Category Archives: gv Photo Essay

Governors Park Grounds Fall 2014 Update

Governors Park

Governors Park

The 2014 Grounds Committee in Governors Park has met regularly this year, making plans for improvements in many areas of the neighborhood. Culling a long list of needs, in March the group identified its top priorities for the year.

Maintaining the tree canopy in the Park is a top priority. The committee is developing a tree restoration plan to replace trees that die and are removed over the years.

Meanwhile, projects to address many other Park grounds priorities have been completed this fall.

Upper Amphitheater Entrance

For a few years the upper area of the amphitheater between the crape myrtles has looked bare after the original shrubs died out.

Before View. Amphitheater Entrance 2014-11-04

This week compact, variegated Abelia ‘Canyon Creek’ were installed to restore some interest to those two beds.

Compact Variegated Abelia ‘Canyon Creek’ At Amphitheatre Entrance 2014-11-27

Compact Variegated Abelia ‘Canyon Creek’ At Amphitheatre Entrance 2014-11-27

Pool Entrance Beautification

One area the committee selected to enhance this year is the main entrance to the neighborhood near the pool. Unsightly utilities and trash cans create an eyesore for residents and visitors entering and leaving the neighborhood.

Before View Along Fence At Pool 2014-11-04

Before View Along Fence At Pool 2014-11-04

Screening material has been placed in front of the service area of the pool to provide an attractive view. As the plants mature they will help the trash cans recede into the background.

Screening Project Along Pool Fence 2014-11-27

Screening Project Along Pool Fence 2014-11-27

Bright green Thuja occidentalis ‘Emerald’ (Emerald Arborvitae) and dark burgundy Loropetalum chinensis ‘Ever Red’ (Ever Red Loropetalum) were paired for this planting.

Thuja occidentalis 'Emerald' (Emerald Arborvitae)

Thuja occidentalis ‘Emerald’ (Emerald Arborvitae)

Loropetalum chinense ‘Chang Nian Hong’ (Ever Red Fringe Flower)

Also, evergreen foundation shrubs have been added in front of the pool house between the crepe myrtles. Seasonal annuals are planted here by the community’s contracted grounds maintenance company, but the original permanent landscaping had dwindled.

Before View: Pool Entrance 2014-11-04

Before View: Pool Entrance 2014-11-04

To create a low-maintenance layered planting for this area, a group of compact variegated abelia were installed behind the annuals. In back is a hedge of Prunus laurocerasus ‘Otto Luyken’ (cherry laurel), a dwarf cultivar with white fragrant flowers.

Pool Foundation Planting 2014-11-27

Pool Foundation Planting 2014-11-27

Otto Luyken cherry laurel and Abelia ‘Canyon Creek’ 2014-11-27

Baxter Runoff Project

The Baxter Runoff Project is one of the most extensive undertakings this year. The goal was to improve the area at the top of Baxter, just down from the pond and toward Meadow Park to hold back erosion and encourage grass to grow.

Before: Top Of Baxter Feb 23, 2014

Before: Top Of Baxter Feb 23, 2014

Before: Top Of Baxter Feb 23, 2014

Before: Top Of Baxter Feb 23, 2014

In the first stage of this project the hillside was regraded to slow and redirect rain runoff. Then the area was planted with grass to hold the soil in place. Irrigation was extended into this section to support growing grass and to allow for future enhancements.

Top Of Baxter Improvement Project November 14, 2014

Top Of Baxter Improvement Project November 14, 2014

Top Of Baxter Improvement Project November 14, 2014

Top Of Baxter Improvement Project November 14, 2014

Top Of Baxter Improvement Project November 14, 2014

Top Of Baxter Improvement Project November 14, 2014

Daffodil Program And North Pine Grove

Finally, the Daffodil Program strives to enliven all areas of the Park neighborhood in mid-spring through the planting of 1000 bulbs. The committee expects the daffodils to continue to naturalize and multiply in future years.

Governors Park Narcissus Bulbs

Governors Park Narcissus Bulbs

Narcissus 'King Alfred' (trumpet daffodil)

Narcissus ‘King Alfred’ (trumpet daffodil)

In mid-November the daffodil bulbs, 500 King Alfred and 500 white and yellow Ice Follies, were distributed and planted among all 8 cul-de-sacs, as well as in key locations within the main loop enclosed by Village Park Drive.

In particular, one area identified for beautification this year is the Pine Grove at the north end of the Village Park Drive loop near the back of the tennis court.

With this in mind 220 of the daffodil bulbs were allocated for this section to create a vibrant flood of color for several weeks when spring arrives.

Pine Grove at north end of Village Park Drive will come alive with daffodils in spring.

Pine Grove at north end of Village Park Drive will come alive with daffodils in spring.

