Fire Readiness

It’s not too early to start thinking about protecting your home and property from fire. The wet winter season and lead into Spring will result in rapidly growing plant material including undesirable weeds. A little effort now may save a lot of effort in the coming months. 
 
The City of Laguna Hills conducts an annual weed abatement program designed to reduce fire hazards during the summer season. The following is a link to a list of fire-prone plant species. Weeds identified in the list as well as any dead, overgrown, or dried out vegetation, plants, and trees must be removed within 100 feet of any structure. Please note that the 100-foot clearance also includes distances to those structures that may be located on a neighbor’s property.
 
 
Many resources for vegetation management and fire safety can also be found on the Orange County Fire Authority website www.ReadySetGoOC.org. The following link provides maintenance guidance as well as recommendations for plant selection for new planting in defensible space and fuel modification zones. 
 

Arena Lighting

We have completed the replacement of inefficient Equestrian Center Dressage Arena lighting with new LED lighting.  The new lighting casts more efficient directional lighting at the arena footing while using half the amount of energy as the old fixtures.  The fixtures are also guaranteed for ten years saving on future replacement costs.

Butterfly Migration

Nellie Gail Ranch has been treated to a spectacular air show this past week as the skies have been filled with Painted Lady butterflies.  Millions of these colorful butterflies are migrating from as far as Mexico heading North across California.   This migration described as the largest in more than ten years may be resulting from the unusually high amount of rainfall this year which has caused a wildflower “super bloom” in the deserts.  These butterflies can “flit” as far as 25 miles per hour so they won’t be here long. Enjoy them while you can!

Neighborhood Watch Start-Up Meeting Saturday, March 23, 2019, at 2:30 p.m. (Association Clubhouse)

Citizen involvement is essential to combat crime. Neighborhood Watch is a crime prevention program that promotes cooperation between citizens and law enforcement to reduce crime in their communities. Laguna Hills Police Services will be presenting information to the Nellie Gail Ranch community on Saturday, March 23, 2019, at 2:30 p.m. at the Association Clubhouse. The presentation will include an overview of what it takes to start and participate in an effective Neighborhood Watch program. Effective crime prevention techniques will also be presented. Homeowners will be encouraged to participate, get to know their neighbors better, and volunteer to be Neighborhood Watch Block Captains. Below is a link to additional information. Please plan to attend this important community meeting and select the RSVP link so we can know how many to plan for!

https://www.ci.laguna-hills.ca.us/DocumentCenter/View/1106/Starting-a-Neighborhood-Watch

RSVP HERE

Nellie Gail Ranch Security Update

The Board President has a meeting scheduled next week with the Laguna Hills Chief of Police to discuss recent break-ins and community concerns. In follow up to this meeting Board Members will meet with the Security Committee to discuss what opportunities may be available for Nellie Gail Ranch and its homeowners to assist the police in effectively deterring criminal activity. These two meetings are in preparation for review by the Board at its March 19th meeting. The Saturday following the Board Meeting, the above-referenced Neighborhood Watch meeting will take place. The most recent Neighborhood Watch presentation was held at the Association Clubhouse April 26, 2017, with 30 homeowners attending. We are seeking an increased participation commitment to really kick off the program this time. Please plan to attend and participate in this meeting.

March Pony Express

Read the March issue of the PonyExpress HERE before it hits your mailbox.

How Can You Protect Yourself From Property Crime? 

Criminals are looking for an easy opportunity with the lowest risk; if you provide it, they will take it! These simple preventative steps can go a long way toward eliminating crimes of opportunity and reducing the frequency of burglaries and thefts in our community.

If you see something suspicious, call immediately so we can act fast. The longer you wait, the harder it is to catch the criminal.

  • Persons loitering in the neighborhood – in a vehicle or on foot.
  • Persons and/or vehicles in the same location for a long or unusual period of time.
  • Persons carrying or concealing something suspicious.
  • Persons peering into cars.
  • Valuables being removed from home or vehicle.
  • Strange vehicles parked at the neighbors home.
  • Light or flashlights in homes while neighbors are away.
  • Suspicious sounds such as breaking glass, alarms, screaming, loud bangs, or gunshots.
  • Prying, pounding or forcing sounds.

Fiddleneck – Poisonous Plant Toxic to Horses  

While this time of year brings lush green hills to the Nellie Gail Ranch community and Equestrian Center, please be aware of the potentially toxic plants that are often lurking among the tall grass. Fiddleneck is one of the many plants that can be toxic to horses and has been seen throughout the hills behind the Equestrian Center and around the community.

Nellie Gail Ranch open space is maintained in a natural state other than annual efforts to perform weed abatement late spring. Horses and pets should not be permitted to graze on Association trails or slopes. Homeowners will also want to monitor what is growing on their open space private property as well.

Please take a minute to select the below link from ucdavis.edu and read the article about Fiddleneck and inspect any areas before you allow your horse to graze to avoid ingestion.

Fiddleneck Information

Happy Valentine’s Day

We wish all of our Nellie Gail Ranch homeowners a Happy Valentine’s Day. We hope you enjoyed the time with someone special in your life. For those of you who have attended our Wine and Chocolate tasting event in the past, we regret we could not host it this year due to Clubhouse construction. We are in the planning stages of an event to celebrate Grand Re-opening of the Clubhouse and look forward to getting back on track in February 2020 with more wine and more chocolate!

Trail Grading / Rain Maintenance

It’s a very busy time for our trail maintenance vendor Boulder Earthwork. Following each rain, they clear mud and debris from the street that has washed off the trails. Then they evaluate the sandbags and replace or adjust as necessary. After that the v-ditches and catch basins are cleared to be ready for the next rain. Then after the sun returns and the trails dry, the weeds begin to grow and Boulder grades the ruts and weeds out of the trails. This cycle repeats throughout our 25 miles of trails each rain event throughout winter and spring.

Thank you for your patience, it does take time to get to all the trails, especially when it rains weekly as it has so far this year. Boulder has a route of priority areas that we know to look for right after heavy rains but if you are out and about on the trails and see anything that needs to be addressed, please text a photo and location to us at 949-933-8546 and we will be sure to inspect and address as needed.