autumn. And look forward to seeing many of you in person at our Notable Tree Tour and at our monthly in-person October meeting.