About Governors Park Grounds Committee

Support for these projects comes from the Governor Park’s 2014 neighborhood enhancement monies. Allocated annually by the Governors Village Board of Directors to the Townes, Park, Village, Forest and Lake, available funds are targeted to the five neighborhoods according to an equitable distribution depending on the current number of units in each of the areas.

The Park Grounds membership includes Chair Jo Watta, Cliff Simpson, Carrie Klein, John Eberhard, Mary Anne Hutton and Susie Moffat. New members are always welcome.

Contact: Jo Watta – jwatta1 at

Related Articles
Minutes—Governors Park Grounds, Tuesday, March 11, 2014 – identifies 2014 priorities
Governors Village In Depth: Neighborhood Grounds Committees – describes purpose and funding, May 13, 2014
Bulb Planting Plans – Cul-de-sacs Narcissus Planting Guide and Main Loop Planting Guide, November 2014 (PDFs)
Governors Park Tree Project – describes thirteen trees planted in Governors Park, November 2013

Story and Photos by Susie Moffat

Summary 2014 Governors Village POA Annual Meeting

The annual meeting of the Governors Village Property Owners Association (GVPOA ) was held November 11, 2014 at Mt. Carmel Baptist Church.

Residents gather for the 2014 annual meeting.

Residents gather for the 2014 annual meeting.

Resident Brian Sawyer is greeted and checked in by Community Manger Alina Cochran and assistant Sandra Bigas.

Resident Brian Sawyer is greeted and checked in by Community Manger Alina Cochran and assistant Sandra Bigas.

President Wes Weaver began the meeting by welcoming new neighbors to the community. Thirty-seven existing homes were purchased this year.

2014 GVPOA President Wes Weaver presided at the annual meeting.

2014 GVPOA President Wes Weaver presided at the annual meeting.

Next Wes introduced other members of the GVPOA Board of Directors as well as those serving on the 2014 Townes Board of Directors. The Townes is a sub-association.

Wes also introduced the community manger, Alina Cochran, of Talis Management Group. He reminded residents of the core values and community mission that guide the work of the board.

Vice-President Rosemary McGee described the election process to fill four director positions. The slate of candidates presented by the election committee ran unopposed. All four were elected by acclamation.

Wes Weaver – Governors Village
Bill Hlavac – Governors Lake
Peter DeStaebler – Townes of Governors Village
Ted Smith– At-Large

Rosemary McGee conducts the election.

Outgoing director Otto White, who has served 6 years, gave the Board Update. Otto’s report included recreation and grounds improvements as well as an update on the commercial area. Under the new pool contract a maintenance person will clear debris in the mornings. Pool shifts have been changed slightly but open hours will remain the same. Grounds committees have used/planned 2014 neighborhood enhancements that include new plantings, tree replacements, grading improvements and daffodils for spring color.

Outgoing board member Otto White presents the Board Update.

John Eberhard presented the Financial Report. He reviewed the income statement, balance sheet as of the end of October, chart of 2015 budget assessment income by neighborhood, 2015 budget overview and 2015 budget expenses. Dues remain unchanged for 2015. John reported $400,000 Parks and Improvements Loan was paid in full this year. The board is committed to fully funding the reserves to the level recommended by the reserve study goal.

John Eberhard presents the financial update.

John Eberhard presents the financial update.

Daniel Guy recognized the many volunteers who serve on the various committees. Special acknowledgments were given to Barry Bassett for his long service working on the pool and to Otto White for his 6 years on the Board.

Daniel Guy acknowledges community volunteers who participate on ARB and committees.

Daniel Guy acknowledges community volunteers who participate on ARB and committees.

During the question and answer period residents called the board’s attention to issues of concern, including:

  • the need to replace a broken Bradford pear in the Village
  • broken and/or uneven sidewalks in the Park
  • poor quality of grass in the islands in the Park
  • increasing number of potholes in the streets. Except for alleys in Townes, all streets are owned by Department of Transportation. Residents can report potholes directly as well as alert Talis. Suggestion was made to enlist assistance of Talis in keeping a list of when the proper DOT authorities have been notified.
  • clarification of finanacials
  • request for board assistance in sharing information with the community, including releasing board minutes sooner and encouraging committee chairs to send news updates to communications committee
A resident receives clarification on the financial reports.

A Forest resident receives clarification on the financial reports.

Thanks go to Otto White for his six-year service on the board. Thank you also to the other board members, all of whom will return for next year, joined by newly elected Ted Smith.

2014 GVPOA Board of Directors. Seated left to right: Otto White, Bill Hlavac, John Eberhard. Standing: Rosemary McGee, Wes Weaver, Daniel Guy. Not pictured: Cliff Simpson, Peter DeStaebler.

2014 GVPOA Board of Directors. Seated left to right: Otto White, Bill Hlavac, John Eberhard. Standing: Rosemary McGee, Wes Weaver, Daniel Guy. Not pictured: Cliff Simpson, Peter DeStaebler.

