Monthly Archives: June 2013

The Best Sheet Mulching Conditions are Upon Us

June 28, 2013

The grass is short and the ground is moist – perfect conditions for sheet mulching. Now is a window of opportunity to smother more grass at the Orchard.062813 sheet mulch image

Come anytime from 2:00 – 4:00 PM, this Sunday, June 30.

There will be light tasks and heavier tasks. Materials and tools will be on hand. Bring a pair of garden gloves and a large garden fork if you have either. Bring your sunscreen and hats.

Sandwiches, snacks and iced tea will be served. There may still be fresh strawberries!

Check out Aaron’s adoption of an existing tree circle and Melany’s new professional plant signs.
See you there!

Save the date – July’s regular work party is Sunday the 14th, 2:00 – 4:00 PM. See the calendar page.

Ruth, et al

Heed the Mayor’s Advice – Call 911

June 14, 2013

The conveniences that make our neighborhood desirable also make it vulnerable: easy freeway access, many buses and the ability to walk to most everything you need.

A package was recently stolen off a neighbor’s porch. We had a similar experience and now have a sign on our door: Do Not Leave Packages on Porch. Please Ring Bell. However, there is a new UPS delivery person in our area. He wears ear buds, drops the packages and practically runs to the next house. He does not ring the bell. I emailed UPS to explain and a representative called back the same day to assure me that packages will not be left outside our house.

We can all do more to reduce petty crimes, but we need to work together. A significant number of people in our area work from home and should be able to keep ‘eyes on the street,’ as Jane Jacobs would say.

Speaking of ‘eyes on the street’, I walked up the steps of Russ’s house today, corner of NE 63rd 061413 Russ DSCN0649 smand 6th Ave N. He was doing what he does best – sitting on his porch, looking around. Just last week he watched a couple who were surveying the neighborhood, one pushing a bike. To Russ, they appeared to be canvassing our area. He said he called the cops, but no one came out.

Bravo Russ! Perfect. “Call 911 when you see something that gives you a bad feeling in your gut, or makes the hair on the back of your neck stand up,” was the suggestion given to me by our Community Policing Officer (CPO) Loren Street.

Mayor McGinn is asking people to call 911 to report any crime or nuisance. It’s part of the Police Department’s new program “Predictive Policing”. Officer Street said not to be shy about dialing 911. The dispatch people know what to do. They will decide whether to send out an officer, but the incident posts to the computer and that’s the important part. Reported crimes push more resources to the appropriate areas. The idea is to prevent the crime in the first place.

Orchard Announcements/Updates
We encourage you to email Gary Hren (SDOT) to thank him for the superb mowing job at the Orchard!

Officer Street came out, at my request, to survey the Orchard area and around the freeway embankment near our house. He walked around, spoke to a few men hanging out at the bus stop, and then came to my door. He is now the CPO for Green Lake, Fremont, Phinney and Wallingford.

He agreed that, since most of our houses are too small to fit a large groups of neighbors, the Orchard might be a good place to host a ‘living room talk’ this summer. Several officers come out, bring food and answer questions. It’s a way for the police to get to know a neighborhood.

If anyone wants to help to organize this event, please leave a comment or email us.

On a related note, the annual neighborhood night out is August 6 and the Department of Neighborhoods (DON) has funding available to help you host. You would need to get in touch with them before July 1. Visit or call 206-733- 9916. Night Out is a national Crime Prevention event designed to heighten crime prevention awareness, increase neighborhood support in anti-crime efforts, and unite communities. To learn more about Night Out, visit


State of the Orchard Address

June 6, 2013

We had .4 inches of rain last week. We are now watering trees and shrubs. (Water courtesy of pear 060513 DSCN0638smMylinda.) Anyone can take a turn at watering. Let us know if you are interested.

The City is behind in mowing. They promise to mow the south half of the orchard very soon. (We are responsible for the north half.)

Orchard Announcements/Updates
Work Party this Sunday, June 9, 2-4pm. If you have them, please bring a grass whip, large garden fork, and/or a wheelbarrow.

We have $400 in general contributions so far. What a boost, especially since we under-budgeted some Department of Neighborhood (DON) Grant line items! (Soon we will have a non-cash donations section on the Donations page.)


DON Matching Grant Activity:

Hiring the designer – Justin and Pam should be interviewing three Landscape Architects in a couple of weeks. They have it all under control.

Marketing – Michelle has taken responsibility for graphics and logo work. Ruth needs help reviewing designs for post card invitations to public meetings. She also needs help with marketing material distribution, electronic and otherwise. We need volunteers to take shifts handing out Orchard brochures at the Bull Moose festival, July 27.

Event Management – Nancy needs help with the public meetings. We plan to have the first two at the orchard. Tentative dates are August 18 and September 28. She needs help with audio equipment, sprucing up the orchard before the meetings, chair and table rental, identifying meeting space for the third indoor meeting, greeting guests, organizing food, procuring door prizes, photography, putting up signs, and set up and take down.

Accounting – Joan is posting volunteer hours and expenses. Helpers can email hours to her or to the Orchard Gmail address. You can now also post hours on our website, on the volunteer page.

Miscellaneous – We also need someone to work on strategies for minimizing vandalism, sharing food, and we need to write-up an Orchard safety plan. Tell us if you are interested in any of these important tasks.

We have a commitment to post 403 volunteer hours toward Grant-related work. (General maintenance does not count.) If you can commit even an hour, it helps. Contact us by leaving a comment, or by emailing us at freewayestatescommunityorchard at

Consider becoming a 20-hour Club member. Take the opportunity to spend 20 hours of your time toward Grant activities and get a big surprise!.