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.

You now have until midnight on Friday, Feb. 26, to share your thoughts and opinions on Parks, Recreation & Cultural Resources (PRCR) Department programs, services, facilities and special events. The 2021 PRCR Survey only takes around 20 minutes to complete but will provide critical information in determining community values, satisfaction levels, needs and priorities, and demographics for the PRCR Department’s long-range planning efforts.

Data obtained from the survey will be statistically summarized and used to measure against recommendations within the PRCR Master Plan. Adopted in 2015, the Master Plan is a 10-year vision for future parks, greenways, programs and facilities. The plan is intended to help meet the needs of current and future residents by positioning Wake Forest to build on the community’s unique parks and recreation assets and identify new opportunities.

Police officials are reminding Wake Forest motorists to park in the direction of traffic flow or risk a $25 fine. Wording in Sec. 30-251 of the Town's Code of Ordinances addresses "Parking in direction of traffic flow."
 
"Parking shall be established in the direction of traffic flow on all streets within corporate limits of the Town of Wake Forest with passenger side (right) tires to the curb on two-way streets."
 
In summary, on a two-way road, you must park with the right-hand wheels next to the right-side curb. Otherwise, you are parked illegally. 

The Urban Forestry Board will host a free virtual “Tree Talk” on Thursday, Feb. 25, at 6:30 p.m. Led by Urban Forestry Coordinator Luke Devores, the webinar will feature a presentation by Wake County Horticulture Extension Agent Jeana Myers who will discuss soil, soil testing and the benefits of composting.

There is no cost to participate, but registration is required. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email that includes information about joining the webinar. For more information, contact Luke Devores at 919-435-9565. 

The Urban Forestry Board oversees Wake Forest's Urban Forestry Program including the Town's annual Arbor Day program and planting events, and to advise the Board of Commissioners on policies relating to trees and landscape regulations.

The Town of Wake Forest is inviting individuals and families to join the Show Some Love, #KeepWFclean campaign by picking up trash in their neighborhoods and along local streets and roadways. Designed to encourage maximum public participation, the initiative allows volunteers to pick up litter on a one-time or ongoing basis. Participants may also choose the area they wish to clean or request direction to high need areas around town.
To aid the effort, volunteers may reserve one or more litter kits at no charge by completing the online form. Each litter kit includes reflective vests, gloves, buckets, grabbers, trash bags, data collection sheets, hand sanitizer and litter education materials. A special thanks to B&W Hardware for donating the litter kits.

Once reserved, litter kits may be picked up at the Public Works Operations Center, 234 Friendship Chapel Road, Monday-Friday, between 7 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. and must be returned within one week, unless otherwise requested.
Due to COVID-19 and out of concern for public safety, the Town is currently limiting participation in the roadside cleanup program to individuals and families. Once state restrictions are lifted, the invitation to participate will be extended to schools, churches, civic groups and community organizations. For more information, contact Sustainability Coordinator Jeanette Johnson at 919-435-9585.
 
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 Town of Wake Forest is making it easier for Northeast Community residents to pay their utility bills thanks to a new payment drop box installed in front of the Alston-Massenburg Center, 416 N. Taylor St.
Designed to provide easier payment access and reduce trips to Town Hall, the drop box offers a convenient payment option for residents wishing to pay their Wake Forest Power bill and/or Raleigh Water bill. Payments deposited in the drop box after 8 a.m. Monday through Friday will be processed the next business day. The Town will mail receipts upon request.
Please note: The Town of Wake Forest does not accept Wake County property tax payments. Residents are encouraged to make those disbursements at the Northern Regional Center, 350 E. Holding Ave.

The Wake Forest Fire Department (WFFD) will kick off a year-long centennial celebration on August 4 – the date the department was created 100 years ago. Planning is underway for a series of events and activities over the following 12 months to honor the past, celebrate the present and look ahead to the future. The complete schedule will be announced no later than early July.

In the meantime, the WFFD is inviting residents and businesses to participate in the commemoration by sharing photos, documents, stories, equipment and other memorabilia that can be used to celebrate the centennial and recognize the service and commitment of Wake Forest firefighters since 1921.

