November 2015 Yard of the Month!

525 Westwood Drive

525 Westwood Drive

November: Chris and Rani McElrath, 525 Westwood Drive

Comments from the homeowners:

Thank you very much for the honor of being chosen as Yard of the Month!
One of the great things about the Heights Neighborhood is the genuine pride of ownership for the vast majority of homeowners around us, so this award is really special to us to (and yes my wife is still jumping up and down for joy).

We started this process six years ago and I call it a process because my wife, Rani, has yet to meet a garden center, arborist, or big box home improvement store that she is not willing to spend money in to improve our cottage. Most of the time I am trying to reign her in, especially after she drives around and sees all the neighbors recent and continued improvements, so thank you all for that!

We decided (ok, I decided) this past year to try and keep our landscaping as easy to maintain as possible, so we centered our lawn on mostly native perennials with splashes of seasonal color. We have based our landscaping on a three tiered philosophy; it needs to be attractive, functional, and easy. So my weekends are often spent running off to the garden store to buy some seasonal color, a couple of vegetable plants, and or a new perennial. I just asked my wife if we were going to go through all of this trouble couldn’t we at least get a fresh pepper or tomato out of the process (and of course grubs killed that dream for me this year). So this award was so much more rewarding with all the issues we had this year with pests.

My wife still has much bigger plans for our landscape in our future I am just hoping I don’t have to dip into our 401K to fund it. Thanks again for this honor!

Chris and Rani McElrath



October 2015 Yard of the Month!

619 Greenleaf

619 Greenleaf

October: Chris Michero and Steven DePuy, 619 Greenleaf

Comments from the homeowners:

We are thrilled to be awarded this awesome month’s YOM. We look forward to this time of year and seem to consistently be one of the earliest at Calloway’s to get their first batch of the best pumpkin and gourde varieties! The best part for us is seeing the neighbors come out in excitement when the first assortment is being unloaded from the car or seeing families stop by to take photos of their little ones perched on a pumpkin. We like to ‘keep it classy’ with more of a harvest pumpkin patch look leading up to the big night when we bring out more of the spook factor. On Halloween night we have a little graveyard, awesome lighting and fog, ghosts and ghouls putting on a show in one of the big front windows and jacks flickering around the yard. A question we always get is how to keep squirrels from eating up our pumpkins. Here’s what we have tried with some success: Use any cheap aerosol hairspray from the Dollar Store and give a nice even coat to each. This makes the initial taste bad at first bite and they usually move on. This will give the pumpkin a nice sheen too. Be warned though, as I put way too much hair spray on this year and after a round of the sprinkler system white marks and spots covered these pumpkins and we had to scrub with soap and warm water many times and even use a little turpentine to remove most of the white build up. We have noticed over the years that they tend to mainly go for the jack o lantern pumpkins since they have the softest skin which is good because the ornamentals are the most expensive. Here’s the All Time Best Way to keep them off your prize winners: a small offering. This year we decided to buy the cheap pie pumpkins and put one or two at the base of our trees towards the back so they’re not visible from the street. They go for these immediately because they’re very soft skinned and if frightened they can just race back up the tree. One will last about 3 days until it’s so devoured or rotten they move on. It really works! Happy Halloween everyone from 619 Greenleaf!

Chris Michero and Steven DePuy



September 2015 Announcements!

Heights Park at Dusk

Heights Park at Dusk


The Community Revitalization Awards recognize property owners who have enhanced our community by making significant exterior improvements to their individual properties that have, in turn, had a positive impact on the surrounding area. Since its inception in 1994, 184 properties have been recognized — and several of them from our own Heights Park neighborhood.