Further details summarizing the work of the 2014 board are available in the slide presentation attachment.
Attachment: 2014 Governors Village Annual Meeting Presentation, November 11, 2014 (PDF)

Contact: Contact: Alina Cochran, Community Manager – acochran at (919.878.8787 x235)

Photographs by Ted Smith, Communications Chair and Photographer.

Governors Village OktoberWeen 2014

DSC_0993 Under a beautiful autumn sky ghouls, goblins and even a live owl gathered Saturday, October 25, 2014 for Governor Village’s annual Halloween celebration in the Park.

This year’s festival carried a new moniker, OktoberWeen, but many familiar and favorite activities were back, including pumpkin carving, costume parade, games, face painting, music and a chili cook off. Afterwards, families camped overnight in Meadow Park.

All participating deserve a huge thank you. Janie Bailey (chair), Dominique Gignac, other members of the Social Committee and other community volunteers worked hard to make this year’s event successful.

Thanks also to Communication Committee photographer Ted Smith. Ted captured many fine OktoberWeen highlights with his camera and provided these additional observations from his time wandering through the crowds.

From start to finish, continuous music was played by the DJ. His various selections included an OktoberWeen favorite, “Monster Mash”.

“Ghostbusters” made a lively sound track for the costume parade.



Games and crafts were enjoyed by folks of all ages.


Face painting was very popular. One American-Indian brave was decorated with peace paint to his delight.

A Chili cook-off allowed folks to sample two different styles of Chili.


Carved or decorated pumpkins were on display and prizes were awarded to those judged to be the most Halloweenish.


In addition to these festivities two young wizards who are school mates of Harry Potter were there with an owl and a king snake. The wizards are authentic, certified members of the wizards, witches and warlocks union. They represented the Piedmont Wildlife Center and accepted donations to support their various programs.

Piedmont Wildlife Center-4

As though all this was not enough, dinner was served and there were plenty of Brats, hot dogs, sauerkraut and the rest of the fixings for all. Desserts were also plentiful.


Here are many more scenes from 2014 OktoberWeen. (Click an image to start the slideshow.)

Sponsored by the Social Committee
Contact: Janie Bailey, Social Committee Chair,  janiembailey1035 [at]



Photo Highlights of 2013 Boo Fest

Photographs courtesy of Ted Smith, Communication Committee Photographer. Ted also contributed to the article.

Viewing tip: Click on an image in each set of photographs if you would like to view as a full-size slideshow.

Princesses and zombies alike turned out for the 2013 Governors Village Boo Fest on Saturday. Sponsored by the Social Committee the afternoon began with a costume parade, scarecrow decorating and pumpkin decorating contests.

Scarecrows and Pumpkins

(Click an image to start slideshow.)

Costumes and Parade

Halloween dress-up. (Click an image to start slideshow.)

The parade led by the Great Pumpkin Warrior was like the Pied Piper leading the children. (Click an image to start slideshow.)

K-9 Unit With Rudy

The K-9 Unit of the Chatham County Sheriff’s Office captured everyone’s attention. They demonstrated how their dog, Rudy, can locate things and attack a criminal either at the Deputy’s command or if the Deputy is attacked. The Deputy posing as the criminal wore a padded jacket for protection.

Everyone had an opportunity to pet Rudy and after all this activity, Rudy was pretty tired. The Deputies set up their trailer with give-a-ways and spoke with several adults and children answering questions. (Click an image to start slideshow.)

Other Boo Festivities

Festival goers feasted on dinner of hot dogs with all the trimmings, sides and desserts. The chili cook-off entries proved especially popular. (Click an image to start slideshow.)

The Zombie Jail, full of Halloween special effects, was a big attraction. Later some families camped overnight down in Meadow Park, extending the fall holiday fun for a few more hours.

The Zombie and Great Pumpkin Warrior

Successful First Annual Governors Village Plant Swap

Photos courtesy of Ted Smith, Communication Committee Photographer
Viewing Tip: To see slideshow images at larger size, click on a photograph in each of the 4 sets.

A successful first annual Governors Village Neighborhood Gardens Plant Swap was held a week ago on Sunday, October 6, 2013 from 11:00 am – 2:00 pm in the pool parking lot.

On what turned out to be a warm and sunny, blue-skied day, dozens of community residents took advantage of this opportunity to share extra perennial divisions and house plants.

After identifying and labeling their items neighbors then were able to “shop” freely for new garden additions from among the donated items. After all, the event motto was Bring a Plant, Take a Plant or Bring a Few, Take a Few. There were lots of conversations, questions about proper growing conditions and assurances provided about size, bloom time and color as people browsed for the perfect plants to take home.

Neighborhood children sold lemonade and cookies. Many a child was smitten by the magic of plants, asking questions about the names and how to care for them, and seeing the potential for how they would grow.

