idylwood News
December 2023
A publication of Idylwood Civic Club

Come out and toast your neighbors at the annual Idylwood Holiday Party next Tuesday, Dec 5 at 6:30pm at 1404 N. MacGregor Way.
President's Corner
Happy Holidays to all! Our December get-together will be a holiday party at the home of Patricia Hattenbach and James McCallum, 1404 N. MacGregor Way, starting at 6:30 on December 5. Bring a potluck dish or a sweet treat to share with your neighbors. We all enjoyed the hospitality provided by Robin Raasch at our November meeting.
Here is the meeting schedule for the first quarter of 2024: 
January 16: Committee Meetings (no presentations): Nicole Wood's Home, 7:00-8:00, 1725 Idylwood Dr.
February 20: Committee Meetings (no presentations): Home of Irma Nino & Carmen Martinez, 7:00-8:00, 6626 Meadowlawn St.
March 19: Presentation by Local officials: Monique & Bill Studak’s Home, 7:00-8:00, 6720 Sylvan Rd.
April 16: Committee Meetings, (no presentations), Home of Amy Dinn & Jake Goldstein, 7:00-8:00 6724 Sylvan Rd.
We are emphasizing both in-home meetings and focusing on committees’ activities. As you will note from our attached Business Plan for 2024, these activated committees had enormous impact on our neighborhood. The Board approved the budget for 2024, which includes funding for committee activities, as well as the creation of a new website. Please come for these hands-on meetings during the first quarter.
In order to meet our budget this year, we need at least 50% participation of all of our neighbors. We also appreciate any special contributions you make to support committee or website development. The easy way to join up for 2024 is to bring your holiday invitation to Patricia’s party with the information on the back completed. You can also use Zelle with your banking app to make payments or contributions to the Idylwood Civic Club (send to: See you on December 5th!!

Diane Schenke
Idylwood Civic Club
Idylwood Business Plan 2024
Full details of the Idylwood 2024 Business Plan can be viewed in your browser by clicking the image below.
Idylwood Community Improvement Day
December 9, 2023 will be Idylwood Community Improvement Day. Please join us for one or more of the following events.

1. Tree Planting in Spurlock Park. We would like to have at least 20 residents volunteer for our neighborhood tree planting in Spurlock Park at 8am on December 9th. The City is purposefully planting 50 new trees on the eastern slope of the park to prevent ongoing erosion. This planting will bring us to 300 trees planted in Idylwood this year. We are seeking volunteers to help us to plant these trees on Saturday morning, and you can sign up to volunteer at the link below. We are hopeful that the City will be pre-drilling the holes for this planting to make it easier to plant these trees. We will provide hot coffee, light breakfast, gloves, and planting instructions! 
2. Dog Park Ceremonial Groundbreaking.  Council Member Gallegos is hosting a ceremonial groundbreaking at 9:30am the same morning at the greenspace at the corner of N. MacGregor and Lawndale along the bayou hike & bike trail. This event will document our outgoing Council Member's work to develop this greenspace for our furriest Idylwood residents which will officially open sometime in 2024. We anticipate our tree planting volunteers will be able to attend both events.  
Idylwood Little Announcements
Just two short years ago we featured the latest baby additions to the Idylwood neighborhood (sort of an "end of year review"). We would like to post an Announcements section for the upcoming January 2024 Newsletter.

If you would like your New Addition featured (2022-2023), please forward a short write-up with photo to: and we'll compile these for January.
Cistern Illuminated is Back!
Venture underground to a world of color and light with Cistern Illuminated, an immersive holiday installation by artist/engineer Kelly O'Brien in the Buffalo Bayou Park Cistern. See the reservoir’s columns transformed into pillars of light, reflected in the mirror-like water below.

This special installation provides a unique perspective on this cavernous underground space, amplifying its 221 columns and seemingly-infinite reflection. Cistern Illuminated is designed by Houston artist and engineer Kelly O’Brien of Fenris.

On View: November 25, 2023 – January 7, 2024
Times: Wednesday through Sunday, 10am - 5pm
Deed Restrictions - Reminder
Section 4.5 describes Signs and Billboards. No sign of any kind may be displayed to public view on any Lot except signs of not more than six (6) square feet used to:
  • Advertise the Lot for sale or lease
  • Indicate security services
  • Identify the builder or contractor while construction is in progress on such Lot
  • Promote a political candidate, party or issue beginning no earlier than ninety (90) days before the date of the applicable election or referendum

For more details, download a copy of the deed restrictions here

As a reminder, the City of Houston is conducting a runoff election on Saturday, December 8, from 7 am to 7 pm. Positions up for election include Mayor, City Controller and four At-Large Council Member positions. Early voting is taking place now thru Dec. 5th at BakerRipley 4410 Navigation Blvd.

