Welcome to our weekly e-newsletter - What's Up in Wake Forest. Here you'll find information about Town programs, services, activities, projects, special events and more! If you haven't already, tell your friends and neighbors to visit our E-Notifier page to learn about our full array of free email offerings.

The Wake Forest Board of Commissioners will conduct a legislative public hearing Tuesday, May 4, at 7:30 p.m. to consider adoption of text amendments to the Unified Development Ordinance (UDO). The text amendments are in response to the new NC General Statute 160D which consolidates current city and county enabling statutes for development regulations into a single, unified chapter to clarify local government authority. Local governments are required to amend their development ordinances by July 1, 2021, for consistency with the new statutes.

For municipalities, compliance with the state statutes is necessary to retain zoning and development authority. Over the past several months, planning staff have been evaluating current UDO processes and requirements to ensure compliance and make improvements to the processes and standards for higher quality development with more effective public participation.

The push to bring lifesaving COVID-19 shots closer to communities continues with the opening of a vaccination clinic at the Wake County Northern Regional Center, 350 E. Holding Ave.

This new site offers free vaccines five days week, including evening and weekend hours. The county’s regional centers are ideal places to host these clinics, because they’re already well known in the community for providing lots of county services in one convenient location.

“It’s not always easy for people to go to Raleigh to access county programs and services like mass vaccination clinics, and that's exactly why these regional centers exist – to bring those services to residents in the community where they live,” said Ross Yeager, Director of the Northern Regional Center. “Dozens of people already come here to vote, get a copy of a birth certificate, pay taxes, search for a job, pick up free summer meals for students and more. It only makes sense for us to also offer critical vaccines to the community here.”

The NRC operates according to the following schedule:

  • Sunday – Closed
  • Monday – 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
  • Tuesday – 12:30-7:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday – Closed
  • Thursday – 12:30-7:30 p.m.
  • Friday – 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
  • Saturday – 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
New Executive Order relaxes State’s outdoor mask mandate & eases mass gathering limits

Earlier this week, Gov. Roy Cooper and NC Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy K. Cohen, M.D. gave an update on the state’s current data, trends and vaccination progress. As the state’s metrics and key indicators remain stable, Gov. Cooper also signed an Executive Order outlining safety measures for the month of May. Executive Order No. 209 will take effect Friday, April 30, at 5 p.m. and is set to expire June 1.

As more North Carolinians get vaccinated and adhere to safety protocols over the course of the next month, the state anticipates lifting more restrictions June 1.

Under the new Executive Order, masks will still be required indoors but are no longer mandated outdoors. Masks are still strongly recommended outdoors by NC DHHS in crowded areas and higher risk settings where social distancing is difficult.

Executive Order No. 209 will also increase mass gathering capacity limits. The number of people who may gather indoors will increase from 50 to 100 and the number of people who may gather outdoors will increase from 100 to 200. Occupancy limits currently in place will remain the same.

May is Preservation Month, and the Historic Preservation Program (HPP) is offering several ways for residents to celebrate and learn more about Wake Forest history, including two free webinars, a scavenger hunt, virtual tours, and coloring pages of locally significant historic sites. Complete information about these opportunities is provided on the Town website.

Throughout May, residents are invited to participate in the Preservation Month Scavenger Hunt. Ten pictures of local Wake Forest historic features are highlighted. Everyone who takes pictures of themselves in front of all 10 historic features and uploads the photos through the online form will be entered into a drawing for a $20 gift card to Lumpy’s Ice Cream.

In addition, the HPP is partnering with the Wake Forest Historical Museum to offer the following free Zoom webinars:

Tuesday, May 11 at 6:30 p.m. – “Adventures with Old Houses” – a talk with Ed Morris, Director of the Wake Forest Historical Museum, and homeowners from the Wake Forest Historic District.

Tuesday, May 25 at 6:30 p.m. – “The Story Map of the Northeast Community in Wake Forest” – an introduction to this preservation project and discussion with Michelle Michael, Senior Planner (Historic Preservation) and Chris Robey, MLA Candidate at the University of Georgia

The public is invited to attend these Zoom webinars online or by phone. There is no cost to participate, but registration is required. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

The PRCR Department will commemorate “National Physical Fitness Month” in May by offering a 50-Mile Walking Challenge for area residents ages 11 and older.
The concept is simple. The PRCR Department is challenging area residents to walk a total of 50 miles in May and use tracking cards to record their progress. Walking locations may include neighborhoods, schools, churches, parks and greenways - just to name a few.
There is no cost to participate, and online registration is open throughout April. The first 200 people to register will receive a free water bottle. Tracking cards are available for pickup at Joyner Park Community Center (JPCC), 701 Harris Road.
Everyone ages 11 and over who registers, completes 50 miles, and returns their tracking cards to JPCC by Thursday, June 3, will receive a commemorative t-shirt (while supplies last) and be entered into a June 4 prize drawing for a $50 Visa gift card. 

