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July 2019

Vol. 7, Issue 7


July 2019

Vol. 7 Issue 7

STONEBRIDGE RANCH NEWS The official publication of the Stonebridge Ranch Community Association, Inc.

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Cartoon Ranch

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Curb Appeal Corner

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Family Beach Party

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Community Calendar

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2019 Photo Contest Announced

Enter your best photo showcasing nature & the wild outdoors

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Let’s Be Friends

Summer Point residents enjoy gathering together

Story of a resident volunteer

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Social Scene

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Save the Date August 2019 Events

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Want to play pickleball?

Lessons now available here in Stonebridge Ranch

Copyright © 2019. All rights reserved. Published by Community Matters, Inc., this magazine is produced at no cost to the Association and is mailed monthly to all Stonebridge Ranch residences free of charge.

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Cover Photo by Erica Lee

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Meet Chris Talbot

New Irrigation Specialist works to save water—and money

We hope everyone has a great 4th of July this year! Many residents—such as these two sisters at last year’s 4th of July Beach Club pool party—enjoy celebrating the holiday with neighbors.


F ROM T HE P RESIDENT There are a couple of very important items I want to bring to your attention. Stonebridge Ranch does NOT have a Facebook or any other social media page. We are aware that there are several Facebook groups that use the words “Stonebridge Ranch” in their titles. The association does not oversee, manage, or monitor any social media accounts, whether on Facebook, Nextdoor, or any other social media platform. These accounts are not affiliated with your homeowner’s association. Please do not rely on them for answers to your association-related questions. Well-meaning posters may attempt to answer your HOA queries on social media; unfortunately, they might provide you with incorrect information regarding SRCA daily operations, regulations and policies, compliance, etc. Incorrect information can lead to issues with your personal account. Many of the items posted are for other HOA’s which are not identified, so the information or responses may not even apply to homeowners in Stonebridge Ranch. There are three official communication channels utilized by the Stonebridge Ranch Community Association (SRCA): E-mail blasts; the monthly Stonebridge Ranch News magazine; and the website at www.stonebridgeranch.com. When you have a question, contact the association directly. You can call or visit the association office Monday through Friday, between the hours of 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. The main phone line is (214) 733.5800. We also provide two convenient online forms on the website where you can submit questions. The “Submit a Question” form is for general questions related to the HOA or your account. The “Report an Issue” form is for maintenance issues you see in common areas such as broken sprinklers or downed tree branches. The other item I want to call you attention is that garage sales, yard sales, patio sales, estate sales, or any similar activities are NOT permitted in Stonebridge Ranch per Section 9.11 of our CC&R’s. Violations of this policy will result in a current fine of a minimum of $300 per incident. This violation is classified as an incurable violation as it would be concluded before we could send a notification of the violation. Board Meeting The Board meeting of May 23, 2019 was called to order at 1:00 PM. Six Board members were present. Board member Joe Closs did not attend. The meeting began with a Homeowners Open Forum. One homeowner appeared to discuss trash tote storage in alleys. The next item of business was to ratify the minutes of the previous Board meeting and all decisions made since the last Board meeting.

Old Business In its continuing review of all Board guidelines, we reviewed and updated the guidelines for Common Area Signage Policy, Editorial Guideline Policy, Email Registration Policy, and Communications Committee Guidelines. US 380 Project Update: on Monday, May 6, TxDOT announced their preferred alignment as bypass Red Option-A. This is not favorable to Stonebridge as the new bypass would enter US 380 with six new lanes just above the village of Kensington. The Board and the City of McKinney are categorically opposed to this option as well as opposing the Green Alignment (widening of US 380). There are many discussions currently taking place to find an alternative solution that works better for everyone. As those options are developed, we will be requesting your support for those that are favorable for Stonebridge Ranch. I continue to monitor and work actively on this project to make sure Stonebridge interests are represented. New Business We approved a quick survey for potential amenities projects. We also approved what actions we will take when a new home builder uses unapproved brick. We discussed updating guidelines to allow painted brick which is currently not permitted. The guidelines should be available at our June meeting for potential approval. We discussed the removal of several trees around the tennis courts that are creating potential hazardous conditions on the courts, as well as trimming some other trees around the courts. Executive Session The Board reviewed and approved the monthly Foreclosure Report and the report of the Appeals Committee. We also reviewed and accepted the Collections Committee Report, the Violations Report and the Project Expenditures Report. The Director of Operations updated us on pending legal matters. Association Reports We reviewed and approved the financial reports including the Balance Sheet, Income Statement, Reserve Budget Report, Accounts Receivable Report and the Investment Portfolio results. Board Liaisons presented updates on committee activities reflected in committee minutes available on our website. The Director of Operations updated the Board regarding the F4 dam action plan, vineyard maintenance in Adriatica, the Winter Haven pond dredging status, the common areas at Tanglewood and Woodland Bridge, and an update on BrightView Landscaping and their progress on performance improvement. The meeting adjourned at 4:35 PM. Jon Dell’Antonia President, Board of Directors STONEBRIDGE RANCH NEWS