We also have a new email address for reporting potential deed restriction variances and issues:
Idylwood Neighborhood Exchange
The former Idylwood Community Exchange is now being hosted on Google Groups as the Idylwood Neighborhood Exchange. To request an invitation for this group, please send a request to:

Please note that like its predecessor, this group is privately maintained by a resident, and not managed by the ICC Board.
Keep in Touch With Your Civic Club
Pay 2023-2024 Dues
Deed Restrictions
Idylwood Pet of the Month
Rudolph - he's everyone's pet !!
It appears that we all share this pet! And what a great pet to have!!

Think about the perks of this unique fellow. I'll make a list!

  • His very cool trick is to time travel which just blows our minds!
  • He can handle any temperature from the sub zero regions in the Arctic to the sandy beaches of Green Turtle Cay.
  • Someone else is on the hook for his food as he travels the world-some guy named Santa Claus.
  • We see him once a year as he helps deliver fun, joy, and gifts which makes up for not seeing him year round!
  • Santa Claus takes care of the vet bills. Thanks goodness!
  • He's a born leader and team player as he wrangles all those other deer behind him and that old man hollerin' "Now Dasher! Now Dancer! Now Prancer and Vixen!!, yada,yada,....."
  • His nose blinks neon red (really psychedelic!) and is so cool.
  • While flying overhead or prancing up on the roof, every homeowner gets the benefit of free fertilizer that will wash off with the next rain, wind, or melting snow! (Happy gardening!)

'Tis the season to be filled with love, gratitude, joy, hope, and peace.

Thanks, Rudolph!

Story by Mrs. Claus
N MacGregor Way
Neighbors: Submit your pet(s) to be featured in upcoming newsletters by sending 1-3 photos with a short story about your best friend(s) with the subject line "Pet(s) of the Month" to:
Friendly Reminder From The Pets
For the health and safety of all neighborhood pets and people,
please scoop our poop!
Garden Club News
Please watch for email meeting updates from
Garden Club Meeting Dates and Times

First Saturdays of the Month from 10 am-noon
(Possible exceptions for Labor Day and New Year's Weekends-then it's the 2nd Sat.)
New members are welcome to join us!! Yealy dues are $20.00!!

The "2023-2024" Garden Club Year!
Look at our great lineup !

Sept. 9, 2023: host: Irma Nino and Carmen Martinez on 6625 Meadowlawn; Speaker: Lynette Freeman - topic: Container Gardening
Oct. 7, 2023: host: Peggy Wallace on 6736 Sylvan; Speaker: Amber Leung- topic: Bird Friendly Communities
Nov. 4, 2023: hosts: Amy Dinn & Jake Goldstein on 6724 Sylvan; Speaker: Liliana Cracraft- topic: Herbal Mexican Folk Medicine

Dec. 2, 2023: hosts: Patricia Hattenbach & Jim McCallum on 1404 N. MacGregor Way; topic: Holiday Pot Luck Brunch and Fun Gift Exchange!!

Jan. 6, 2024: host: Robin Raasch on 6655 Rockbridge Lane; Speaker: Dany Millikin; topic: The Houston Botanic Garden on Park Place
Feb. 3, 2024: hosts: Rosie Pesina & Hugo Banda on 6641 Fairfield;
Speaker:Tommy Garcia-Prats -Founder of Finca Tres Robles;topic: Small Places
March 2, 2024: Fieldtrip TBD
April 6, 2024: host: Diane Kopfensteiner at the Lamar Towers; topic: Tour of the Urban Harvest Market and Thompson & Hanson's Nursery
May 4, 2024: host: Sally Lehr on 1704 Idylwood; topic: Neighborhood Plant Sale!

For more information, contact the Garden Club President:
Patricia Hattenbach at or at 713-724-9608
100 years of appreciating, preserving wildlife!

The Houston Outdoor Nature Club is celebrating its 100th anniversary at the Little Thicket Nature Sanctuary, north of Cleveland. This group conducted the first area Christmas Bird count. Gary Clark, Houston Chronicle Nature contributor, provides the details in his Nov. 25 article. See Kathy Adams Clark's fantastic photos of birds in our area. Click on the link below to learn more!!!

Houston Botanic Gardens - *Dec. Fun Pick *!

