By BEN NICHOLLS
People ask me, what’s new and exciting in Hillcrest? I say, spring cleaning! This month I invite folks to take a stroll in the neighborhood and as you enjoy the spring weather, take a look around and see all the improvements the HBA has made in the neighborhood just in time for spring. Our Beautification Committee has been working overtime to improve the neighborhood and we’ve made some subtle, yet impactful, changes.
Our improvements start with our tree maintenance plan. Last year, we worked with the City of San Diego to add over 90 trees to the neighborhood. Mostly the trees were added at places where tree wells had stood vacant for some time but some locations were totally new. We also added tree gators to the many young trees that have been planted. Tree gators are those green bags around the base of the trees that create a cistern of water to slowly feed the tree over a couple of days. Finally, we added Flexi-pave to many of the tree wells throughout the neighborhood. This rubber “bark” creates a porous surface that’s flush with the sidewalk. It allows water to traverse through to the tree while at the same time prevents water from being evaporated. The rubber bark also allowed us to remove the problematic river rocks that had been in the tree wells.
You may have also noticed that many of the city-owned square trash cans have been painted and branded with our new Welcome to Hillcrest signage. The Welcome to Hillcrest heart celebrates the neighborhood’s heritage with a friendly and welcoming vibe. It was designed by our committee volunteers and is hugely popular. You may have noticed that we added Welcome to Hillcrest entryway signage on the borders of the neighborhood too. If you want to show your neighborhood pride we sell “Welcome to Hillcrest” t-shirts and decals on our website or at the Hillcrest Farmers Market.
Finally, we have changed our sidewalk cleaning regime. Though the neighborhood needs a lot more TLC, you may have seen our new cleaning crews out emptying trash cans and cleaning sidewalks most days of the week. We clean the heart of the neighborhood five times a week and the rest of the neighborhood twice a week. One way you can tell if we’ve been cleaning is that you’ll see the heavy green bags of trash gathered on the corners ready for pick up.
Spring has sprung in Hillcrest and at the HBA, that means spring cleaning. Next time you’re in the neighborhood, keep an eye out for these helpful improvements.