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July 2019

Vol. 7 Issue 7

STONEBRIDGE RANCH COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION, INC. 6201 Virginia Parkway, McKinney, TX 75071 Office Hours: Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Ph: (214) 733-5800 Fax: (214) 778-0595 website: www.stonebridgeranch.com Courtesy Patrol: (214) 794-4945

CONTRIBUTORS TO THIS ISSUE Jon Dell’Antonia, Erica Lee, Cheryl Unnone, Dave Wiest

BOARD OF DIRECTORS President Jon Dell’Antonia

Vice President & Treasurer Norm Counts Secretary Jim Norton

Director Kristen Vartian Director Rick Chaffin Director Joe Closs

Director Michael Kaltenbaugh

STAFF Professional management by RTI/Community Management Associates Inc. (CMA) Director of Operations Greg Herbst

Maintenance Supervisor Michael Cawley

Landscape & Grounds Manager Brock Whetstone Lifestyle Director David Wiest

Executive Assistant Rony Peterson

Maintenance Assistant Eric Ortega, Jeff Torres Compliance Supervisor Kelli Koehler

Compliance Coordinators Gwen Burns, Randy Cain, Pat Liles, Jarred Mercer

Administrative Assistant Melba Siebel

Community Services Coordinator Tamra Collins Communications Coordinator Erica Lee

Operations Support Representative Allison Bedgood Irrigation Specialist Christ Talbot

PUBLISHER To place an advertisement, please contact: Community Matters, Inc., PO Box 5900, Frisco, TX 75035 Ph: (972) 370-1778 website: www.communitymattersinc.com

Stonebridge Ranch News is the only authorized publication of the Stonebridge Ranch Community Association, Inc. It is published on behalf of residents for informational purposes only. The Association does not guarantee any work or claims made by advertisers herein and claims no responsibility or liability for statements made in the publication. The Association does not support or take responsibility for services, whether paid or volunteer, mentioned herein, nor for statements published in articles or letters herein which are not endorsed by group decision of the Board of Directors.

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Communications Committee Announces 2019 Photo Contest The Communications Committee is happy to announce the 2019 SRCA Photography Contest theme. This year, we are celebrating NATURE. We love the world around us—near and far—and we want to see your best image showcasing the great outdoors. Your photo can focus on any natural or wild thing not made by humans, including animals, flowers, trees, vistas or scenery, sunsets, clouds, etc. For this contest, the sky is—quite literally—the limit. (People and pets can be pictured in the photo, but Nature should be the main hero of your image.) Read ahead for full contest rules. We can’t wait to see your entry! Contest Rules 1. Eligibility. To enter, you must be a current Stonebridge Ranch resident. 2. Submission. Choose your best nature image to send

to us. It can be taken in any location; the photo does not need to be taken in Stonebridge Ranch, in McKinney, or even in the United States. You do not need to take a new photo; you can use a photo you’ve taken in the past. However, if your photograph is in a printed format, you must transfer it to a digital format (.png, .jpg, .pdf ) in order to submit. You must be the original creator of the photograph, with one exception: you may submit a photograph captured by a resident member of your household who cannot make the submission on his/her own behalf (for example, a photo taken by your child). The photo may be taken on any camera device, including your smartphone. However, keep in mind that the higher quality your image, the more likely you are to win.

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3. How to Enter. Email Erica Lee, Communications Coordinator at elee@cmamanagement.com by Friday, August 23 with the subject line, “SRCA Nature Photography Contest.” The entry should include the submitter’s name and contact info (email and/or phone number), the submitter’s home address to verify Stonebridge Ranch residency, and a short narrative description of the photo (date, location, known people or animals, and any other details you’d like to share with your fellow Stonebridge Ranch News readers). If you are sending in a submission on behalf of someone in your household, be sure to identify that person as the creator of the image and include his/her name and age as well. If you have difficulty emailing your picture, please email Erica for assistance or call the association office at 214.733.5800 (M-F, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.). 4. Winner Selection. The entries will be judged by the Communications Committee in one category: we are looking for the cover image for our October issue of Stonebridge Ranch News. Each image will be judged on its composition and quality. We can’t wait to see some truly breathtaking or awe-

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inspiring images! Pro tip: note the vertical orientation of our cover. Wide-angle or panoramic photos make for a difficult fit and might not be cover-worthy because of the spacing limitations. 5. Be a good sport. Do not use images sourced from anywhere or anyone except by your own creation on your own device. You may make minor touch-ups/ edits to your photo in regards to lighting, etc., but do not make major cut-and-paste/Photoshop edits (such as inserting an animal into a vista that wasn’t originally there). 6. Contact. We will notify the winner by Monday, Sept. 16 and announce the winner in the October 2019 issue of Stonebridge Ranch News. 7. P rize. The winner’s photo will be published in the October 2019 issue of the Stonebridge Ranch News and the winner will receive a $50 Visa gift card. As layout space in the October 2019 issue allows, other photos submitted by residents may also be included as honorable mentions. All entries will also be published in a digital photo gallery at www.stonebridgeranch.com. Entrants, except for the winner, will not receive any monetary compensation nor any other prize award.