Anyone wishing to share photos, documents, stories or even compliments and best wishes is encouraged to complete and submit the online submission form.

For more information about the WFFD Centennial Celebration, contact Captain Ben Davis

February is Black History Month, and the Wake Forest Renaissance Centre is celebrating by offering “Art That Reflects,” a series of virtual performances that pay tribute to the diversity and artistry of African American culture.

Offering an outstanding lineup that includes storytelling and theater, as well as vocal, music and dance, the series is available for free streaming on the Renaissance Centre website, Facebook and YouTube pages.
 
February is Black History Month, and the Wake Forest Historic Preservation Commission is celebrating by partnering with the Wake Forest Historical Museum to offer a series of free Zoom webinars on African American history in our community and state.

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

The February 22 webinar will begin at 7 p.m. and feature Dr. Sean Colbert-Lewis, Associate Professor of History and Director of Teacher Education for the History Department at NC Central University.

Do you know a rising 10th-12th grader that wants to learn more about his/her leadership potential, local business leaders, and town opportunities? Applications for Youth Leadership Wake Forest’s 2021-22 class AND a new summer Youth Leadership Academy are now open!

Youth Leadership Wake Forest is a year-long program for high school students who have demonstrated leadership abilities and have interest in learning about our community. Our mission is for participants to assume leadership roles in our schools and to become more involved in our civic, cultural, economic development, and philanthropic organizations. Youth Leadership Wake Forest is a program sponsored by the Wake Forest Chamber Foundation, and requires an application, community references, and interviews conducted by a selection committee. The class is limited to 40 students. The tuition cost for this program is $500, and scholarships are available. 

The Youth Leadership Academy is a seven-week online program for high school students who have demonstrated leadership abilities and have interest in learning about our community. This summer program allows students who may not be able to commit to Youth Leadership Wake Forest during the school year to develop leadership skills and connections during seven weekly summer sessions. The tuition cost for this program is $500, and scholarships are available.

Loose trash in trucks creates litter along Wake Forest roadways.

Help keep Wake Forest roadways clean by securing any trash in your truck bed. When you throw trash in the back of your truck, it inevitably blows out and becomes litter on the roadside. In fact, half of all litter is blown, not thrown! Roadside litter costs millions of dollars to remove, decreases property values and has a negative impact on tourism.

The NC Department of Public Safety reports that an even bigger problem is unsecured loads in the back of trucks. At high speeds, even large items can fly out and hurt or startle other drivers causing accidents. Put trash into built-in containers. Use tarps, cargo nets and tie-downs to secure any loads. #KeepWFclean

As the COVID-19 pandemic persists, the Wake Forest Parks, Recreation & Cultural Resources (PRCR) Department continues its slow and cautious approach to athletics programming. The coronavirus is expected to remain a threat for the foreseeable future, so the PRCR Department is working to balance health and safety concerns with public demand for resumed access to amenities and services. 

Youth Spring Baseball and Softball registration will be offered throughout February for boys ages 5-17 and girls ages 5-15. A participant’s eligibility is determined by his or her age on April 30, 2021, and a birth certificate is required for new participants. The in-town registration fee is $60 and the out-of-town fee is $100.

Online registration is available at http://bit.ly/WFSpringBaseball. Team placement and draft information, along with additional registration details and league rules will also be provided online and at the Joyner Park Community Center, 701 Harris Road.

Team practices will begin in March and games will be played through mid-June.

The PRCR will accept team registrations for Men’s Spring Softball and Co-Rec Spring Softball throughout February. Online registration is available at http://bit.ly/PRCRAdultAthletics. The entry fee for both leagues is $550 per team, and participants must be 18 or older.

Men’s Spring Softball games will begin in mid-March and be played primarily on Monday and Wednesday evenings.

Co-Rec Spring Softball games will also begin in mid-March and be played mainly on Tuesday and Thursday evenings.

Anyone interested in participating who does not have a team can sign up as a free agent, then be assigned to a team in need of players.

The PRCR Department will accept team registrations for Adult Spring Co-Rec Kickball throughout February. Online registration is available at http://bit.ly/WFkickball. The entry fee is $225 per team, and the league is limited to participants ages 18 and older.

