Village Voice 02 2021: February

President's Letter:

Dear Village Residents,

Though February is the shortest month of the year in days, often it seems like the longest month. Located right at the tail end of winter it feels that warm days can’t arrive soon enough. After spending nearly a year with restrictions, lockdowns, quarantines and lifestyle limitations, I do believe February 2021 may end up being the longest month in history.

So let’s try to appreciate February instead.

With those aged 65+ now ready to get the vaccine, there’s definitely a light at the end of the tunnel. Spring is still a few months away but it’s there, and if enough people are vaccinated we may be able to gather for our VRA fall picnic if not sooner.

This may be the last cold month that we’re forced indoors. It’s the last chance to be stuck inside with good reason, the last time it’s socially encouraged to simply binge on Netflix for a week. So appreciate these days before activities resume in full force and we find our lives busier than before, making up for lost time.

If you just so happen to be itching for something to do, check out the article about ways to help in the community. Once events and large gatherings resume then help will be needed at many more places around town, but right now these are a few ways to feel involved and connected. If you’re eager to investigate an outdoor activity, consider beekeeping. VRA member Mark Walters shares some of the basics in another article.

And while you’re getting through February, if you’d like to contribute something to the Village Voice or have an idea for an article then let me know.

Take care,

Heather Lusk 

president@zvra.com


Town Council:

Happy New Year!

I’m writing this while watching President Biden’s inauguration in the background. I’ve always appreciated the pomp and circumstance that follows the office of the President, especially during the inaugural period. It always represents a reboot and a cause for optimism for our country. I read somewhere that rooting against the President is like rooting against your pilot on a flight as we’re all in this ride together.

Speaking of the Presidency, and at a much MUCH lower level, I was honored to be re-elected by my fellow Councilors to serve as President of Town Council. This will be my fifth term as President (fourth full term) and I’m always humbled by the trust given to me by my peers to lead this group. I’m still waiting for my 21-gun salute and Presidential motorcade but I’m sure they are coming.

I’m also thrilled to have Jason Plunkett (District 2) join me as Vice President on our Council. This will be his first year as Vice President and I have no doubt he’ll fill that role admirably. Prior to this year Bryan Traylor (District 1) has served in that capacity and I’m been very thankful to have him by my side for these past 4 years.

I do believe this will be my last year as President. While I have enjoyed the role greatly, I also want to make sure that others have a chance to lead and put their mark on how our direction, agendas and meetings will be run. I feel like any of the 7 of us on Town Council are qualified to perform that task and I look forward to seeing them step up in coming years.

We have recently been debating the fee structure for various Town services such as the golf course, building inspections and special events costs. One item that we did vote without delay was a fee for our new dog park. This allows us to cover the cost of registering dogs for use in the park, something that many are anxious to utilize.

In thinking through fees, I thought a slide (below) presented by our new Parks Department director Jarod Logsdon did a good job explaining how fees, at least those related to parks, are calculated relative to individual versus community benefit. This helped guide some of our debate around fees and why we charge for certain access and services while others remain free of charge.
























Beekeeping in the Village

By Mark Walters

Did you know that honey bees are busy producing honey in the Village? Several Village residents have honey bee hives. There is no restriction against having honey bees, in fact it is state law that honey bees cannot be restricted in communities. This is because the honeybee is under a great deal of stress due to suburban growth, pesticides, various parasites that attack bees, and climate change.

Caring for honey bees can be a very rewarding and educational experience. Also, always having a good supply of honey is a big bonus! Here are several facts about the honey bee.

  • There are 20,000 species of bees in the world.
  • Honey Bees are not indigenous to North America. They were introduced in 1683 from Europe.
  • There is a strong link between agriculture and bees. Each needs the other. Bees pollinate plants and get nutrition from them.
  • One third of our total diet is dependent (directly or indirectly) upon insect-pollinated plants.

For those interested in becoming a beekeeper here are a few tips.

  • Before investing in equipment, attend a beginning beekeeper class. There are a number of classes that can be found by visiting these links:  www.indianabeekeeper.comwww.buzzaboutbees.net
  • Maplelawn Farmstead will be holding a beginning bee keeper class this spring. Keep an eye on their website for details. www.maplelawnfarmstead.com
  • Always try and find an experienced mentor. There is much to learn about bee keeping and a good mentor can make the difference between a positive or negative experience.
  • It is not a good idea to enter into beekeeping with the expectation of making money. It is a great hobby but on a small scale is not always a money-making enterprise.
  • When keeping bees in an urban area it is best to have an enclosed environment and proper signage indicating to your neighbors that there are honey bees in the area.

 

Mark Walters is in his fourth year of beekeeping in the Village. He is eager to share his experiences as a beginning beekeeper and assist those who are interested in pursuing this rewarding hobby



How to get involved in the community

Volunteering isn’t something that’s especially easy to do right now. Some things from past years – like helping at the school, fundraisers at Maplelawn or even attending meetings at SullivanMunce – just aren’t possible.

Although these are only a few options, there are still ways to both stay informed and also help the community.

  1. Keep up with town meetings. Each Sunday evening watch for the VRA Weekly News. There you’ll find suggestions for fun activities, events, and local news, but you can also be notified of town meeting dates and times. Since all meetings are currently taking place via Zoom it’s very easy to watch just part of a meeting, or even do laundry at the same time.
  2. Provide input. This year there have been several opportunities to share thoughts on future plans and projects for Zionsville. The latest is a stormwater survey, formed through a partnership with the town and White River Alliance: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/SWOnline. Follow the town website or social media to find others in the future.
  3. Foster a pet or volunteer to care for the cats and dogs at the Humane Society. https://www.hsforbc.org/get-involved.html
  4. The Caring Center of Boone County is in need of in-person volunteers. http://www.thecaringcenter.net/daily_operations_volunteers.html.
If you know of other organizations that have immediate need for help let us know. 

Recycling in the Village

Did you know that that national recycling rate is 34%, but in Indiana the 2019 rate is only 18.6%? And that recycling 1 ton of paper can save up to two dozen trees?

You can learn more from a Recycling 101 video put together by Zionsville’s Nature Center: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sCY70dUuerk

Speakers explain how to recycle and dispose of everything from plastics to expired medications to flags.

View the Ray’s Trash and Recycling calendar for 2021 to know which bi-weekly dates recycling will take place. 




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