Both residential and non-residential projects are eligible for consideration. In addition to infill and complete redevelopment projects, eligible improvements to existing properties include the enhancement, upgrading, reconstruction, or replacement of any or all of the following elements:

  • Buildings and facades
  • Landscaping
  • Exterior lighting
  • Vehicular circulation
  • Exterior signage

Criteria for Evaluation

Community Revitalization Award nominations are evaluated primarily by assessing their impact on the surrounding area, or on the City as a whole if appropriate. Has the effort improved the environment? Has the effort contributed to the stability or enhancement of an existing neighborhood? Does the effort set a desirable precedent for surrounding property owners?

We’ve had a lot of renovation taking place in our neighborhood and in the surrounding areas. If you feel that a property qualifies based on the above criteria, please submit a nomination prior to September 18, 2015 to:

Chris Shacklett, Senior Planner

Development Services Dept

P.O. Box 830309, Richardson 75080

You must provide the Property Address, Property Owner’s name, phone number, email, if available. You may nominate your own property.

If you want more information, here’s a link to the City of Richardson Community Revitalization Awards site:
(Development Services)



Recently there was an article in Richardson Today about the Little Free Libraries (LFL) Program. More than a dozen LFL boxes have been installed throughout Richardson. The boxes are placed by volunteers who initially stock the box with books. From then on, readers who take a book from a box are expected to leave a book in its place, increasing the variety and diversity of books in each box.

So just in case you don’t know…Heights Park N.A. participates in the Little Free Library Program. We have a LFL located at the west end of Opal Lane, near Kirby.

And for all of our Community Gardeners who participate in the Church of the Epiphany/Heights Park Community Garden, there’s a LFL located in the garden area stocked with gardening books.

Stop by, take a book, and leave a book!



Below is important information especially for our heavily-treed neighborhood…

An urban tree care workshop will be held Saturday, September 19th from 9:00 – 10:30 a.m. at the Richardson Service Center, 1260 Columbia Drive.

Fall is the ideal time to plant new trees and to perform tree maintenance. Tyler Wright, an urban and community forester with the Texas Trees Foundation, will cover the following topics:

  1. Proper site selection
  2. Proper tree selection
  3. Proper planting procedures
  4. Proper pruning practices
  5. Ice/wind damage of trees

This event is free, but please register with Michelle Mann at or call 972.744.4228.


A compost seminar will be held immediately after the tree care workshop. The compost seminar will be Saturday, September 19th from 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. at the Richardson Service Center, 1260 Columbia Drive.

Backyard composting helps save landfill space by keeping grass clippings and leaves out of the solid waste stream. Instead, these materials are transformed into valuable nutrients for the yard and flowerbeds. Participants will learn the basics of backyard composting, as well as advanced tips and techniques.

The seminar is taught by Mary Tynes, a nationally known expert on backyard composting and is the site editor of Space is limited for this event so please contact Victoria Sum at to make a reservation.




11:30 – 1:30

Near the bridge at Heights Park
Food, fun, bounce house, face painter, balloon artist, pumpkin decorating, bobbing for apples, etc. A great way to have a free lunch, see your neighbors, and let the kids play! But if you don’t have kids in tow, you can still come!



You can learn about all kinds of neighborhood activity on Next Door Heights Park as well as our Facebook page. Stay informed about what’s going on around us! There’s a lot happening!

And if you know of someone who isn’t on our email list (receiving these periodic updates), or isn’t an HPNA member.


(mark your calendars) 

  • February 5 (Thursday, 7:00 p.m.): General Meeting, Election, Program
  • Late June: Newsletter Delivered
  • July 23 (Thursday, 7:00 p.m.): General Meeting, Program
  • September 20: HPNA Volunteer Party
  • Early October: Newsletter Delivered
  • October 24 (Saturday, 11:30 – 1:30): OctoberFest in Heights Park



Why should you care?