Several members of the Wake Forest Police Department are raising money for NC Special Olympics and the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics by participating in Mustache May.

Throughout the month of May, participating officers and staff will encourage community members to donate to Special Olympics and the nearly 40,000 registered athletes who train and compete year-round in 20 different sports. Each participant has a fundraising goal of at least $50, and several will grow a mustache to show their support.

For more information about “Mustache May,” to view participant photos, or to donate to a particular participant’s fundraising effort, visit our website.

The Wake Forest Renaissance Centre and the Wake Forest Guild of Artists will host the All Things Bright & Beautiful – New Beginnings” Walk-Through Art Exhibit on Thursday, May 13, from 4-7 p.m.

Over 20 artists will display their works of art in a variety of mediums and styles, including acrylic, oil and watercolor paintings, sculpture, jewelry, glasswork, encaustic, woodworking and mixed media. Free and open to the public, the event offers an exciting opportunity for area residents to view works of art created by local artists.

Anyone interested in attending will be required to sign up for a 20-minute time slot. Please note: There is a limit of 10 participants per time slot.

Taylor Street Park Sprayground, 416 N. Taylor St., is now open and operating according to the following schedule:

  • Sundays, 12:30-7:30 p.m.
  • Monday-Friday, 4-7:30 p.m.
  • Saturdays, 10 a.m.-7:30 p.m.

Please Note: The sprayground will be open Memorial Day (Monday, May 31) from 10 a.m.-7:30 p.m.

Free and open to the public, the sprayground will operate on weekends in two-hour sessions and on weekdays in 90-minute sessions, then close 30 minutes for cleaning.

In an ongoing effort to promote health and fitness during the current COVID-19 pandemic, the Wake Forest Parks, Recreation & Cultural Resources (PRCR) Department is again selling a limited number of take-home activity kits for children ages 3-12 of all ability levels. Starting today (Thursday, April 22), 48 kits are available for purchase on RecDesk for $5 each. No contact pickup is scheduled for Thursday, May 6, from 1-3 p.m. and 4-6 p.m. and Friday, May 7, from 10 a.m.-noon.

Each activity kit includes a variety of May Month of Fitness-themed items, including a hula hoop, ankle skip ball, walking stilts and a water bottle. Each kit includes supplies for one person and pre-registration is required. Please note: Due to the limited number of kits, a separate registration is required for each. The program is titled “May Month of Fitness Activity Kit.”

The Wake Forest Parks, Recreation & Cultural Resources Department is partnering with GSK and the UNC Morehead Planetarium & Science Center to offer Science in the Summer for rising 2nd through 8th graders.

The free program will be offered at the Alston-Massenburg Center, 416 N. Taylor St., according to the following schedule:

  • Level 1 – 2nd and 3rd graders; Monday-Friday, July 19-23; 9 a.m.-noon
  • Level 2 – 4th and 5th graders; Monday-Friday, July 19-23; 1-4 pm
  • Level 3 – 6th-8th graders; Monday-Wednesday, Aug. 3-5; 9 a.m.-noon

There is no cost to participate, but due to limited seats in each session, registration is required. The online application is available on the Town website. Completed applications will be accepted until 5 p.m. Friday, May 28, and may be emailed to Recreation Specialist Garrett Bryant or delivered/mailed to the Alston-Massenburg Center, 416 N. Taylor St., Wake Forest, NC 27587.

The Town of Wake Forest is inviting residents to share their thoughts and opinions on a future Citizens’ Academy by completing a brief survey. The deadline to complete the survey is Friday, April 30.

Designed to gauge community interest, assess the preferred class format and determine topics of interest, the questionnaire takes less than five minutes to complete.

The Town of Wake Forest is encouraging residents to stay informed about trash, recycling and yard waste collection by signing up for the “Waste Wizard.” The Waste Wizard is a free interactive tool that allows users to sign up for personalized trash and recycling collection reminders, download collection schedules and access online service request forms for bulk waste pickup, brush pickup and missed collections.

