Beautification Update :: The Estates of Forest Creek

Beautification Update

Happy New Year!

Here is a recap of “where we have been” in 2015 and “where we are going” in 2016.EFC Beautification

We were able to complete a number of major upgrades in 2015.

The median that was left empty due to the removal of aged and ailing Bradford Pear trees (Brodick Way to Twelve Oaks) was entirely upgraded.

The City of Plano planted three Cedar Elm trees (the city no longer allows the density of trees in city medians that was allowed when this neighborhood was established).

With your homeowners’ dues, we installed two beautiful and drought-tolerant flower beds (perennials, grasses, boulders and ornamental trees) and Zoysia grass. The City also upgraded the irrigation in this median. Eventually the irrigation pipes will be covered by the plants. This median was very colorful this year in spite of our three-month drought and should only improve as the plants establish and mature.

The entrance beds at Hogan Manor were completely upgraded because all the Knockout roses had Rose Rosette disease and had to be removed. Only two Crepe Myrtles remained. We added grasses and perennials, many of which were donated or transplanted from Hearst Castle. With the help of Board Members on labor and irrigation, only $75 was spent on plants and mulch. As it becomes established, it should be a colorful and welcoming entrance to our neighborhood.

In the fall, we partnered with the City of Plano’s Beautification Grant program to complete a major renovation of the first median at Hearst Castle and Coit (removal of two Bradford Pears left us with need and opportunity). A requirement was that the labor had to be done by the homeowners.

We are thankful that so many of you volunteered to join the HOA Board for our “Planting Party” in November to help with this project.  The work went quickly and we believe most had a good time doing it. 12247201_10153781925014901_7159285948694742537_nThank you for your support!!

As for the entrance walls, we have made annual color a priority and will continue to do so. We’ve chosen Pansies for the fall and bright, drought-tolerant summer annuals for the spring.

We also had a “Deck The Walls” holiday decorating activity for 12316313_1155407721151183_7208698433276194388_nresidents in early December where EFC community members came together to make our two key entrances off of Coit (Hearst Castle & Hogan Manor), the first two medians and bridge on Hearst Castle and our entire wall facing Coit festive. Thanks to all that helped with this activity as well.

Both of these community activities are captured in more detail in their own newsletter posting found here.

We were also able to plant the endcap areas of Tara East, the two sides of the bridge and Ludwig Castle East with a small expenditure for plants and mulch and with donated labor. Tara and the bridge may be expanded and upgraded further in future years but for now we have something beautiful as opposed to what existed before the plantings.

So…what’s next?

There are two more beds to be installed—one at White Castle West and one at Red Maple East. The one at White Castle will be challenging as it needs to be short in stature to accommodate traffic visibility. This will be a priority this spring because it is such an eyesore right now! The bed at Red Maple will resemble the ends of the Brodick and Twelve Oaks median for consistency.

We have lovely groupings of Crepe Myrtles along Hearst Castle and fortunately they have never been mutilated by bad pruning. We will be giving them more attention this year. With appropriate pruning, fertilizing, and nurturing of the soil, we hope to see an improvement of blooms. We also plan on adding new Crepe Myrtles in groups of three to continue with the original design and beauty. Another goal is to obtain healthy turf or groundcover in every median along Hearst Castle. Where we have Asian Jasmine, we will keep it if we can get it to a healthy, vigorous state. Where we have turf, we will decide whether it can be rejuvenated or needs to be replaced. In locations under heavy tree cover, we may have to maintain a mulched area. Please be assured that we will be working toward having the turf areas be a beautiful complement to the trees and flower beds in our median.

Looking ahead to the future, we would like to add eye-catching landscape along the bridge. In addition, we would like to add Crepe Myrtles on each side of our three Coit road entrances.

Thank you for paying your homeowners dues as that will determine how much we can accomplish beyond paying for maintenance, electricity and water. And thanks again to everyone who has come out to help and support us in our “hands on” work–in any capacity–this past year. Your support is greatly appreciated!

Get ready for the EFC HOA “Season’s Best” awards this year. You must be a dues-paying member to be eligible. We will determine a winner the first week of April, July, September and December. The winner receives a Calloway’s gift card. Keep an eye out for photos in the newsletter. Thank you for your efforts to keep our neighborhood beautiful!

Kristen Kerwin,  EFC HOA Beautification Director