  • An informative HPNA website
  • Email updates of important events/newsworthy items affecting our neighborhood
  • Active Volunteer Citizen Patrollers to keep our crime down!
  • Assist with the Crimewatch Program through the Police Department
  • Newsletters distributed to all residences
  • Active Block Representative network
  • Flag lease program for members
  • Monthly Yard of the Month Program
  • Participation in City of Richardson Neighborhood Vitality Program and other neighborhood enhancement programs (sign toppers, bridge enhancements, entry features)
  • Maintain partnerships with other Neighborhood Associations and HOAs throughout the city
  • Annual neighborhood events: OctoberFest, 2 General meetings with programs, Volunteer party, etc.
  • Representation at monthly meetings with the City Manager’s office, City Council, and other HOA Presidents.

And probably the most important reason…

  • HPNA serves as a conduit to City Hall and the Chamber of Commerce on issues affecting our neighborhood. We have a strong voice at City Hall.


  • Membership in our neighborhood association is a bargain at only $20/year.
  • Participation in the Flag Program is $40/year (but you must be an HPNA Member)
  • Total for both = $60
  • Payments via PayPal or check (see below for website info)

We accept checks or payment via PayPal. Cash is accepted at the General Meetings. (see info below regarding website and mailing address)

So please become a member of our association and be a part of the solution. If you know your neighbor isn’t a member, ask them why. Thank you.



September 2015 Yard of the Month!

813 Westwood Drive

813 Westwood Drive

September: Rosie and Bobby Donohue, 813 Westwood Drive

Comments from the homeowners:

Thank you so much for the September Yard of the Month honor!!!!!

My husband Bobby and I have wanted to find a home in this neighborhood for about 3 years when we found our wonderful home on Westwood! (Thank you Mary Lou for giving us the person to contact to make this dream come true!)

After all of the interior work was done to our home we lovingly refer to as “The Cottage”, I couldn’t wait to get the yard looking like it was worthy of being in “the Heights”. I don’t know how many remember the way the yard looked before we started working on it but it was very sad looking! I have planted and replanted and added to the landscaping over the last year.

My vision for the landscaping is far from being over (my husband just cringed!). I have big plans but my husband likes this silly thing called a “yearly budget”, yeah J
Stayed tuned for next year…I plan on improving even more. I truly love this neighborhood and feel blessed to be a part of such a wonderful community!

Rosie and Bobby Donohue



August 2015 Yard of the Month!

714 NorthillAugust: Bob & Cindy Clatt, 714 Northill Drive

Comments from the homeowners:

Thank you so much for the August YOM honor! What a thrill! Our yard has been a work in process. We take our cues from nature. We put in a flagstone walkway years ago because we had a mini creek that flowed from our house to the sidewalk when we had a heavy rain. The walkway stopped the erosion of our yard. The English ivy and jasmine were used to compensate for thin grass areas. We love our big trees and the shade they provide however finding shade loving plants that lend a splash of color was a trial & error process. We’ve discovered coleus, caladiums, sweet potato vines and begonias work great! We also enjoy using impatiens but August heat can really stress them. We’ve recently been putting in a flagstone patio to cover a grass challenged area. We look forward to visiting with our neighbors on the patio! My husband and I love working on projects together & our yard has provided us with many rewarding projects!

Thanks again for the honor!

Bob & Cindy Clatt



July 2015 Yard of the Month!

504 Ridgedale Drive

504 Ridgedale Drive

July: Randy and Paula Carroll, 504 Ridgedale

Comments from the homeowners:

Thank you so much for the July YOM honor. We never planned anything like this. Most of our ideas and inspiration came from looking at other homes while out walking. So, thanks to all our neighbors.

We put in an ivy ground cover around our large oak tree because of the difficulty of keeping grass in this area. We then put in a flagstone walkway up to the porch for guest’s and across the front of the house for the mailman. Finally we enlarged the two flower beds and put in low care plants.
The end is a yard with a smaller working footprint so there is lower maintenance and less watering.

Thanks again for recognizing our yard.

Randy and Paula Carroll



June Yard of the Month!

