2019 KNU Year in Review

Thanks to those residents that attended the annual KNU General Meeting in November! Good show, great year in retrospect and more day-to-day operations and exciting special projects to come in 2020. In case you missed the year in review, here are the highlights…

Board Accomplishments:

  • A neighborhood safety meeting was held in October with local DPD officers to educate residents on safety precautions and statistics.
  • Bill Hersch from the City of Dallas Conservation District attended the September Board meeting to answer questions about conservation district ordinances and the city process in relation to code violations.
  • KNU donated $500 to KPUMC for mowing Robert’s Forest. KPUMC provides KNU a space to hold board meetings and other events.
  • We renewed our website hosting agreement and upgraded our email platform to add extra security features.
  • Fund raising efforts and the help of a local artist is creating a memorial for neighbor Jeff Chandler that will be placed on the Kessler Parkway/Edgefield island. Contact holidays@kesslerneighborsunited.org to donate.
  • In conjunction with our sidewalk replacement grant program, we are working with neighbors to replace broken sidewalk that pose a safety and liability risk. KNU resident in need of repair can apply for a grant to help with expenses.  Contact jacquelynblock@yahoo.com
  • We purchased 3 American flags for the islands on Kessler Parkway/Colorado, Edgefield/Kessler Parkway and Montclair and Argonne. Flags will be placed on the islands in advance of appropriate holidays.
  • Dues notification letters we sent to neighbors in February and July. Roughly 32% or 297 households of the 927 homes in KNU, paid dues to date.

Beautification Committee Happenings: 

Spear-headed by KNU Beautification Chair Cindy Pierce, lots of day-to-day maintenance, special projects and upgrades are undertaken year-round.

  • An island cleanup was held on Nov 9th, with participation by 35 volunteers and the KPUMC Boy Scouts Troop 5. 
  • We renewed our Mowmentum agreement with the city for 10 years. KNU is the agent for our islands and is responsible for all ongoing landscape maintenance, including tree and shrub trimming, weeding and edging, planting and maintaining flowers, bushes, shrubs and trees, removing litter, providing electricity, water, irrigation systems, repairs and hiring contractors.
  • Broken sprinklers, sprinkler valves, tree lights, LED lights, and rain sensors on multiple islands were maintained as a part of our day-to-day operations.
  • We organized volunteers for extra mulching, weeding, planting outside of our scheduled clean-up events.
  • Pet waste station signage was replaced. KNU refills pet waste bags as ongoing maintenance.
  • Donated funds replaced wood on concrete bench on the Montclair/Argonne island with a durable wood that will last 75 years. Flagstone approach to bench was added using salvaged stone.
  • Maintenance guidelines for Public Median and Islands was defined on our website.

Island Updates:

Belleau/Windomere

  • Working with neighbors on a master beautification plan for the island.
  • Completed a survey to confirm demarcation of the private-public property line
  • Framing for the continuation of the steps will be relocated further south
  • Removed two hackberry trees and dead wood from the remaining trees and undergrowth, opening up sighline, reducing mosquitos and giving the sixteen remaining hardwood trees room to grow. 
  • Island cleanup revealed a beautiful stone wall and large planter that had been hidden by overgrowth.

Evergreen Hills and Olympia

  • Working with neighbors on master beautification plans for the islands. Neighbors will fundraise to support efforts.

Kessler Steps

  • We continued our phased approach to landscaping and maintaining the steps
  • The Kessler Steps renovation project was selected for an award by Preservation Dallas
  • Installed an electric meter, electricity, water, a sprinkler system and minimal lighting. A $5,300 grant from Heritage Oak Cliff paid for some of the infrastructure.
  • Using $2,500 memorial gift monies, we purchased and installed a fountain in the old koi pond in memory of former KNU and NOCUPP Board Member Jerry Beech. A bench and plaque will be installed near the fountain.
  • Purchased safety and non-potable water signs to place around water features.
  • Reduced height of Kessler Steps hours signs.
  • Removed numerous trees that are a hindrance or compromised and cleared undergrowth.
  • Held the Kessler Steps rededication ribbon cutting with Scott Griggs on a rainy Saturday in April.
  • Continue to install personalized bricks at the Kessler steps. Purchase them on the website, at kesslerneighborsunited.org.  Monies raised is used for the cost of bricks and on-going maintenance.

