April 2024 Ashton Heights Newsletter


The April 2024 newsletter is linked below. If you have any comments or questions, email editor@ashtonheights.org.

Spring has Sprung and Ashton Heights is Amazing!
By Scott Sklar, President, AHCA 

I have been around a broad swath of Ashton Heights admiring the great trees and flowers in everyone’s yards. Camellia trees and cherry trees in bloom. Lenten Roses, daffodils, crocuses – all in flower!

My bird houses have young birds chirping, and the squirrels are plentiful. You can smell the beginning of Spring and it is invigorating.

Brooke Alexander leads Ashton Heights’ effort to protect tree canopy and native plants. As Arlington loses tree canopy, this is the season to replant, repair, and replenish our plant life. Brooke is listed on the inside page under our Committee Chairs if you need to reach out to her.

Spring is our rainy season, and as you know, our rains are becoming more frequent and at greater intensity. Water runoff is an issue and trees and ground cover are the best remedy. This year we begin to be taxed on our runoff, and remedial actions like rain barrels and pervious payments allow some tax forgiveness. Chris Lewicki is our AHCA lead on stormwater, please reach out if you need assistance.

I am getting contacted on noise mostly from lawnmower and leaf blowers being an issue. A personal ask is to make sure whether you do your own work or hire yard workers, they start after 10 a.m. Consumer Reports rates leaf blowers on noise, battery length, and durability. And Consumer Reports also has an article on the Best & Worst Battery Lawn Mowers.

These issues and actions directly impact the quality of life in our neighborhoods.

When everything starts blooming and growing, we have had numerous conversations on the AHCA listserv about branches that block stop signs and make it difficult to see at intersections in our residential neighborhood for walkers, bicycle riders and automobile drivers. Please trim your branches and politely cajole your neighbors to do so. Say “AHCA President Scott Sklar asked me to” and show them this newsletter article.

As a teenager, I hate when my parents would say this, but “while you’re at it,” working outside on your yards, lawns and gardens — look around for flower pots, pails, tires, and other items that collect water and become breeding grounds for mosquitoes. This is the time to begin mosquito prevention early. 

I also have bird baths and I change my water every other day. Mosquito eggs hatch in 48 hours and one female mosquito lays over 200 eggs at a time. Also mosquito dunks for birdbaths last for 30 days, and most contain BTI, a bacteria that is only toxic to mosquito larvae. BTI is harmless to people, plants, pets, birds, beneficial insects and ONLY hurts mosquitoes.

While a few of us in Ashton Heights have solar-battery systems, where we never lose electric power, everyone else needs to have their tress trimmed so that in these times of heavy winds or heavy rains they do not break the electric lines running from the pole to your house, or your cable or telephone line connections. Intense winds and heavy rains are occurring more frequently. While the electric company has crews trimming along high-voltage electric lines (something you should NOT do), lower voltage wires for electricity, cable and telephone/Wifi that run onto your property needs preventive protection.

So the arrival of spring is just a great time, but we all have some planning and work to do. I know you’ll enjoy it. And I wish you an exhilarating and wonderful Spring 2024!

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