104 North Gentle

104 North Gentle

June: Keith and Kerry Johnson, 104 North Gentle

Comments from the homeowners:

What an honor! We moved into our home 7 years ago. The builder, Shaddock Homes, installed the basic shrubs and crepe myrtles. They left the existing pecan tree in the front. We decided we needed some more color in the front. We face the west, so it is very hot and sunny in the front. We tried periwinkle (vinca) which is sun tolerant, but last year we planted penta and they were very sun tolerant looked nicer. A couple of years ago we planted day lilies and thy love the sun, too. These need to be split and replanted every couple of years.

A couple of years ago we planted day lilies and thy love the sun, too. These need to be split and replanted every couple of years. The shady part of the yard has some caladiums and Easter lilies. We have also nursed a hydrangea through the last couple of winters.

We’ve had many people ask what we do to keep the yard and flowers so healthy. This lawn has been organic since we moved in. It has made a big difference in yard.

Thank you so much for recognizing our efforts.

Keith and Kerry Johnson



Heights Park June Announcements!


Your friendly neighborhood block representative will soon be delivering the June/July issue of the HPNA Newsletter to your porch. The Newsletters should be out around the first weekend of July so please watch for them.

In that issue will be information on our upcoming General Meeting being held on Thursday evening, July 23rd.

We’ll also have information on our Yard of the Month Program, Citizen Patrol, Richardson redevelopment report, and other items.

If you don’t receive your Newsletter after the first weekend of July, please send us an email at

Ideally, an American flag on your house should hang from a staff that angles out from the front wall, a windowsill, or balcony. Whether the flag hangs from an angled or horizontal staff, be sure the union or canton (the rectangle with the stars) is at the peak. Hanging the flag with the union down signals extreme distress. When our President declares the flag to be flown at half-staff, it is acceptable to hang the flag from a horizontal staff with the union down, though your neighbors may not understand why you’re doing this.

When the flag is displayed either horizontally or vertically, the union should be at the top and to your left. When displayed in a window, the flag should be hung so that the union is on the left when you see it from the street.

The American flag is meant to be a flag; don’t use it for any other purpose — not as drapery, ceiling decoration, or as a bed spread. And never use it as a receptacle for carrying or holding anything.

Though it is customary to fly the flag from sunrise to sunset, the U.S. Code says that “when a patriotic effect is desired”, you can display it around the clock. If you do, you should illuminate it with a light.

When displayed from a car, the flagstaff should be fixed or clamped firmly to the vehicle, ideally on the right side. The flag should not be draped over the hood, top, sides, or back. The same holds true for a flag displayed on a float in a parade. Don’t carry the flag flat or horizontally. And because it is not meant to be apparel, do not wear a United States flag. If you wear a lapel flag, pin it on the left side, near your heart.

Appropriate USA flag folding procedure: Fold the flag in half width-wise twice. Fold up a triangle, starting at the striped end, and repeat, until only the end of the union is exposed. Then fold down the square into a triangle and tuck inside the folds.

Why bother with flag etiquette when you’re just excited about flying the Stars and Stripes? Consider this…for more than two hundred years, our country’s military, firemen, police, and other service personnel have practiced these measures faithfully, treating our flag with the highest esteem. This is one way we can show respect and meet the high standard they have set.

If you haven’t yet heard, the City Council approved a special permit for a food truck park and private club to be located at 522 Bishop Avenue, just north Richardson’s downtown area. Specifically, it’s located in the Interurban sub district on a former residential lot. The Food Truck Park will be similar to the existing Fort Worth Food Truck Park.

The Interurban sub district was recently rezoned to become an eclectic, mixed-use district.

The Park will offer
  • A relaxed, backyard environment with outdoor tables.
  • Four to five food trucks
  • Stationary structures serving as an office and bar, as well as restroom facilities
  • Current plans are to serve lunch and dinner seven days a week
The Park is scheduled to open mid-summer. Watch for additional information as we have it.
CityLine Update
(State Farm complex)

The City Council received an update recently on the CityLine development, the 2.3 million square foot mixed use development located at Plano Road and President George Bush Turnpike.