8. Agreement. By emailing an entry as part of this contest, you grant SRCA permission without restriction to use your submitted photo, name, and narrative details in the Stonebridge Ranch News magazine and/or in collateral communications such as SRCA email blasts, the website at www.stonebridgeranch.com, and other materials. (Note: we will NOT share your contact information or Stonebridge Ranch address with others—that information will be used only to confirm your residency.) ◀

Market Street Center 2651 Ridge Rd.| Ste. 103 (214) 842-4245

McKinney Towne Crossing 8930 State Hwy. 121 | Ste. 546 (214) 383-5058

McKinney

1411 N. Custer Rd. | Ste. 800 (972) 542-4335

Nature is all around us, even in the suburbs. SRCA Communications Specialist Erica Lee captured this dramatic image of a hawk at the Stonebridge Ranch Beach Club in 2018.

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Summer Point Residents Have Prioritized Village Engagement for Over Two Decades

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With only sixty-nine homes in their neighborhood, Summer Point is one of the smaller villages in Stonebridge Ranch. It’s also one of the oldest, with many of the houses built in 1993 when Stonebridge Ranch was only four years old. Today it is home to many empty-nesters who enjoy the reduced maintenance required by having yards with zero lot lines and a sub-association to care for much of the landscaping. Summer Point is also a village where residents have long prioritized connecting with their neighbors. Over twenty years ago, some of the original residents began an annual tradition of hosting a village BBQ block party the first weekend in May. Though the tradition lagged for a few years, it continues to this day thanks to some newcomers to the village. Summer Point neighbors host the event in a cul-de-sac adjacent to the neighborhood common area. With their village sub-association providing the BBQ meat for the occasion, the residents all help by providing everything else needed for the party. They determine who will bring which side dishes alphabetically, and everyone offers whatever picnic supplies they have on hand. From tents to tables and chairs, these residents collectively have everything they need to throw a great shindig. Says resident Cindy Hibler, who moved into Summer Point in 2013, “We keep improving it every year. This time we even had flower decorations for the tables! We actually had people offering so many things that we had more than we needed.” One key ingredient for the success of this annual party is the Summer Point neighbors’ commitment to camaraderie year-round. They have mapped their own village and know who lives in every house. They maintain an email list of residents so they can contact each other. They are all concerned if one neighbor goes through a hardship. Over two years ago, a number of the village women began to meet monthly for coffee and conversation. They call themselves the ‘Ladies of Summer Point.’ The group rotates their coffees from house to house. Says Cindy with a smile, “We all look stonebridgeranch.com

forward to it because we get to interact with neighbors we may not see often or who live on the other side of the neighborhood. It’s great to catch up.” Before Cindy and her husband moved to Summer Point, they owned a home in a larger Stonebridge Ranch village, where many active families with young children live. She understands that it can be more difficult for folks with kids to find the time to get together. But she is an advocate for the positive benefits that come from neighbors becoming friends and spending time together. She offers this advice for anyone who wants to initiate similar get-togethers in their own village: “Someone just has to be willing to step up. That’s all it takes.” Several years ago, Cindy and her next-door neighbor, Tyke Chisholm, decided they wanted to start hosting a second block party in August to celebrate National Night Out. “We didn’t know what we were doing,” she says with a laugh, “so we just started simply. We printed flyers ourselves and walked them to every house. We talked to everyone we could. Then, we just provided cookies, ice cream, lemonade and water. We were really surprised when we had over 50 people attend! It was really great.” The kindness in the village is palpable to newcomers. Notes Cindy, “We had some new neighbors move in from out of state. They told us that when they drove through Stonebridge Ranch, they knew they wanted to live here. But then they were really surprised and touched when everyone in Summer Point was so friendly. They said that now they can’t imagine living anywhere else.” She offers this final word of encouragement: “Even if you only have three people who want to throw a block party, you’ve got a committee! Step forward and talk to your neighbors. Every time we host a Summer Point event, everyone leaves happy and says, ‘We can’t wait to do this next year.”◀


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Pickleball Lessons Now Available in Stonebridge Ranch “What is pickleball?” It’s a question we’ve heard hundreds of times in the association office. How do you play this sport with the funny name? Many players describe it as a cross between tennis, badminton, and ping-pong, and indeed, pickleball is a game derived from elements of all three. The game was invented in 1965 in Bainbridge Island, WA, by two families whose children were suffering from the summer doldrums. The fathers of the two families fabricated a new game for their bored kids using an abandoned badminton court and a mash-up of old sports equipment, which included ping-pong paddles and a perforated plastic ball. To play pickleball today, all you need is a regulation-sized paddle (which is slightly larger and more square than a ping-pong paddle), a perforated plastic ball, and a pickleball court (which has its own dimensions, court markings, and a net height just 36 inches off the ground). The simplicity of the equipment may make you wonder: what accounts for the sports’ booming popularity? Stonebridge Ranch resident Kathy Martin can list a host of reasons, including the number of calories she burns every game. She notes that it’s a sport which has a very low barrier to entry. “Anybody can pick up the rules quickly,” she says, “and begin to succeed really fast.” Juanita Vincent, an ambassador for the USA Pickleball Association (USAPA), agrees with this

