idylwood News
January 2024
A publication of Idylwood Civic Club

Wishing you all the best in the new year.
President's Corner
Our wonderful 2023 Civic Club events continued into December. We had the groundbreaking for the Dog Park at Lawndale and N. MacGregor Way; doggy residents were major participants at the event. We are working with Houston Parks and Recreation Department to reschedule our tree planting in Spurlock Park. Finally, I just received an email from Council Member Robert Gallegos about funding the pedestrian ramps at several key intersections in Idylwood. Council Member elect Joaquin Martinez said he will be in touch with us early in the year about the schedule for sidewalk reconstruction.

Our next Civic Club Meeting will be on January 16, 2024 at the house of Nicole Wood, 1725 Idylwood Dr. at 7 pm. After a short report from the Board, the remainder of the time will focus on committee meetings: Community Improvements, Social Events, Deed Restrictions, and the Centennial Task Force. Even if you are not a member of one of these groups, come and participate in areas of your interest in the neighborhood.

The February meeting will feature our new Council Member for District I, Joaquin Martinez, who will talk about the role of a Council Member and ideas for our neighborhood. We will also hear from our local officials as part of the presentation. We will return to committee discussions at our March and April meetings so that we can plan the year ahead.
Looking forward to the New Year and more wonderful Idylwood happenings!

Diane Schenke
Idylwood Civic Club
Your Civic Club at Work
Centerpoint installed 2 new light poles at the convergence of Sylvan Road and N. MacGregor Way on December 21st. These streetlights were recommended by Precinct 6 Constables to help control the random gunshots that were occurring along the property at the bend of Sylvan into N. MacGregor. 

The Idylwood Civic Club Community Improvements committee pursued the installation with the City of Houston and contributed funds to ensure the work was completed. Way to go!
It's The Brays Barker!
The first in a series of pictures from the Dog Park Groundbreaking ceremony is a view of the planned Site Map.
The neighbors turned out with their doggy companions.
The dignitaries accompanied by the doggy neighbors for the ceremonial groundbreaking.
The “parents” of the dog park - outgoing CM Robert Gallegos, Beth White, Executive Director of the Houston Parks Board, and Amy Dinn, ICC Community Improvements chair (with Emmy Lou).
Idylwood Health & Wellness
We have all heard the saying, “New year, new you” and for better or worse many of us continue to hold fast to that idea, forming ambitious resolutions to create just that. Often these resolutions come in the form of restriction or all-out removal. We decide to omit “this or that” in hopes that our lives will be transformed. Fast forward a few weeks into January and what began as an exciting challenge has morphed into your daily disappointment.

This January I would like to offer you a different approach:
Instead of restricting, removing, and pressuring yourself into new habits, flip the script and allow yourself MORE in the form of a gift:

Gift more vegetables with meals
Gift more walks in our beautiful neighborhood
Gift more water consumed each day
Gift more time spent with your loved ones

Sometimes all it takes to see changes in our lives is to reframe the narrative. Don’t be surprised when your less-than-ideal habits are crowded out by all of your shiny new gifts.

Your Friendly Neighborhood Nutritionist,
Candace Hurtado
Little Announcements
Just two short years ago we featured the latest baby additions to the Idylwood neighborhood (sort of an "end of year review"). Here are some of the new additions!
Isabella Marett was born in July 2023 to Ericka & Matthew of Fairfield St and shares a birthday with her older sister Caroline, born in 2021. Her favorite hobbies include smiling, crying, and drinking milk. She dreams of becoming a big kid one day so she can ride a scooter and play hide-and-seek.
Roman was born to Selene and Carlos of Sylvan Rd in April of 2023. Roman enjoys cuddles, grapefruit, and blues music. Amelia is his older sister.
Harry and Howie Young Hess were born June 2022 to Idylwood residents Elaine Hess and Brandon Young, and proud big sister, Hazel. You may see them around the neighborhood in their wagon or on their baby leashes. Mom and Dad are tired, send coffee. Hazel, the consummate extrovert, is so pleased to have more people in her house.