League games will be played primarily on weeknights and Sunday afternoons beginning in late March.  

Anyone interested in participating who does not have a team can sign up as a free agent, then be assigned to a team in need of players.

The Town of Wake Forest is out of Christmas tree mulch, so no orders are being accepted. The Town plans to resume accepting orders in December, but there is no waiting list.

Area residents may now request free leaf mulch and wood chips online at http://bit.ly/TOWFMulch.
 
Budding business owners will again be showcased at the Wake Forest Area Chamber Foundation’s Young Entrepreneur’s Fair, sponsored by Blue Wave Pressure Washing on Saturday, May 1. The Young Entrepreneurs Fair gives students from age 9 to 14 an opportunity to manufacture, market, and sell their handmade products.

As part of its mission to support both entrepreneurship and youth programming, the Wake Forest Area Chamber Foundation invites students to participate at no charge. According to Ann Welton, Chamber president, “We’re dedicated to nurturing the next generation of business leaders, and the Young Entrepreneurs Fair is an ideal opportunity for young people to learn about marketing and selling their products.”

Again, this year there will be two workshops scheduled prior to the Fair to help students with their business and marketing plans. “By participating in the Fair, students get real-world experience in manufacturing, inventory control, branding, marketing, and sales,” said Welton. “By adding these workshops, we hope to also show them how to make a profit!” The workshops will be held online and interested students will be provided with the links.

Applications are currently being accepted through Friday, Feb. 26. For more information, call the Chamber at 919-556-1519.

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 early April
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. 


Now through March
From now through March, Fred Smith Company, a contractor working on behalf of Wegmans, will 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 January/February edition of Our Town is now available. Click on the cover image on the right to view the latest issue in digital format.

Our Town is Wake Forest's free bi-monthly newsletter. Published every other month, Our Town is mailed to every home in the 27587 zip code and residents of Wakefield. If you live in one of these areas, you should have already received the latest edition in your mailbox. The cover of the current issue is shown.

For a complete listing of all the ways you can stay informed about what's happening in and around Wake Forest, visit us online.

In January, the Town of Wake Forest changed how it charges residents for solid waste service and introduced several improvements to its yard waste and bulk waste collection programs.

Since 2008 Wake Forest property owners have paid for solid waste service as part of their annual property tax bill. Prior to that, residents paid a monthly user fee of $14.60 as part of their monthly utility bill.

Effective January 1, solid waste service is no longer covered by annual tax revenues, but instead by a $21 monthly solid waste fee included on residents’ Raleigh Water bill. The fee includes weekly trash, recycling and yard waste collection, along with seasonal and on-demand collections for loose leaves, Christmas trees, bulk waste pickup and large brush collection.

The following improvements to the Town's yard waste collection programs also began January 1:

  • The weekly bag limit of yard waste doubled from 10 bags to 20 bags.
  • The limit of large brush doubled from four to eight cubic yards (approximately two pickup truck loads).

Large brush collections must be scheduled in advance via an online form on the Town website. Area residents without internet access may schedule a pickup by calling 919-435-9570 Monday-Friday from 7 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
“Guide to Trash, Recycling & Yard Waste Service” available to all solid waste customers

Have you ever wondered which household waste items belong in your trash receptacle and which can be recycled? Have you ever been unsure about how to properly prepare your yard waste or position your rollout carts? Do you know where to go on the Town website to schedule a bulk waste pickup or find out about solid waste service during holidays?

If you are a Wake Forest solid waste customer and you answered “yes” to any of those questions, then the Town of Wake Forest has a special gift just for you.
In January, every Wake Forest solid waste customer was mailed a copy of the Guide to Trash, Recycling & Yard Waste Service. This full-color, 12-page handbook provides useful information about all things related to the Town’s solid waste service, including curbside trash and recycling collection, yard waste and bulk pick-up, loose leaf collection and more.

Wake Forest solid waste customers should have already received their copy of the guide in the mail. A digital version of the booklet is also available on the Town website.