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assessment, saying it’s easy for people of all ages and abilities “to see improvement” within a few hours of initial play. However, Pickleball’s popularity is also due to its complexity. “Yes, it’s easy to learn,” says Juanita, “but it’s difficult to master.” For both Juanita and Kathy, the ability to grow with the game through hours of play is important to its appeal. “I want to play, and I want to play now,” says Kathy. “But,” she adds with a serious laugh: “I want to play well!” If you are looking to learn pickleball for the first time or to improve your gameplay, you’re in luck! Residents now have access to lessons with Mary Hodge and David Wilmot, IPTPA Certified Pickleball instructors who love the game and can’t wait to share their passion for the sport with you. They are hosting lessons for a fee—and for Stonebridge Ranch residents only—right here on our own courts. Here are the details: Location: The court furthest from the gate at the Stonebridge Plaza pickleball courts (7501 Coronado Drive) will be reserved for lessons. Our instructors will carry official Stonebridge Ranch ID. Other players must vacate the designated court during lesson periods: Tuesdays 8 to 10 a.m. and during private lessons (schedule to be determined).


Equipment: Paddles and balls are provided. Students should bring water to drink and wear tennis shoes, comfortable clothing, and sunscreen.

$20/hour for 2 people, and $15/hour for 3-4 people. Call David Wilmot or Mary Hodge to arrange a convenient time.

Payment: Cash only, payable at the activity. Summer pricing as noted in this article is good through August 31.

Though pickleball has a reputation as a sport for seniors, both Kathy and Juanita affirm that the game is for everyone, including children, young adults, and people with special needs. Juanita began teaching her grandson the sport at age two. “It was great for teaching him eyehand coordination,” she says. She says noise tests have been conducted to measure the decibel level of the ball hitting the paddle, and all they’ve proven is that pickleball is a really fun game. “The noise tests show that all the sounds of laughter on the court are louder than the sounds of the ball,” she says with a grin. Kathy also loves that it’s a game the whole family can enjoy together. She once convinced her kin to attend an open clinic while on vacation together. Though previously they’d teased her passion for the game, after that clinic they realized its charm. She says her sonin-law picked her up off the ground after the clinic, spinning her around and proclaiming, “I love pickleball!” Kathy’s eyes light up as she recalls the family fun: “It was a great moment in time.” ◀

Instructors: Mary Hodge, 972.896.9234 (C) or marys. hodge@gmail.com and David Wilmot, 972.235.5516 (H) or pdwilmot@sbcglobal.net Beginners Pickleball Clinic (15Y+): Interested in learning to play pickleball or advance your current pickleball skills? Join this class for beginner and novice players, which is hosted Mon/Wed/Fri from 8 to 9 a.m. or 9 to 10 a.m. This class is limited to 4 students. Cost is $15 per person. Register by contacting Mary Hodge: text, email, or call. Walk-ins are welcome if there is room in the class. Private and Semi-Private Lessons (10Y+): Improve your pickleball game with learner-specific instruction tailored to your goals. Schedule an individual or small group (4 max) lesson. Pricing is $25/hour for 1 person,

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Cartoon Ranch

Curb Appeal Corner

We often talk about compliance and exterior home improvement projects because adherance to guidelines is crucial to keeping our property values high. Before you undertake your next modification, please consider how it will impact the other Stonebridge Ranch residents who live near you. Taking the initiative to inform your neighbors of your plans is a courteous step to check off your to-do list as you plan your project. Here we’ve compiled a few neighborly data points to keep in mind before your begin a home upgrade.

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Fencing and retaining walls between lots are shared equally by the two adjoining property owners. When you replace a wood privacy fence, a metal fence, or a retaining wall, you need to turn in a Neighbor Acknowledgement Form as part of your Modification Application Process. This form is available on our website at www.stonebridgeranch.com. The document needs to be signed by both property owners who share the fencing or wall. Note: the Stonebridge Ranch Community Association (SRCA) does not mediate which owner should pay for fencing/ wall repairs or upgrades.

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When completing exterior home projects, keep in mind the noise level of your work. You can help your near neighbors prepare by advising them of your project in advance. Per the City of McKinney, permittted construction hours in all zoning districts are: Mondays to Fridays, 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturdays, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Sundays, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

be the

1st

If your neighbors haven’t introduced themselves yet to you, will you be the first to say hello? Even if you don’t have an exterior home project on the horizon, we encourage you to take the first step toward camaraderie! There’s no need to wait until you need somone to sign a Neighbor Acknowledgement form about a shared fence.


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New Irrigation Specialist Hopes to Save SRCA Water & Money This Spring, Stonebridge Ranch Community Association (SRCA) welcomed a new employee in a new position. Chris Talbot now serves our community as our full-time Irrigation Specialist. Stonebridge Ranch News sat down with Chris to learn more about his journey to Stonebridge Ranch and the important role he performs for the association. Irrigation is a surprisingly complex topic—and it’s one that has a large impact on our annual budget. Tell us about your career. What did you do before coming to Stonebridge Ranch? In 2008, I was working for the City of Grapevine in Parks Construction. In 2010, I switched to irrigation for the city. I started out as just a tech, but I saw an available opening and I wanted to advance my career. I earned my Irrigation License by taking a special class with an initial 40-hour course and ongoing continuing education requirements. I also earned my Tester License in Backflow Prevention Assembly.