*Dec. 9, 2023 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Amanda Barone of Enchanted Forest Nursery in Rosenberg – a Texas Master Gardener and mixed media artist who loves to bring nature into her art – will provide everything participants need – large and small succulents, plus holly, pinecones, etc. – to make one-of-a-kind succulent candle rings. 

Other program choices:

Dec. 2, 2023 10:00 am - 3:00 pm
Do Your Holiday Shopping at the Garden

Dec. 2, 2023 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
If you love chocolate — and who doesn’t? — you will want to join Melissa Gomez, a cacao expert, for a uniquely delicious experience all about one of our favorite sweet indulgences.

Dec. 9, 2023 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Paint by Nature
Environmental artist Molly Koehn will show you how craft natural dyes derived from organic materials such as onion skins, avocado peels, turmeric, and
other items found in nature. 

Dec. 9, 2023 12:30 pm - 4:00 pm
Cultivating Health & Relaxation with Yoga & Ayurveda
Join us for an afternoon retreat at the Garden—Cultivating Health and Relaxation through the Wisdoms of Yoga & Ayurveda.
The retreat is designed for participants at all levels of experience.

Dec. 9, 2023 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Preserve Your Harvest for Family & Friends
Scotty Sheridan, of Scotty’s Fermented Foods, will give an in-depth look at how you can preserve the bountiful harvest
from your home garden through fermenting. 

Dec. 10, 2023 11:00 am - 1:00 pm
Craft Your Own Incense Blend
Join us as we craft hand-rolled incense sticks using a blend of natural,
fragrant resins and learn more about this ancient practice,
which can enhance your rituals.

Dec. 10, 2023 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Make Your Own Holiday Décor
Katherine McDaniel, founder and director of Synkroniciti, an incubator for arts and creativity, will help you turn a combination of
found natural objects and accessories into a beautiful 14” wreath.

Dec. 15, 2023 10:30 am - 11:00 am
With Park Place Regional Library
On the third Friday of each month, our friends at the Park Place Regional Library will present a 30-minute storytime in the Garden
at 10:30 a.m. Children of all ages and their parents / care-givers are invited.

Dec.16, 2023 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Preserve Timeless Beauty
Join Erin Mills, an entomologist and the Garden’s education manager,
to learn how to create unique works of art
using beautiful butterflies from around the world. 

December 16, 2023 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm
Author Meet-and-Greet
Join us to hear author J. Juniper read her delightful story, “Sneezy Bee Rose,” learn more about honeybees, and bee among the first to sample and
purchase a jar of honey from the Garden’s on-site beehives
(extremely limited quantities available).

Dec. 16, 2023 2:30 pm - 4:00 pm
Holiday Plant Facts FTW
Help the Garden celebrate the holiday season with a fun night of
family-friendly botanic bingo, featuring educational moments and
garden-themed prizes, hosted by Eureka Heights Brewing.

Be sure to confirm the December events' details by clicking the link below:
Visit these areas throughout the Botanic Garden:
The Island

Natural Ecosystems
South Gardens ~~ Community Garden

Ticket Window: 713.715.9675 ext. 100
Vegetable Garden Planting Dates Chart
Do you want to know exactly when to plant vegetables and herbs in your garden? Click here for Texas A&M University's yearly planting calendar for Harris County. You may want to print this out for future reference.

Tree Planting Guide For Houston
As our Idylwood trees age, succumb to disease and storm damage, and grow too close to our homes and power lines, we sadly see these marvelous companions disappear. Now is a good time to start researching the best trees for your yard to properly fit your needs, desires and space.

The Houston Area Urban Forestry Council has a fabulous planting guide for trees in the Houston area. This guide is packed with all the basic info you need when considering planting new trees.

Happy gardening!
Remember: COH Tree Trash Gets Turned Into Mulch
When Picked Up on The First Tuesdays of Odd # Months
Keep in mind that trimmings from trees, shrubs and bushes can be placed on your curb for the city's Tree Trash pick-up on the first Tuesday of odd months.
Thanks for your membership and love of nature! 
Let's keep Idylwood beautiful and safe!
Kind regards,
 Patricia Hattenbach

2023-2024 Officers:
President: Patricia Hattenbach
Vice President: Nicole Wood
Secretary: Amanda Cai
Treasurer: Peggy Wallace

Thanks again to Jim McCallum and Patricia Hattenbach for providing the Yard of the Month write-ups and photos. It's wonderful to learn more about our great neighbors!
Yards of the Month
December 2023
Christmas !
The Idylwood Garden Club’s Yard of the Month award for December 2023 goes to all the residents that are spreading holiday spirit with festive decorations!! Here is a sampling of some of them!!
Find a bit of time some evening and take a slow drive down each of the streets to enjoy the lights, whimsy, and spirit of the season! We give many thanks for everyone that helps make Idylwood more special at this time of the year. You brighten our spirits and bring a smile to our faces!

click link above for access to their website

December 2023

Garden Health
Deadhead and feed cool-season color and vegetables with an organic slow-release fertilizer such as Microlife Flower and Vegetable or Happy Frog Fruit and Flower. Continue to plant cool weather color: pansies, snapdragons, and cyclamen. Lettuces, arugula and mustard greens can also still be started from seed.