Wake Forest residents can now go online and use the Town of Wake Forest app to request assistance and report issues related to solid waste service:

  • Request trash and recycling service;
  • Upgrade from a 48-gallon to a 96-gallon recycling cart;
  • Report damaged and/or missing carts;
  • Report a missed trash or recycling collection;
  • Request a bulk pickup;
  • Request a large brush pickup;
  • Sign up for Waste Wizard.
Waste Wizard makes recycling easier

The Waste Wizard makes it easier than ever for residents to stay informed about Town of Wake Forest trash, recycling and yard waste collection programs. The Waste Wizard also helps residents know which disposable household materials can be recycled and which ones should be thrown away.

Available on the Town’s website, the “Waste Wizard” is an interactive tool that allows users to sign up for waste collection reminders and download collection schedules.

You can also 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 bags, the search tool helps residents effectively sort their recyclables from their trash.

As a bonus, the Waste Wizard is provided as a function on the Town of Wake Forest app.
Recycling Refresher

It's time to take a fresh look at recycling and change how we think about it! It's less important to fill the bin with a mix of things we think MAY be recyclable as it is to put in things we KNOW are recyclable. Click on the video above. It's designed to help you "get the right things in the bin - for the win!"

Everyone has an important role to play in keeping Wake Forest beautiful and safe. Let's all show some love to our community by properly disposing of trash and pet waste. #KeepWFClean

The Town of Wake Forest encourages local pet owners to be good neighbors and great pet owners by obeying Wake County’s leash law.

The Town regularly receives complaints from local residents about dogs running at large – particularly at Town parks. Although Wake Forest does not have an ordinance pertaining to dogs, Wake County Animal Control has jurisdiction to enforce animal control laws within the town and its park system.

Wake County Animal Control Ordinance Section 2-3-7 (A) states “It shall be unlawful for any owner to permit an animal to be at large.” Section 2-3-7 (C) further states “It shall be unlawful for any person owning or having possession, charge, custody or control of any dog to take the dog into or allow the dog to enter any public park without being at all times under the restraint of a leash unless said park is designated as a dog park.”

Any owner permitting an animal to be at large shall pay a civil penalty of $100 for the first violation.
Find what you're looking for on Town website

At wakeforestnc.gov, everything you'd ever like to know about Wake Forest, its programs and services, is always at your fingertips. Many of the common resources you're looking for are conveniently located below the search bar on the homepage. For all other questions, just click in the search bar and start to type.
 
The Wake Forest Police Department (WFPD) regularly implores residents to help reduce motor vehicle break-ins by locking their car doors. A vast majority of the reported car break-ins in Wake Forest involve unlocked vehicles.

Those pleas are taking on an even greater sense of urgency after another rash of break-ins involving unlocked vehicles. Once again, thieves engaged in what is known as “car-hopping” in several Wake Forest subdivisions. Car-hopping occurs when criminals roam neighborhoods at night, pulling on car door handles, hoping to find an open vehicle. Police officials say it’s a numbers game. For every 10 cars a criminal checks, they expect to find at least a couple open, so there is no need to physically break a window or door lock to get in.

Simply put, the best way to avoid becoming a victim is by simply locking your unoccupied vehicles at all times, removing your valuable items and any extra set of keys from the vehicle, and double-checking to make sure your car is locked before going to bed at night. If an item can’t be removed, then it’s best to make sure it is out of sight to potential crooks looking for an easy target.

The Wake Forest Police Department (WFPD) is urging every resident to “be a good neighbor” by reporting suspicious activity.

Police Chief Jeff Leonard says crimes are often prevented when citizens report suspected illegal activity.

“Wake Forest is a growing community, and unfortunately, crime can sometimes be a byproduct of growth,” said Leonard. “But that’s why it’s so important for residents and business owners to remain vigilant and aware of their surroundings. When you see something that looks suspicious, call the police department. If we investigate and no crime has occurred, that’s okay. But we would rather you call and it turn out to be nothing, than not call. It’s a proven fact that reporting suspicious activity helps prevent crime.”