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What did you learn by earning these licenses? To take the Irrigation License class, they expect you to already understand the physical and mechanical side of irrigation, which I already knew. In the course, they teach the technical side of things. We studied irrigation layouts for optimal watering, applicable rules and laws, and hydraulics, which is the science behind water movement—gravity and water pressure. Hydraulics is important to understand because a city will supply water at a certain pressure, which isn’t necessarily ideal for the way sprinkler heads are designed and is typically more pressure than is needed in a single area. A city has to do this to get enough water through the pipes to everyone. Here in Stonebridge Ranch, we use pressure regulators to ensure we are getting an optimal water flow to landscaping and not too much. As for backflow prevention devices, they are a requirement for any water system connected to the city’s water lines. They are used to ensure unsafe water, such as fertilized water, doesn’t backflow in the city water system. stonebridgeranch.com

Why did you leave the City of Grapevine? In 2019, my family and I moved to Collin County. The commute became too long, so I started looking for a position closer to home. What are your job duties? My most important role is to continue the water savings implementation set up in the last several years with our vendor partner Smart Outdoor Services (SOS). At the direction of the SRCA Board, SOS audited the entire Stonebridge Ranch common area irrigation system and developed a plan to conserve water usage—which ultimately can translate in money savings. The water bill is one of the biggest bills paid by the association, and it was time for the HOA to optimize the outdated irrigation system. The association upgraded the system by installing pressure regulators at all sprinkler heads. The association also added 250 smart controllers to program watering schedules at over 43,000 zones that SOS identified throughout our 500 acres of common area. The pressure regulators are very important—if the water pressure is too high, the water atomizes into a fine mist which dissipates. You need droplets to actually get the water where it needs to go—on the ground with the plants. The smart Evapotranspiration (ET) Controllers use local weather to override the preprogramed watering schedule. Some people set run times on their non-smart controller and never look at it again. This can waste water because, obviously, you don’t need as much water on a mild day as you do on a hot day, and you don’t need to water on a rainy day. Smart controllers help mitigate unnecessary water loss. In Stonebridge Ranch, smart controllers also help us set optimal run times for specific types of sprinkler heads, since we use multiple types. They can help us detect leaks by monitoring water flow, because any water that runs into the street is being wasted. What is your biggest challenge you face in helping us save water? My biggest hurdle is ensuring that the run time for


every zone matches the needs of the landscaping. Sod needs more run time than established grass, for example. I also must watch things closely because sometimes we need to reduce the preset run times so that the soil can fully absorb the water we are putting out. On a hot day, it’s better for us to do two “cycle and soaks” rather than a single one—this helps the landscaping get as much of the water as possible. In theory, the smart system installed by SOS can be run from a computer behind a desk. But I’m going out to every common area to ensure the assigned zone is correct. While I’m out, I also perform a system check to make sure nothing’s broken, confirm the run time, update descriptions in the system, and set the ongoing watering schedule. When you first install a system like this, there is a lot of leg work to double-check that everything is set up correctly. Another challenge is balancing the needs and goals of our landscaping partners with the association’s goal

to save. Obviously, the landscaper is charged with ensuring that the plants they’ve installed don’t die. It’s only natural to think that more water will accomplish that goal. An important part of my work is helping the entire team understand the “why” behind the run time guidelines we’re setting up—we aren’t watering more, we’re watering efficiently. Do you have any irrigation tips for homeowners? Just like the association, homeowners can set up smart controllers at their residences. If you have your sprinkler guy set it up, it’s still important for you to do periodic checks to make sure the settings make sense for your yard and your plants. You can implement the best strategy ever, but if you have no ongoing oversight, the strategy will fail. ◀

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Stonebridge Ranch Resident Uses Her Sewing Skills to Help Grieving Parents Stonebridge Ranch resident Lori Broughton taught herself to sew because of Halloween. Her first project was a Dalmatian costume she sewed for her son when he was two years old. “I made it harder than it had to be,” she says with a grin. “Faux fur isn’t the easiest thing to work with.” After her son outgrew a need for homemade Halloween costumes—he’s now an adult— she put her sewing supplies away. Years later in 2014, Lori found herself with some extra time on her hands. “I was looking for a volunteer opportunity I could do from home,” she recalls. That’s when she happened to see a story by reporter Janet St. James on WFAA Channel 8 about NICU Helping Hands’ Angel Gown® Program (https://www.nicuhelpinghands.org/). Based in Fort Worth, NICU Helping Hands was founded by Lisa Grubbs. The organization develops hospital and community-based programs to provide education and support for families with babies in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), during their transition from hospital to home, and in the event of an infant loss. It was the latter part of the NICU Helping Hands mission that received national attention when Janet St. James from Channel 8 told the story of the Angel Gown® Program. Made from donated wedding gowns that symbolize the love of a bride, Grubbs says that her desire was to offer parents beautifully created garments in which to clothe their babies. “It is devastating to lose a child, and you have so many decisions that have to be made. We provide custom, one-of-a-kind garments that parents can dress their baby girl or baby boy in for their final journey. The grief is unimaginable, but it is our hope that these garments are comforting to families.” When the story by Janet St. James about NICU Helping Hands—the one seen by Lori—hit the airwaves, it immediately went viral on the internet. “People from all over the world started to contact us and to mail wedding gowns to Fort Worth,” says Lisa. “I never expected that response. I wasn’t ready for it. My house became like a bridal shop overnight!”