Bring in containerized tropicals: Plumerias, crotons, dracaenas, etc. Check undersides of leaves and new growth for insects and treat accordingly.

Mow fallen leaves with a mulching mower. When the lawn can’t take more leaves, add to flower beds. When beds are full of mulched leaves, add them to the compost bin.

Don’t forget to keep seed feeders full and fresh water in birdbaths. Put out suet cakes — the extra protein helps keep our feathered friends warm in the winter months.

Have frost cloth on hand to cover tender plants in case of freezing weather. Wrap plants completely down to ground level. The fewer drafts that move under the frost cloth, the better.

Work compost into the top couple inches of your garden beds. Use cover crops such as peas, oats, or rye to keep the soil active. These cover crops can be cut and worked into the soil before spring planting.

Maintain watering on newly planted seeds and transplants. Continue to deep water trees and shrubs. A well-hydrated plant holds up to frosts and freezes better than a drought-stressed plant.

If going out of town, alert your neighbors and request a Vacation Watch from Precinct 6 Constables. Click HERE to access the form.
Please keep an eye out for unusual activity and report to HPD (713) 884-3131 and the Constable's office (713) 274-3400. Please keep your home and cars locked at all times. Report any incidents to ALL authorities;
more reports = more patrols.

HPD is moving to a National Incident Based Reporting System (NIBRS). To view crimes reported to HPD from Jan-Sep 2023, download the HPD Excel file here and sort by zip code or beat. Our beat is 11H10, which includes several zip codes.

A screenshot of last month's crime map is below. To interact with this map, including date ranges and area, go to Community Crime Map.
Jake Goldstein and Steve Palmer co-chair our patrol group and report the group’s collective 30 patrol hours per month to HPD. Please contact Jake if you are interested in volunteering with our citizens patrol group.

Having a patrol presence in the neighborhood is a crime deterrent and a great way to give back to our community.

Please join us! More information on HPD's Volunteer Citizen Patrol is available here.
Upcoming Dates to Remember
  • Dec 05: Idylwood Holiday Party @ 6:30pm
  • Dec 05: Heavy Trash
  • Dec 08: Runoff Election Day - GO VOTE!
  • Dec 11: Recycling
  • Dec 25: Have a Cool Yule, y'all
  • Dec 26: Recycling
  • Jan 01: Black-Eyed Peas & Greens
  • Jan 02: Tree Limbs & Yard Waste
Stay Informed!
Check out info about the neighborhood, including downloading a copy of the deed restrictions here.

Report a pothole, get your trash bin repaired or replaced, report a problem with a traffic signal, missed trash pickup, and more.

Call the East End District at 713.928.9916 during business hours with the tagged address, intersection, and colors.
Stay Connected!
Great way to connect with East End residents. It’s a great place to report or look for a missing pet, announce a garage sales, put out a crime alert, etc. This site is endorsed and its use encouraged by HPD. Sign up here


Google Email Group - Idylwood Neighborhood Exchange
If you are not currently a member and would like to join, please send an invitation request to
If you have something you would like to see published in the Newsletter, drop us a line. Comments or concerns?
Let us know how we're doing.
Idylwood Officers and Directors 2023-2024
PRESIDENT: Diane Schenke (Fairfield)
VICE PRESIDENT: Keith McCarthy (Merry)
TREASURER: Nicole Wood (Idylwood)
SECRETARY: Monique Studak (Sylvan)
Directors: Class A (two-year terms ending in December 2025):
Patricia Hattenbach (N. MacGregor); Tim Johnson (Wildwood); Danika Murphy (Rockbridge); Irma Niño (Meadowlawn); Richard Vela (Lindy)
Directors: Class B (two-year terms ending in December 2024):
Beth Barrette (Meadowlawn); Amy Dinn (Sylvan); Joshua Espinedo (Meadowlawn);
Jeff Klemm (Merry); Paul Leggett (Merry); Laura Manion (Meadowlawn)
Post Office Box 9225
Houston, TX 77261-9225