By the end of the swap children and adults were all happy traders. One grateful resident, Lisa Marie Taylor, summed up the spirit of the Plant Swap by saying she, “…picked up about $100 worth of plants free of charge. These plants, however, are priceless as they were grown with loving care by our neighbors.”

The plant swap was sponsored by Neighborhood Gardens, a committee of residents interested in gardening: Cheri Simpson, Chair; Cliff Simpson, Keith Larkin, Adele McLean, Maria Smith, Ted Smith, Joanne Donaton, Ann White and Susie Moffat. The group is also working on plans for the second annual Governors Village Garden Tour scheduled for Sunday, April 27, 2014, 1:00 – 5:00 pm.

Cliff Simpson,  cliff.simpson at
Keith Larkin,  keithlarkin7 at

And now to work...

And now to work…

Nice Day For Pine Straw Distribution In The Park

Governors Park Grounds Baxter Median

Governors Park Grounds Baxter Median

A busy crew has been distributing fresh pine straw around Governors Park on this fine, sunny morning.

Governors Park Grounds VPD near Benbury

After–Governors Park Grounds VPD near Benbury


Click on any image below for a larger view in gallery format.

A Beautiful Day In The Park

A beautiful February day is a great opportunity to enjoy some of the natural assets found within the Governors Village community greenspace. Here are some images from Governors Park this morning.

Click on any image below to view the photographs in a larger format.

Fun At 2012 Seventh Annual Firemen’s Breakfast, 5K Race and Kids Triathlon

In the early morning light of Saturday, May 12, 2012, fire trucks pulled into the pool parking lot. Large coffee urns were switched on in the pool house kitchen. A large, excited group of residents and friends of the Governors Village community gathered near the pool entrance.

Everyone was up early to participate in the annual Firemen’s Pancake Breakfast, 5K Race and Kids Triathlon.  This is the seventh year the Governors Village Social Committee has held this event to mark the opening of the pool season and to raise funds for the Chatham County Fire Department.

5K and Kids Triathlon

Dan Hirschman organized the 5K Race which drew 70 running or walking participants, some pushing baby strollers.

Ralph Howard was the Kids Triathlon coordinator with help from Jenny O’Brien and Jackie Moll.

The day’s weather was perfect for the races. Although the water temperature in the pool may have been a bit brisk,  the triathlon entrants were undeterred.

Participants were greeted at the Finish Line with boisterous celebration and the runners smiled broadly in appreciation. Race results for both the 5K and the triathlon are attached below.

Pancake Breakfast

Volunteers prepared a delicious breakfast of pancakes, sausage and fresh fruit salad, which was served by the attending firemen and their spouses.

Cooking pancakes Saturday were Social Committee members Barbara McCullen, Jo Watta, Mary Anne Hutton, Linda Kreiter, and Terry Landers with able assistance from Mary Roederer.

Among the community’s younger residents who pitched in this year was Olivia Draper, who oversaw the beverage table operations where coffee and juice were served. Valuable help also came from Andrew Conte and his friend, Jeff.

Chatham County Fire Department

Governors Village is grateful to the Fire Department for their help in staging this event. Residents climbed aboard the fire trucks, picked up safety tips and shared photo ops with the the firemen. Chief John Strowd and a large group of the firemen had to leave the event to attend to a structure fire, an unfortunate incident, but one that underscores the seriousness of the fire department’s mission.

Deputy Chief Mark Riggsbee watched and smiled appreciatively as a fireman’s boot filled with donations from residents for the Chatham County Fire Department.

The final tally will be announced later in the week, but early estimates are that Governors Village raised over $3,000 this year. Funds from last year’s event went toward purchasing a defibrillator and a gas detector.

Support From Area Businesses

Governors Village acknowledges generous contributions from business sponsors. Social Committee Chair Dominique Gignac reported, “We have had the most donations ever for the breakfast! We have been blown away by the generosity of the local businesses especially Domicile Realty, Subway and Governors Pharmacy. Also Fleet Feet Sports in Carrboro has been extremely generous in supporting the race.” The complete list of sponsors is attached below.

The Usual Suspects

Particular thanks go to Dominique and the members of the Social Committee who, along with many of their spouses, worked countless hours to make this event a success. Recreation Committee Chair Barry Bassett also helped out tirelessly.  Barry and members of the Recreation Committee have done a great job getting the pool ready for opening day.

Ted Smith, photographer for the Communications Committee, captured some great images showing the morning’s competitions, fellowship, smiles and fun. View the complete photo gallery from this event.

Thanks also to the many Governors Village community residents who supported the the Firemen’s Breakfast through their participation and generous donations.

2012 5K Race Results (PDF)
2012 Kids Triathlon Results (PDF)
2012 Business Sponsors (PDF)