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 the next issue.
Idylwood Holiday Party December 2023
Everyone had a delightful time at the annual Idylwood Civic Club holiday party on December 5th. Nearly eighty (80) guests, including neighbors and community leaders enjoyed the cool evening weather, a fire in the pit, and tasty potluck offerings.

Thanks again to Patricia and Jim for hosting this event. Here are some snaps from the evening!!
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

City elections are over; hope your candidate(s) won. It is time to remove any campaign signage until the next election period.

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
The Idylwood Pet of the Month for January 2024 goes to Drax and Cosmo Lewis and parents Ericka and Matt on 6649 Fairfield St.

Please meet our two dogs, Cosmo and Drax.
We adopted Drax from CAMO Rescue when we first got engaged in 2017. He was our first child. In 2020 we adopted Cosmo from CAMO so Drax could have a best friend.
Drax was a Hurricane Harvey pup and was suspected to be on the streets of Houston for months. Little Cosmo was wandering Houston for less than a week before he was scooped up!
Drax and Cosmo are best buds. They like to chase and bark at squirrels, birds, and others dogs walking by (sorry!). One time they finally caught a squirrel by the tail and had no idea what to do with it. Another time they put three dying baby birds on our back porch hoping we could save the birds. They are sweet boys.
But best of all they are paw-fect for our family. They have adjusted fantastically to two little humans in the house, they are tiny but mighty guard dogs, and allow me to dress them up for Halloween every year without complaint.
Essay and photos by Ericka and Matt Lewis
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
Southern Living's passionate and thorough advice on
pruning Crepe Myrtles !

Houston is full of color each year thanks to the jewel tones of Crepe Myrtles. Their variety of sizes -dwarf, medium shrubs, single and multi-trunked trees of varying heights suitable for a range of placements in your landscape. This article provides great information on their care, methods and time of pruning, along with recovery techniques of neglected or overpruned trees.
Click the link below to learn more.


A beginner's guide to Gulf Coast bird-watching

Idylwood is just the spot to practice your bird-watching skills! We have such a variety of birds living here or passing through that we are continually blessed by them. Gary Clark, nature correspondent of the Chronicle, shares all the benefits that they offer to us: songs, sounds, color, ancient ancestry, healthy lifestyle, peace of mind, and more! Also, Kathy Adams Clark provides stunning photographs of a few visitors that actually do grace Idylwood!
Click on the link below to learn more!!!

Wait...What?!?!...Squirrels in your home or car?!

Well, you know Idylwood has a plethora of squirrels and they all have to live somewhere. An adult squirrel may have at least two dreys,preferably in trees, in case one becomes undesireable for some reason. However..... some have been known to cozy up under your car or in your home. Ryan Nickerson tells us all about this squirrely behavior in his December 27 article in the Chronicle. There are plenty of tips to be sure you are the main resident of your humble abode and they stick to the trees!
Click on the link below to learn more!

Bald Eagles have been seen in Idylwood and other places in Texas!

If you are lucky on any of your strolls along the bayou, you may have spied a bald eagle overhead. I usually notice them first by the huge shadow that is cast upon the ground. Then I look up to see a beautiful bird with a crown of white feathers soaring above. Octavia Johnson, Chronicle staff writer, details the common locations in Texas that we can view these magnificent birds of prey in her December 27 article. Once heading towards extinction, now bald eagles are increasing in numbers across the United States every year. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department helps to keep an eye on their status here and lets us know where we can go to see them around the state!
Click on the link below to learn more!

Area parks offer spectacular winter fauna !

Are you and/or the family needing a simple, refreshing, and inspiring get-away to wind down a bit and appreciate nature? Within a 1-90 minute drive (start with Idylwood!) you can be at a nature preserve to enjoy the pleasures and treasures that nature has to offer: birds galore, streams, ponds, grasslands, forests, gardens, wildlife refuges, and more! Gary Clark, nature correspondent of the Chronicle, lists the many wonderful areas right at our fingertips to bring us glorious sights and sounds of Texas: year round birds, migratory birds, song birds, and maybe an alligator or two!
Click on the link below to learn more!
Houston Botanic Gardens - *Jan. Fun Pick *!