Within months, 15,000 wedding dresses had been donated, and Lisa and her team had to scramble to deal with the influx. While they did not have infrastructure in place to manage all the donations, volunteers came in droves to support the program. Many supporters like Lori saw the story and volunteered to help sew the Angel Gown® garments. Local volunteers worked overtime, sorting and packaging gowns to send out to volunteer seamstresses across the country. “I think the story really struck a chord,” says Lisa, “because miscarriage and losing a child isn’t something that we easily talk about in our society. Suddenly, we gave a voice to people who had lost their babies. We connected them to people who wanted to hear their babies’ names and stories.” For Lori, finding NICU Helping Hands came at the perfect time in her life. Not only could she put her dormant sewing skills to good use again, but she was able to volunteer for a mission that spoke to her heart. As a young woman, Lori herself endured a miscarriage. “Joining NICU Helping Hands helped me deal my own grief. I thought I already had, but it’s like it brought it to the surface and gave me a way to talk about it.” Tears come to Lori’s eyes at the memory. “At the hospital, I guess because it happened very early in my pregnancy, the staff treated the miscarriage almost like it was nothing. They made it seem like it wasn’t important because they said, ‘Oh, you can have another baby’. But Lisa is trying to change that experience for grieving parents. Her mission is let parents know that every baby matters.” One way that the program shows how much they care is through strict standards and a quality control program. Today a team of 180 seamstresses across the U.S. sews the gowns and ships them to Fort Worth, where each one is put through a quality control check to ensure it meets the highest standard. The group completes upwards of 4,000 gowns annually. Each Angel Gown® is wrapped in pressed white tissue paper STONEBRIDGE RANCH NEWS

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and placed in a white presentation box for the parents. Lisa is “a huge believer in doing these additional things to fully honor the life of the child. From the moment the parents open the box, we want to let them know that someone else dearly loves their baby, too.” Lori appreciates this attention to detail. “I was scared to death when I made my first dress,” she says with a smile, “because the fabric I was working with was so old—a lace overlay—and I wanted it to be beautiful.” Since then, she has completed about 100 gowns using donated dresses, her own wedding dress, and her mother’s wedding dress. Though each gown is made precisely according to size and the cut of the pattern, each one is unique because of the appliques and fabric from a wedding gown. “In a way, each dress is an individual design,” says Lori. “And I really want each one to be special. I do put a lot of thought into every one. It’s bittersweet to send a completed gown to Fort Worth because I know what it’s going to be used for. As I’m packaging it, I always say a little prayer for the family.” She adds softly, “I wish they didn’t have to use it.” Ultimately, says Lisa, the “gown is just the beginning” of the social, emotional and educational support that NICU Helping Hands provides through a network of over 200 participating hospitals. The hospitals are located across the United States and on U.S. military bases in Japan, Germany, and England.

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They also have provided garments for a village in Kenya and to a New York program which buries infants for families who cannot afford the burial costs. Explains Lisa, “A family is going home without their baby, so along with the Angel Gown®, we provide printed resources that they can take home with them from the hospital. We also have a mentoring program that matches parents who lost a baby in the past with newly grieving parents. Mentor parents have gone through our One-on-One Mentor Training Program.” In the end, both Lisa and Lori have been overwhelmed to see the outpouring of goodness from people. Lisa says, “When I’m not tired and overwhelmed by it all, I’m astounded by how remarkable this experience has been. We give space for people to stop and think about the needs of someone else. Our world is so fast paced that we don’t always slow down to hear the stories and see the needs of people around us. On top of that, many people are uncomfortable with tears, grief, and the thought of babies dying. We have an amazing opportunity to connect parents to people who aren’t uncomfortable with talking about these things and who can offer love and support to them.” Lori agrees with the woman who started it all. “Sometimes you look around this world and you see so many horrible things…” Lori says, her voice trailing off. “I know I can’t take away all that pain. But through my sewing, I hope I can ease it a little bit.” ◀


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July 2019

Social Scene Concert on the Circle Wednesday, July 3 7:30 to 9:30 p.m., Circle Drive 6201 Virginia Parkway

Come join us for our July 4th kick-off celebration! The Social Committee has planned a Concert in the Circle at the Beach & Tennis Club. Our musical guest for the evening is the Random Axis Band (www.randomaxisband.com). This is an eight-piece group that has played in the DFW area for over twenty years. They perform a diverse play list perfect for all ages. Grab your folding chairs or a blanket, bring a picnic basket and BYOB, and join your family and neighbors for an evening of down-home fun and partyatmosphere excitement! Note that glass containers and smoking are prohibited in the event area.

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Travel Club

Tuesday, July 9 9 to 10 a.m., Community Room 6201 Virginia Parkway Travel Club meets the second Tuesday of each month. For more information, please email David Wiest at dwiest@cmamanagment.com.

