CHELAN RIDGE COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION
The Grounds Committee involves caring for the two neighborhood entrances and the upper marina area, organizing the fire protection efforts, and noxious weed control within our Association.
In past years we depended on volunteers for many tasks and have encouraged everyone to participate. We are proud of our community and we have been successful utilizing volunteers. By including property owners in these tasks our annual dues are kept low.
Fire in the western states appears to be a new norm but minimizing the affects by controlling the impact in the cooler forested environment gives us a decided advantage over communities on open, hot and windy slopes of cheat grass. We are fortunate to have many resources available to aid in preparation for fire in forest lands.
We have had numerous successful Fire Wise Community Chipping Programs including spring and fall clean-up opportunities These include tree limbing, thinning and brush removal. We continue to evaluate the need for additional participation with Cascadia Soil Conservation and the DNR.
We are seeking solutions to any local fire department drawing down our PUD water storage tank during wild land fire events in our immediate area. The objective is to maintain critical water levels to fight fires within our development. The Grounds Committee objectives also include maintaining our Fire Wise Community status. This requires periodic Cascadia visual audits of individual properties.
The Chelan Fire Chief has suggested our neighborhood community follow daily burning restrictions required for burning agricultural waste piles; even for yard waste. Tree trimmings can usually be hauled to the recycling center for a fee and evergreen tree needles can be taken to the city dump where property owners may be directed to the recycling center with large amounts of raked needles.
Although our community is considered at moderate risk due to where we are situated in a heavily forested area, and even with a Fire Wise Community plan in place, we are reminded by Cascadia that maintaining our Fire Wise plan throughout the year and following their visual audits and suggestions will help keep us as safe as possible. Please follow all corrective measures outlined by their visual audits as well as the CRCA Grounds Committee individual property visual audits.
Noxious Weed Control
The Chelan County manages weed spraying on the county roads within our neighborhood community along Ridgeview Drive, Navarre Drive and Upper Ridge Road and they are by far the experts, as they follow a strict regimen of spray programs to establish roadways clean of noxious weeds while maintaining grasses for erosion control. They will generally spray our county roads in the neighborhood twice a year. However, we have property within the association along Chelan Ridge Road that is not managed by the county. Also, private lots and residences have long lasting issues when noxious weeds invade our community. There are many sources of weed seed to the windward side of our community which are largely under-managed. These include the State highway and the B-Line access roadway which are two sources for invasion the Grounds Committee have identified. The main noxious weed culprits are Diffuse and Russian Knapweed which are mandatory control weeds for Chelan County.
Knapweed generally grows in recently disturbed, dry soil conditions and can grow in areas of absent irrigation and provides a food source for many of our native pollinators plus feral western bumblebees. Although Russian Knapweed has an attractive purple flower that native bumblebees particularly like, it is the Grounds Committee’s suggestion that our neighborhood community counteract the eradication of the weed with additional flowering plants that are not considered noxious and will service the bumblebee needs as well. Knapweed flowers are seen in various colors: white, rose and purple.
We ask that every property owner, regardless if there is a residence onsite, do their own evaluation for noxious weeds. If Knapweed is found, you have two choices: do your own weed control or call a third party to eradicate the mandatory control weeds. The best Knapweed control is prevention!
Below is a list of bee friendly plants that will help the community bumblebees and other pollinators.