*Now through April 14
Glass in Flight, by Tucson artist Alex Heveri
Sunlight through the colored glass mimics the transparency and iridescence of insect wings, intensifying the illusion of movement and life.
Glass in Flight makes its Houston debut with 21 steel and hand-cut Dalle de Verre glass sculptures of gigantic, realistic insects — including butterflies, dragonflies, and beetles — in the Susan Garver Family Discovery Garden.
Glass in Flight is included in the cost of general admission to the HBG.

Other program choices:

Jan. 3, 4, or 5: 9 am - 2 pm
Warm Up with Potions & Provisions
This winter break, students currently in Kindergarten through 5th grade can discover the healing and warming power of common weeds, kitchen herbs, and other medicinal plants in this fun and interactive day camp.  ​
Space is limited, so register now!
Jan. 6: 10 am - 3 pm
Discover a Path to Wellness
Begin the New Year at the Garden discovering a path to wellness through a full menu of opportunities to move and heal your body, mind, and soul. Choose from guided classes, informational sessions, and a wellness market with fresh, organic produce and natural, handmade products. 

Jan. 13: 2 pm - 4 pm
Become a Tiny Gardener
Don’t cry over a broken pot. Turn it into a multi-level fairy dream house! Erin Mills, the Garden’s education manager, will inspire you to tap into your creative side and repurpose what might otherwise be trash into something really fun. All materials, plus wine & beverages, included. Just bring your imagination.

Jan. 19: 10:30 am - 11am
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.
50 free admissions are available for each storytime,
on a first-come, first-served basis. Registration is required.

Jan. 20: 10 am - 11:30 am
Get the Buzz on the Garden's Bees
Here is your chance to learn about the Garden’s locally adapted survivor stock bees, the sustainable hives in which they are kept, and the beekeeping apprenticeship that helps train new Houstonians in natural beekeeping practices. We will share the origins and evolution of our
beekeeping program and stories from our hives,
which will introduce you to certain mysteries and wonders of bee biology. 

Jan. 20: 10 am - 11:30 am
Start the Day With Full-Person Relaxation
From our inner and outer worlds to our bodies and life goals—everything is in dynamic motion. When you understand those systems of movement and flow, change becomes nourishing, rather than anxiety-inducing. Explore your
inner systems through soothing yoga and guided meditation

Jan. 20: 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm
Achieve Garden Success - Plan Ahead For Spring Gardens
In the Achieve Garden Success series, our Garden experts walk you through some basics of home gardening and share their favorite tools and strategies for growing and keeping yours productive. This month’s workshop will focus on planning ahead for the spring. 

Jan. 21: 1:00 pm - 3 pm
Connect With Nature As Spiritual Practice
During the Garden’s third-Sunday micro retreats, we will connect with nature’s beauty, diversity, and wisdom guided by mindful, compassionate, and creative prompts. Each session will include an orientation to the theme of the retreat, an invitation to explore specific aspects of the Garden, and a prompt to capture the essence in creative writing, journaling, or sketching.

Jan. 27: 10 am - 12:00 pm
Back to the Roots
Come learn about the original medicine, which grows all around us and that you can cultivate in your own garden. Plants! In the Back to the Roots herbalism series, you will learn about the roots of herbal medicine, the uses and benefits of specific plants and their healing properties, and
how to make different forms of medicine using featured plants. 

Be sure to confirm the January events' details & fee 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!
Yard of the Month - In Progress !!
January 2024
The Idylwood Garden Club’s Yard of the Month for January 2024 is part one of a two-part series focusing on a soon to be resident’s approach to gardening and landscaping. Part 1 shows the existing conditions of the yard at 6733 Wildwood Way and introduces Annie Crivello and Justin Earnest to their new neighbors. Garden Club members will follow with interest and, no doubt, offer lots of ‘helpful’ advice as the new residents’ gardening and landscaping efforts are revealed over the coming months. We will report back later this year.

Part 1:
Annie and Justin have made a point of attending neighborhood meetings and parties recently in hope of meeting more of the Idylwood neighborhood. Annie says, “We're already having so much fun being a part of Idylwood, and we would love to be your Yard of the Month "In Progress".”