More than two dozen restaurants have been announced:
  • Full Service Restaurants: Bite City Grill, Coal Vines, Eureka, Edoko Sushi, Fernando’s, Fish City Grill, Jasper’s, Taco Diner.
  • Fast Casual Restaurants: Bastrop BBQ, Fresh to Order, Kin Kin, Luna Grill, Mod Market, Pei Wei, Whole Foods.
  • Quick Serve Restaurants: Eight, Flip, P.O.D. Market, Smashburger, Starbucks, Subway, The Green House, The Kitchen Table, Tom + Chee, Top Pot, Vibe Micro Market.
CityLine Drive is the new road that runs parallel to Renner and through the heart of CityLine.


On Friday, April 17, State Farm presented the Richardson Police Department with a $25,000 grant. The funds will allow the department to purchase video equipment that will be used to film public service announcements, including announcements focused on teen driving. Videos will be posted to YouTube once they are completed.

Saturdays 12:00 – 6:00 p.m.
For Tours, Tastings and Pints

640 N. Interurban Street

Richardson, TX  75081



Have you noticed the redevelopment along Lockwood lately — near Quik Trip?

  • Travel King has completely renovated the old Army/Navy Store into something very attractive!
  • The old post office on Lockwood is being transformed as well into a dental office/software company.
  • Thanks in part to this redevelopment, Lockwood is a much more attractive border to our neighborhood!
The old Chevron station at the southwest corner of Belt Line and Central has come down and will become a drive-through Starbucks.

And have you shopped/dined at the Richardson Heights Shopping Center lately? What a transformation has taken place there! The parking lot is full, people are shopping, dining, and movie-going all over the place!

Half Price Books is busy, Alamo Drafthouse is packed, and several great new restaurants seem to be thriving.

If you haven’t been there lately, you owe it to yourself to walk over there. This renovated shopping center will keep our neighborhood ever more popular.


7:00 p.m.
First United Methodist Church
Fellowship Hall

Back by popular demand — Stacey Davis, History Librarian

A few years ago, Stacey presented a program to our neighborhood residents on the history of Richardson, with a focus on our Heights area. And since we have so many new residents in our neighborhood, we invited Stacey back to give us another history lesson! Everyone really enjoyed Stacey’s visit the first time.
Discover Local History

If you like older homes…established neighborhoods…history…Richardson…you’re going to like our next Heights Park program! We’re fortunate to have the Local History Librarian from the Richardson Public Library, Stacey Davis, as our featured speaker. She has photos, maps, and historical tidbits from when Richardson began–specifically from the birth of the Heights Park area. This will be a fun ‘walk down memory lane’ for many of you, and a history lesson for our newer residents.


If you want to know how the neighborhood got started…Who settled it? Why? Who lived here? What was it like when it was young? Her program will give a brief overview of Richardson’s origins. She’ll tell us about the history of the Heights Park area, which was started because of the huge population growth during the boom.


Davis has been a reference librarian at the Richardson Public Library for over 20 years (she started in Richardson in December, 1995). She worked for the Dallas Public Library for six years before that. As the Local History librarian at RPL, Davis is in charge of the collection of historical photographs, books, documents and maps dealing with Richardson history. She’s been organizing this collection for the entire time that she’s been with the library. She has a master’s degree in Library Science from the University of North Texas and a bachelor’s degree in business from Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches. She’s from a small town in East Texas-with a graduating class of 73. She likes to read (big surprise!) – all kinds of books but she has a special interest in pandemics; anything about the “Black Death” in 14th century Europe, the 1918 Flu pandemic, and small pox-all historical!


Don’t miss out! Come to learn more about the history of our great city and your neighborhood. If you have some old photos of our neighborhood you’d like to share, feel free to bring them – be sure to put your name and phone number on the back so we can keep track of them.