The Park Pages

Photo | Pam Schipper A great blue heron continues to make Pond 2 home during the de-watering phase.

Photo | Pam Schipper
A great blue heron continues to make Pond 2 home during the de-watering phase.

Looking for Window in Weather for Pond 2 Dredging

John Phelps, environmental scientist with SOLitude Lake Management, said dredging of Pond 2 behind Summer Walk Drive will begin as soon as conditions become more amenable. “We’re looking for dry, cold conditions—or at least drier conditions,” he said. The work inside the pond basin, which has been drained of most water, is not of concern; it’s the surrounding areas that, when wet, would be susceptible to heavy equipment. “We want to minimize collateral damage,” Phelps explained, “and get in and out quickly with the surrounding area not too rutted up.”

The project is at the top of SOLitude’s priority list, and SOLitude Aquatic Specialist Bobby Allen continues to care for Pond 2 during this period. Once dredging begins, the active phase should take approximately five business days, but this could be more or less depending on conditions, Phelps said.

SOLitude will take 1 to 1.5 feet of sediment out of Pond 2 and deposit it on the pond embankment. Residents should expect a mild rotten egg smell from the freshly dredged sediment, but this should dissipate within three to seven days.

Following dredging, SOLitude will stabilize the pond area with grass seeding and straw. This spring, SOLitude will introduce desired vegetation to Pond 2. Dredging will restore the pond to full functionality, ensuring that it can manage large storm events. Once its intended depth has been restored, the water will be cleaner and algae and other nuisance vegetation are less likely to take hold.

Drive Safely on Neighborhood Streets

Please slow down and pay special attention to pedestrians and children riding bicycles on neighborhood streets. Vehicles are treating interior neighborhood streets like the main QOP thoroughfare, Orchard Ridge Drive. As a result, pedestrians feel unsafe at crosswalks on Highland Ridge Avenue, Elmira Lane and Mill Green Avenue—and parents are concerned about children riding bicycles near their homes.

Clear Sidewalks for Safety This Winter

Please remember to clear the sidewalk in front of and next to your home when it snows. Snow-covered or icy sidewalks are a hazard, causing falls and forcing pedestrians to walk in roadways. Calcium chloride de-icing salts like Ice Melt should not be used on concrete. Concentrations of calcium chloride chemically attack concrete.

Spring Forward With Lawncare

Matt Owens of PGC Landscape, the company that cares for Quince Orchard Park common areas, recommends that homeowners begin to plan for spring. February is a good time to test your soil, according to the University of Maryland Extension. You may need to raise your soil pH with lime or lower your soil pH with iron sulfate and elemental sulfur, depending on test results. To prevent erosion, consider mulching or planting groundcover or turf on bare areas. And if you’re planning a new garden, spading or tilling in a six- to eight-inch layer of compost will greatly improve your soil and the success of your spring plantings.

February/March is also the best time to treat crabgrass with a pre-emergent herbicide prior to seed germination. Visit extension.umd.edu for information on herbicide effectiveness and best practices.

Plan Ahead for Spring Inspections

As the community ages, upkeep becomes more important. Here are some of the common issues noted during 2018 Annual Inspection:

  • stains on stairs leading to front porch (49 homes);
  • stains on home siding (29 homes);
  • pruning and landscaping maintenance needed (29 homes);
  • turf weeds, including clover and dandelion (23 homes);
  • white painted portions of deck in need of repair or repainting (20 homes);
  • exterior wood trim in need of repair or repainting (19 homes);
  • seal coating of driveway needed (15 homes); and
  • shutters missing (13 homes).

Spring inspections of homes in Quince Orchard Park will begin in March/April.

Renew E-Check Assessment Payment Annually

If you pay your assessments by recurring e-check, you already know that you need to renew this subscription annually. Union Bank has just made this service easier with two new options for e-check users. Now you can choose to continue these e-check payments indefinitely or set a specific end date for payments.

All homeowners who are currently enrolled in the e-check service have three options:

  • Renew e-check payments every 12 months;
  • Set up recurring e-check payments to continue indefinitely; or
  • Set a specific end date for recurring e-check payments.

All homeowners need to log in to their account and select the option that they prefer. For instructions on how to do this, go to the “Pay Assessments” tab at www.quinceorchardpark.com.

Bingo Night Returns Feb. 23

Quince Orchard Park’s popular Bingo Night is back! All are invited to the community clubhouse on Saturday, Feb. 23, 6 to 7:30 p.m. The event is sponsored by Charles Wilson and Fran Gianaris of Re/Max Metropolitan Realty and the Quince Orchard Park Board of Directors. Please RSVP by Feb. 20 to fran@frangianaris.com if you plan to attend.

Management Mentions

Dispose of Trash and Recycling

Trash is collected on Tuesday and Friday and must be placed in lidded trash cans. If left for collection in bags only, trash is ripped open by animals and strewn throughout the community. Continued use of bags may result in fines.

Recycling is picked up on Fridays. Containers with lids are now available from the City of Gaithersburg. Please contact the city at 301.258.6370 to have a lidded bin delivered and the old one picked up.

Please remember that trash cans and recycle bins must be stored out of sight on non-pickup days.

The City of Gaithersburg offers bulk trash pickup (furniture, appliances, mattresses, etc.) on the first recycling day of the month. The next bulk trash pickup is Friday, Feb. 1. The City of Gaithersburg and Potomac Disposal (301.294.9700) both offer collection services for bulk items at no cost.

Request a Lid for Your Recycle Bin

The city offers detachable lids for the 18-gallon bins. You can request one by emailing recycle@gaithersburgmd.gov or calling the city’s Public Works at 301.258.6370.

Do Your Dog Duty

Cleaning up after dogs is the legal responsibility of every canine owner walking a dog in the community. Dogs are not permitted off-leash on common property in the City of Gaithersburg.

Board Members Needed

The Board is looking for two new members. To learn more, please attend the next Board meeting on Mar. 12, 7 p.m. at the clubhouse, or contact The Management Group Associates at TMGAInc@TMGAInc.com or 301.948.6666 for more information.

PGC Community Discount Program for QOP Residents

Did you know that you can save an additional 20 percent at Potomac Garden Center, 12024 Darnestown Road, North Potomac just for being a Quince Orchard Park resident? Present your driver’s license and enjoy a discount on regularly priced items. This PGC Community Discount program excludes gift cards, labor, delivery charges, taxes, sale items, chemicals and fertilizers. This discount can’t be combined with other offers. Valid only for residents within communities where PGC provides landscape maintenance services.

QOP Management Contact Information

Quince Orchard Park Community Manager
Ruchita Patel

Co-Manager
Alex Deering

c/o The Management Group Associates, Inc.
20440 Century Boulevard, Suite 100
Germantown, MD 20874
Phone: 301.948.6666

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