4th of July at the Beach Thursday, July 4 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Beach Club 6201 Virginia Parkway

Let’s gather to celebrate our nation with a neighborly day full of fun, games and music! The pool opens at 10 a.m. Event activities begin at 11 a.m. and will include hula-hoop contests, tug-of-war, bouncy ball races, and more. Be sure to pack your coolers (no glass containers allowed) for sustenance. Our annual Sandcastle Building Contest—a crowd favorite—will be held from 2 to 3 p.m. Teams can be composed of up to 6 members of any ages. Every year, we love to see kids, parents, and grandparents working together to chase the win! Prizes will be awarded to the firstplace team in the following categories: Most Patriotic, Best Animal/Reptile, and Best Mythical Creature. Sandcastles begun before 2 p.m. will not be considered. Ready? Set! Gooooooo! (Note: Guests pay $5, and no more than three guests are allowed per resident household on holidays. The Beach Club closes at 4 p.m. on the 4th. If you aren’t ready to stop swimming, head on over to the Aquatic Center, which will be open until 8 p.m.)

Evening Bingo

Tuesday, July 9 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., Community Room 6201 Virginia Parkway Every time Stonebridge Ranch residents gather to play Bingo, the Community Room is filled with laughter, smiles, jokes and chatter. Why not join us to see what all the fun is about? Bingo is a simple game— anyone can play it—and it provides a great excuse for socializing with friendly neighbors and new friends. Light snacks and refreshments will be served. Seating is limited to the first 44 who sign up. Visit https://whoozin.com/VCP-DRJ-AMVE-6HEX to register. This adults-only event is free of charge to residents, who may bring up to one guest. Guests pay a $5 fee.

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SB Day at the Dallas Rattler’s Lacrosse Sunday, July 14 3 to 6 p.m., Ford Center 9 Cowboys Way, Frisco

Have you ever been to the Ford Center, the Dallas Cowboy’s practice facility? Looking for something to do indoors on a hot July Sunday afternoon? Sunday, July 14 will be Stonebridge Ranch Day at the Dallas Rattler’s Professional Lacrosse game at the Ford Center in Frisco. See the world’s greatest Lacrosse players and top-notch entertainment as the Rattlers will be taking on the Chesapeake Bayhawks. Tickets will be discounted to $20. Visit groupmatics.events/event/StonebridgeRanch to register. Questions? Email Matt.Antis@dallasrattlers.com.

drinks. (As always, for your safety, glass containers and smoking are prohibited.) Children age 0-11 must be accompanied by an adult. Space is limited to the first 500 people. Stonebridge Ranch residents with ID get in free. Five guests are permitted per resident household. Guests pay $5.

Craft Time

Tuesday, July 16 1 to 3 p.m., Community Room 6201 Virginia Parkway If you enjoy crafting with other like-minded creatives, bring your own projects and supplies (i.e. quilt blocks, beadwork, knitting, crocheting, darning, mending, etc.) to craft alongside your neighbors. The coffee pot will be on, and residents get in free. No RSVP required. Guests pay $5 each at the door.

Family Beach Party Monday, July 15 6 to 8:30 p.m., Beach Club 6201 Virginia Parkway

Join us for a fun Family Beach Party on July 15 with Uptown Sound Disc Jockey. We promise you’ll have a great time! We’ll supply hot dogs until they run out. Feel free to pack your own coolers, snacks, and

July Book Club NO MEETING THIS MONTH

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We usually meet the second Monday of each month from 7 to 8 p.m. in the Community Room. However, we take a break for the summer and will not meet July and August. Prep for September by reading our next selection: The Day the World Came to Town: 9/11 in Gander, Newfoundland by Jim DeFede. stonebridgeranch.com


Coffee, Cars & Cycles

Saturday, July 20 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m., Circle Drive 6201 Virginia Parkway We hope you’ll join us for a fun Saturday morning! We’ll provide coffee, breakfast burritos, and donuts in the Community Room. Bring your classic or fancy car or motorcycle (not required) to park in the circular drive. This event is for Stonebridge Ranch residents only.

Cardboard Boat Races Saturday, July 20 10:30 a.m. to Noon Beach & Tennis Club 6201 Virginia Parkway

Grab your refrigerator boxes and your duct tape – cardboard boat races are coming to the Beach Club! We’re challenging teams (of 1, 2, 3 or 4 people) to get creative and construct a boat, raft, or floating watercraft entirely of cardboard to race across the Beach Club lagoon. Winners will be called in the following categories: Design/Creativity, Team Spirit, Speed, and Titanic (for the best of those who don’t finish).

RULES The entire boat must be built of cardboard. Decorations are allowed only if they are made of PERMITTED materials and they don’t affect the structural strength or buoyancy of your watercraft. You may not wrap your entire boat/boat hull in duct tape, but you may use duct or masking tape to securely seal all your boat seams. You may waterproof your boat with varnish, paint or polyurethane. The crew compartment may not be enclosed. Costumes are allowed to enhance your theme. NOTE: every crew member must wear a life jacket. We will provide life jackets, but if you have your own, please bring them since our supply is limited. You must provide your own paddles. Paddles may be made of permitted materials, STONEBRIDGE RANCH NEWS

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or you may use your hands or plastic/purchased paddles. Boats constructed with non-permitted materials will be disqualified.