Greenspace Report:

The art committee is raising $75,000 and is planning to gift KNU with a bronze sculpture of George Kessler that will be installed on the Kessler Parkway/Colorado island. KNU will donate $2,500 to Greenspace to the George Kessler statue project.

Kessler Krawl Report:

KNU VP Dale Miner and his committee of volunteers organized and executed this year’s highly successful Kessler Krawl in April. Thanks to our generous sponsors, attendees and volunteers, the Krawl netted approximately $17,300. The next Krawl is Saturday, April 25, 2020. Contact vp@kesslerneighborsunited.com if interested in volunteering or sponsorships.

Annual Picnic Report:

The KNU annual Picnic, organized by KNU Secretary Lila Belitz, was held September 22.  Approximately 70 neighbors attended.  The Hamburger Man catered the meal, a DJ rocked the tunes, and kids and adults alike enjoyed the bounce house, piñata and horseshoes.

Holiday Lights Report:

KNU Holiday Lights Chair Ron Veech held the holiday decoration contest for the best decorated islands in Kessler Park with prizes awarded to first, second and third place for islands/triangles with and without electricity. Judging is done by an independent non-KNU resident in early December. The Holiday Lights event will be held on Dec 14th at the winning island with electricity (to be announced). Contact holidays@kesslerneighborsunited.org for more information.

Board Committees:

Communications (David Cherrie) – Monthly website upates include timely articles, lifestyle features, District 1 and other pertinent information of interest to neighbors. A monthly email newsletter is blasted to KNU residents to reinforce important dates and alerts. Informaiton is also posted on Facebook (@KesslerNeighbors and @KesslerKrawl). Create your account profile and access our online directory for verified residents only.

Conservation (Linda Salton) – Answers questions regarding the parameters of our conservation district guidelines for neighbors and keeps track of any violations that occur with the City of Dallas.

Membership (Amy Liniado) – Manages our dues campaigns and tracks membership. A thank you to neighbors who step-up and pay KNU’s nominal $50 annual dues. Your participation contributes to our operating budget and funds neighborhood projects.

New Neighbors (Carolyn Mulligan) – Delivers welcome baskets to new neighbors who register on the KNU website. 

Streetscapes (Jacquelyn Block) – Responsible for maintaining streets and sidewalks in good condition. Manages the Sidewalk Restoration Grant Program.  Neighbors utilizing the City of Dallas’ 50/50 program to restore a dilapidated sidewalk, can also receive a grant from KNU to pay for up to $500 of their 50% share.

KNU Representatives to Other Organizations:

Crime Watch/NOCUPP (Larry McNally and Jenn Gonzalez) – Represents KNU at the North Oak Cliff Police Patrol meetings. Approximately, 143 KNU Members (15.2%) are annual subscribers to the North Oak Cliff United Police Patrol.  Membership is $1/day and funds additional patrol hours by off-duty Dallas Police Officers.  NOCUPP’s private police patrol benefits ALL residents, so join today.

Heritage Oak Cliff (HOC), formerly Old Oak Cliff Conservation League (Mark Drennan) – Attends HOC and KNU meetings, fostering common interests and goals of both groups. Provides both groups with respective information, activities, events and grants.

There are a host of volunteer-driven committees that are instrumental in keeping our neighborhood up and running. To learn more, click here. We do our best to serve and represent the interests of our residents, turn on the lights, keep the grounds groomed, ensure that safety measures are in place, collaborate with the City of Dallas and other area non-profits in funding improvements & special projects, and maintain quality of life here in Kessler. Won’t your join us!?! Please consider hopping on a committee and attending our many community events. It’s a great way to meet your neighbors and be a part of the Kessler Park fabric… 

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