The Town of Wake Forest has partnered with Paymentus to offer Wake Forest Power (WFP) customers faster, easier and more convenient ways to pay their electric bills. WFP customers can now pay their bills and review usage history online via a new and improved customer portal. Customers also have the option of paying via a new automated phone system

The new online platform allows customers to:

  • pay electric bills with credit cards, debit cards, or bank account and routing number;
  • make one-time payments or set up recurring automatic payments;
  • receive email reminders and emailed receipts of payment;
  • view consumption and account information;
  • view and download current and past utility bills;
  • opt out of mailed paper bills; and
  • manage multiple utility accounts with one user profile.

An online Customer Portal Guide offering step-by-step instructions is available.

The Wake Forest Planning Board typically meets on the first Tuesday of each month at 7:30 p.m., while the Board of Commissioners typically meets on the third Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m.

These meetings can be viewed both live and on demand through the Public Meetings Portal on the Town’s website.

Planning Board and Board of Commissioners meetings are also broadcast live on Wake Forest TV 10—the Town’s government access channel—then re-broadcast daily throughout the next two weeks at 9 a.m., 3 p.m., and 9 p.m.

WFTV 10 is available only to Wake Forest residents and businesses that subscribe to Spectrum Cable TV service. However, WFTV 10 can be viewed online in real-time streaming video by anyone who has internet access. To stream WFTV 10 online, visit wakeforestnc.gov and search “wftv 10.”

In 2014 the Town of Wake Forest introduced SeeClickFix as a simple, yet effective way for residents to report quality of life, non-emergency issues. Since then, the Town has addressed hundreds of citizens’ concerns, ranging from damaged sidewalks and potholes to storm drain blockages and malfunctioning traffic signals.

SeeClickFix is available on the Town website, while the mobile platform is offered as a function on the Town app.

By utilizing the online or mobile reporting platform, residents can report non-emergency issues through a variety of service request categories. When submitting such issues, residents can provide locational, descriptive and photographic information as they see the issue in real time.

Once the resident submits an issue, the reporter, the Town, and anyone “watching” the area receives an alert. The Town then acknowledges the service request, routes it to the proper department, and updates the request – along with residents following the issue - once it’s been resolved. 

The Wake Forest Fire Department recently introduced a program that provides firefighters with the safe and efficient entry they need into the homes of vulnerable residents during fires or medical emergencies.

The Knox Homebox program involves homeowners buying a steel lock box and firefighters locking their house key in it. Fire crews have a master key that opens the box in the event of a medical emergency, fire or other urgent need.

The initiative saves precious time for first responders and the potential expense of costly repairs for the homeowner due to forced entry.

Whether spending a day meandering through myriad shops, sampling our delicious dining options or stopping in to see your favorite merchant for that one-of-a-kind service, shopping in downtown Wake Forest is always a great idea!

With unique products and personal attention only independents can provide, downtown Wake Forest truly is where quaint meets cool. Shopping locally also contributes to the community in ways that make buying downtown an economically-responsible decision as well!

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.
NC continues Modified Stay at Home Order

On Wednesday, Jan. 6, Gov. Roy Cooper announced that North Carolina will continue a Modified Stay at Home Order through at least January 29.

The Order requires people to stay at home between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. It also requires restaurants, bars, entertainment venues, personal care businesses and more to close at 10 pm. Travel to and from work; to obtain food, medical care, fuel or social services; or to take care of a family member is exempted.


People who live and work near Wake Forest have a convenient way to get tested for COVID-19. Wake County is contracting with clinical laboratory Radeas, located at 907 Gateway Commons Circle, to provide free, drive-thru testing Monday-Saturday from 7 a.m.-2 p.m. (note the new time).

The service is free, and no appointment is necessary. The testing typically takes about seven minutes, and results are usually provided in seven to nine hours – but can take up to 24 hours.

A mandatory mask requirement is in effect for all of North Carolina. As a result, every North Carolinian in an indoor public space, or in an outside public space when unable to physically distance from others, is required to wear a face covering.

In accordance with Executive Order (EO) 147, all visitors to the Wake Forest Town Hall, 301 S. Brooks St., and other Town facilities must wear a face mask or face covering. For more information, call Town Hall at 919-435-9400.
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If you have questions or comments about the Town of Wake Forest website or E-News, please contact Bill Crabtree by email or call 919-435-9421.