But that’s not all. The Waste Wizard also allows users to type in key words related to disposable household materials and receive valuable disposal tips. From aluminum cans and phone books to popcorn bags and plastic beverage bottles, the search tool helps residents determine which items can be recycled and which ones should be thrown away.

The Parks, Recreation & Cultural Resources Department will accept team registrations for Church Co-Rec Adult Softball throughout May. Online registration will be available. The entry fee is $550 per team, and participants must be 18 or older.

Games will begin in mid-June and be played on Tuesday and Thursday evenings.

Anyone interested in participating who does not have a team can sign up as a free agent, then assigned to a team in need of players. To register as a free agent, visit the Free Agent page on our website and complete the online registration form.

Provided below are announcements about projects that will impact Wake Forest motorists over the next several weeks. Please use the information to help plan your route and move safely through the affected areas. 
Now through Friday, April 30
Drivers should expect delays along the portion of South Main Street/US 1A from Forbes Road to Farm Road through Friday, April 30, from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. each day. Neal Construction, a contractor working to develop Marlowe Retail, 1628 S. Main St., will reduce the roadway to two lanes by shifting southbound traffic and removing the center turn lane. The traffic shift and lane reduction are necessary to allow crews to locate and tie-in utilities as part of the Marlowe Retail project.
Signage, cones and barrels will be in place to manage traffic flow and safely direct motorists through the work area. Delays are expected, so motorists are encouraged to avoid the area if possible and take an alternate route.

Fred Smith Company, a private contractor working on the Forbes Planned Unit Development, will close Millers Mark Avenue at the intersection of Ligon Mill Road on Monday, Feb. 8. The closure is necessary to complete the widening of Ligon Mill Road and install the future median. The intersection is expected to remain closed until early April when traffic is shifted to a new traffic pattern. Until then, residents are advised to use Reynolds Mill Road or Forbes Road as an alternate route. 

Fred Smith Company, a contractor working on behalf of Wegmans, continues to periodically reduce to one lane portions of Dr. Calvin Jones Highway/NC 98 from Galaxy Way to Siena Drive. The temporary lane closures are necessary to allow crews to widen the roadway and install turn lanes for the future Wegman’s. The store will be situated on the south side of Dr. Calvin Jones Highway/NC 98 Bypass between US 1/Capital Boulevard and Siena Drive, just west of Ligon Mill Road.

The Town of Wake Forest has launched an interactive map that gives residents a user-friendly and convenient way to view local road closures and restrictions. Accessible under “Common Resources” on the homepage of the Town website, the new Traffic Alerts Map allows visitors to point and click on current road and lane closures throughout Wake Forest.

When clicking on an individual project, the user will see a short summary of the exact location of the project, along with a schedule for its anticipated beginning and completion. In addition, the user will be provided with the name and contact information for the project manager should anyone have questions about a given initiative. The information is updated in real-time as the project moves forward.

Mayor Vivian Jones recently recorded a virtual State of the Town address that includes colorful video and photo highlights from the past year.

In her message, Mayor Jones provides a comprehensive update on the Town's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, accomplishments over the last 12 months, and what’s to come in 2021. She also shares details on infrastructure projects, communications initiatives, parks and recreation programs, town finances, how to support local businesses and more. 

Mayor Jones' 2021 State of the Town address is available on the Town website and airs on WFTV 10 daily at 8 a.m., noon and 6 p.m.
The March-August 2021 issue of RecConnect, the Wake Forest Parks, Recreation & Cultural Resources Department's program brochure, is now available. Click on the image above to view the latest edition in digital format. RecConnect is also available in Adobe Acrobat Format (PDF).
Free printed copies of RecConnect are available at Joyner Park Community Center, 701 Harris Road, Town Hall, 301 S. Brooks St., Alston-Massenburg Center, 416 N. Taylor St., and Flaherty Park Community Center, 1226 N. White St.
RecConnect includes information about all programs, classes, special events, sports programs and registrations offered by the Wake Forest Parks, Recreation & Cultural Resources Department. To learn more, call 919-435-9560 or visit us online.

The Northern Wake Senior Center, 235 E. Holding Ave., offers adults age 55 and older a full schedule of recreational activities. Programming at the center is provided by Resources for Seniors, Inc. The organization serves senior and disabled adults in Wake County by providing home and community-based services and information, thereby allowing them to maximize their choices for independence, comfort, safety, security and well-being.

Check out Jennie's Weekly Jots, the senior center's weekly newsletter, for information on current programming and initiatives.
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