Annie grew up in Bellaire and Justin grew up in Cut and Shoot (near Conroe!). 

The couple hasn't moved in yet, “but we're definitely getting closer!” Annie says. They purchased their house in October 2022, but renovation efforts were beset by long delays due to slow response from The City granting permits. They say, “We finally started remodeling in October 2023, and so far, we are optimistic about moving in around February 2024.”  

They have been living in a neighborhood near Idylwood for "about seven years and Annie says they “have been fawning over Idylwood for almost as long. We knew we wanted to stay on the East End, and we knew we wanted to be close to the bayou... Idylwood met those demands and more.” They love “the fun atmosphere of Idylwood (Easter egg hunts, Christmas Party, etc!).”
Besides the massive, stately Oak in the front yard and a row of Crepe Myrtles in the easement, one of great starting points is the large front porch of their new home.

As to who is the gardener in their household Annie claims that it’s “Definitely me, but my husband has the eye for details, so he definitely keeps me "in line".”
Near term goals they have include adding more bee friendly annuals, adding a pathway from the sidewalk to the home’s front steps, and replacing the lime tree in the backyard that was killed during our disastrous freeze. At their soon-to-be former home, they completely landscaped the front yard with front beds along the front of the house. They also added a Maple tree. The backyard was focused more on shade natives and an herb garden.

click the link above for access to their website

January 2024

Planting Guide
  • Plant vegetables from transplants like broccoli, cauliflower, strawberries, collards, and lettuce.
  • Plant seeds for lettuce, radish, and carrots. Begin seeding spring tomatoes inside.
  • Plant rose bushes in prepared soil where they receive 6-8 full hours of sun every day. Prune rose bushes in February.
  • Plant fruiting plants such as blueberries and blackberries; it is a good time to get them established.
  • Focus on cool-season color such as pansies and violas, snapdragons, and dianthus. Get green Foxgloves, hollyhocks, larkspur, poppies, and delphiniums in your beds now for a gorgeous Spring show.
  • Plant spring flowering trees and shrubs such as redbuds, fringe trees, Mexican plums, azaleas, and spirea. Now is a great time to plant.

Maintain watering on newly planted seeds and transplants. Containers also need more frequent water than plants in the ground. Watch for drought stress between rain showers.

Loopers and Aphids are on the prowl. Keep a close eye on plants and catch them early. Treat with the least toxic method possible. Find and squish loopers or treat with organic BT. Spray away aphids with a strong stream of water or treat with insecticidal soap.

Best way to control early spring weeds: dig them by hand. Easiest way: MOW THEM. They will die out when it gets warm. We do not recommend “weed & feed” products. Keep fallen leaves raked up so lawn grasses can receive adequate sunlight. Reuse leaves in beds as mulch or add them to compost bins.

Crepe Myrtles need no pruning. If you must, you may shape gently now, but don’t commit Crepe Murder. Wait to prune spring-flowering trees such as deciduous magnolias, Mexican plums, and redbuds until after they bloom.

Keep bird baths scrubbed and filled with clean water. Keep seed in feeders fresh. After rain check for moist or damp seeds, and replace them promptly to keep birds healthy and happy. Continue to put out suet cakes for high-energy winter snacks.

Keep an eye on the weather and stay informed on nighttime lows. Have frost cloth on hand for light frosts. If the temperature drops below 32, double-wrap tender plants to ensure proper insulation. Avoid using plastic against foliage, but it can be used as the second exterior layer when covering plants. Remove plastic during the day. TIP: Heavy-duty clothespins or spare bricks can be used to secure and weigh down cloths.

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 26: Recycling - cancelled due to Holiday schedule
  • Jan 01: Black-Eyed Peas & Greens
  • Jan 01: There will be no waste collection services
  • Jan 02: Regular garbage collection resumes
  • Jan 03: Tree Limbs & Yard Waste (pushed one day)
  • Jan 08: Recycling resumes regular schedule
  • Jan 16: Civic Club Meeting @ 7pm, 1725 Idylwood Dr.
  • Jan 20: Happy Birthday Paul (StarChild) Stanley
  • Jan 22: Recycling
  • Feb 06: Heavy Trash
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