PERMITTED MATERIALS Corrugated

cardboard and cardboard boxes (i.e.from grocery stores or delivery packages), cardboard “blocks� (i.e. from furniture store packaging), cardboard tubes (i.e. from carpet/linoleum stores), duct or masking tape, liquid nails construction adhesive, latex paint, varnish or polyurethane.

NOT PERMITTED Pre-coated or pre-treated cardboard, plastic or plastic sheathing, wood, styrofoam, metal, sonotubes (used in construction/ concrete forms), silicone, wax, tar, caulking compounds or two-part mixed adhesives, staples, clamps, fiberglass, glass, nails, screws, or sharp objects. DESIGN TIPS Set your goal: design, speed, looks?

Next, sketch your design. Note that flat-bottom, sitto-paddle cardboard boats are the easiest to maneuver. Rudders help keep you straight but make turning difficult and add complexity to your design. Long boats go fast but are harder to turn. You may have more difficulty keeping a short boat headed straight. A recommended size for your boat is 8 to 12 feet long and 18 inches high. Only Stonebridge Ranch residents with ID may participate in the race. Teams may consist of 1, 2, 3 or 4 people max. Cheering spectators are welcome! (Guests are permitted into the Beach Club per the standard guest policy.)

REGISTER

https://whoozin.com/QKU-3DH-47A6-XAGH. Check-in begins at 10:30 a.m. and races begin at 11 a.m.

Wine & Cheese Tasting Class Monday, July 22 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Community Room & Veranda 6201 Virginia Parkway

You may have heard that red wine pairs well with beef and white pairs well with seafood. But do we really

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understand why? While wine selection for most of us is a matter of personal taste, basic wine and food pairing guidelines can complement and enhance your food experience, whether you prefer savory or sweet. Join us for an enjoyable evening out with your neighbors to explore the flavor profiles of basic wine varietals and learn about food matches. Wine samples and light snacks will be provided after a brief presentation. This event is for adults ages 21+ only and is free to Stonebridge Ranch residents. Hurry to register by July 18 at https://whoozin.com/4CY-JM3-V6VV-W4X9. We have only 110 spots available. If you want to bring a guest, email David Wiest at dwiest@cmamanagement.com to add your guest’s name to a waiting list. If any spaces are available after the July 18 resident registration deadline, guests may attend for a $5 fee. If you register for this event and you cannot attend, please contact our office at 214-733-5810 so we can invite someone to take your place on the waiting list.

Morning Bingo

Thursday, July 25 10 a.m. to Noon, Community Room 6201 Virginia Parkway At Morning Bingo, we provide coffee and soft drinks and a fruit plate. This adults-only event is free for Stonebridge Ranch residents. Residents are allowed to bring up to two non-resident friends. Space is limited to the first 40 who register online at https://whoozin.com/GEM-E4Q-339M-QR3F. Non-resident guests pay a $5 fee. STONEBRIDGE RANCH NEWS

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Select Tennis Academy

Summer 2019 July to August, Beach & Tennis Club 6201 Virginia Parkway 10 & UNDER is an exciting format for learning tennis, designed to bring kids into the game by adapting the equipment, court dimensions and the scoring to the age and size of the children. This special class enables kids to have more enjoyable tennis experiences early in the learning process, which is the number one factor in keeping kids involved. We meet from 10 to 11 a.m. for ages 5 to 8 and from 10 to 11:30 a.m. for ages 9 and 10. The cost is $65 per week for ages 5 to 8 and $99 per week for ages 9 to 10.

FUTURE STAR CAMP is for kids ages 11 and

up. It is designed for beginner and intermediate players. Players are grouped according to ability level, and we cover all aspects of the game. Future Star Camp meets from 10 to 11:30 a.m. and the cost is $99 per week.

TENNIS ACADEMY is for players competing

in ZAT, Champ and Super Champ tournaments. We study stroke production, tactics and strategy, quickness drills, as well as mental toughness and match play. Players should be at a high level of fitness before attending this camp. The Academy class meets from 8 to 11 a.m. for drills and fitness, followed by match play from noon to 2 p.m. The cost is $340 per week for the full camp, $220 per week for the morning session only, and $220 for the match play session only (space limited).

EVENTS next month

TENNIS CAMP DATES Week 5: July 1-5 (No camp on July 4) Week 6: July 8-11, Week 7: July 1518, Week 8: July 22-25, Week 9: July 29 – August 1, Week 10: August 5-9, Week 11: August 12-15.

August 2019 05 13 16 17 20 22

Beach Club Pool Party Travel Club; Evening Bingo; Kids Splash Hop Home Fire Safety Seminar Coffee, Cars & Cycles + Book Exchange Craft Time Morning Bingo

Weekly resident meet-up Coffee Talk Wednesdays 9:30 to 11 a.m. TM

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At times of inclement weather, check the Select Tennis Academy Facebook page half an hour before class time for updates. A 10% discount will be given to all students who sign up for multiple weeks and pay by check. It is the parent’s responsibility to take off the 10% prior to sending the check. A discount is not given when paying by credit card. You can register at www.selecttennisacademy.com or mail payment to Stonebridge Ranch Community Association, Attn: Dave Wiest, 6201 Virginia Parkway, McKinney, TX 75071.


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Stonebridge Ranch News - July 2019  

Stonebridge Ranch News - July 2019