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.

Wake County is helping its residents keep the lights on, the water running and other utility services active through a new relief program for people struggling to pay utility bills due to COVID-19. 

WakeHELPS offers up to $500 per household to pay past-due balances on bills for electricity, natural gas, water, wastewater and solid waste services. Using $5 million in federal funds, the program is projected to help at least 10,000 families pay back what they owe to utility providers. 

To qualify for WakeHELPS, applicants must:
  1. Live in Wake County;
  2. Demonstrate that they have suffered financially from COVID-19; and
  3. Provide copies of past-due utility bills from March 1, 2020, or later. 

Residents must also meet the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s 2020 low-moderate income limits for our region. The maximum earnings are $39,540 for an individual and $56,460 for a family of four. 

Each household may apply once, and the maximum amount of funding is $500. For approved applicants, payments will be made directly to the utility provider.

Census takers will start visiting households that haven’t responded to the 2020 Census on Aug. 11. If you don’t want a visit, respond to the Census today online or by phone by calling 844-330-2020.

Census takers will visit each household that did not complete their 2020 Census forms. They will visit each address up to three times and may try to telephone up to three times. If the resident does not answer, a door hanger with a number resident can call will be left.

Census takers will be wearing masks and socially distancing—but if you want to avoid them altogether, complete the census online or by phone.

Census takers will have a valid ID badge with their photograph, a U.S. Department of Commerce watermark and an expiration date. Census workers may also carry Census Bureau bags and other equipment with the Census Bureau logo.

If the census taker who visits your home does not speak your language, you may request a return visit from a census taker who does speak your language.

If you have questions about a census taker’s identity, you can call 844-330-2020 to speak with a Census Bureau representative.

If you get visited by a #2020Census taker, here's what to expect:
  • Questions about name, age, race, sex
  • No questions about SSN, bank info, citizenship status
  • Availability of a census taker who speaks your language
  • A visit between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m.

The Wake Forest Human Relations Council (HRC) is soliciting youth (ages 10-18) and adult (ages 19 and older) nominations for the annual Good Neighbor of the Year Award. The award recognizes Wake Forest residents who work to improve the quality of life in their neighborhoods without seeking recognition for their efforts.

Nominees are sought in three divisions: adult, middle school youth and high school youth. To qualify, a nominee must be a Wake Forest resident who has made a significant contribution to the community between Sept. 1, 2019, and Aug. 31, 2020. Employees of the Town of Wake Forest are not eligible.

The online nomination form is available on the Town’s website. Completed nomination forms must be submitted by 5 p.m. Monday, Aug. 31.

From August 12-September 24, the Wake Forest Parks, Recreation & Cultural Resources Department and Mission Control GG will partner to offer online esports leagues for youth ages 13-17 and adults ages 18 and over.

Registration is underway for both leagues at wakeforestnc.recdesk.com. The cost is $10 per league, and you must have one of the following gaming consoles to participate: Rocket League Computer, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 and/or XBOX One.

Participants will face a new opponent each week for six weeks in a best two out of three games to decide the winner.

For more information, email Recreation Specialist Shawn Monday.

From now through August 15, Wake Forest Downtown, Inc. is inviting you to share photos of what you love about our historic downtown. Whether it’s your favorite restaurant, watering hole, live music venue or specialty shop, here’s your chance to share with the world what you love about downtown Wake Forest.

To qualify for our “Heart of Wake Forest Social Media Campaign,” photos should be submitted in one of the following categories:

  • Retail and Service: Share a photo of yourself in or in front of your favorite retail or service business in downtown;
  • Food and Beverage: Share a photo of yourself with your favorite food or beverage from a downtown establishment;
  • Arts and Entertainment: Share a photo of yourself with your favorite piece of art (this can be public art or art for sale at a downtown establishment) or you at your favorite entertainment venue listening to music, watching a show, etc. – most likely pre-COVID-19.

Please share your pictures and messages through our online form. Over the next month, we’ll post the pictures we receive on the Wake Forest Downtown Facebook page. We also invite you to post your pictures on social media and use the hashtag #HeartofWakeForest.

Throughout the month, we will randomly pick winners to receive $50 in Downtown Dollars as our way of thanking you for your continued support of downtown Wake Forest.

With tax collections lower than anticipated because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Wake Transit planners need to reschedule planned transit investments through 2030. As a result, they’re asking the public to help confirm what the priorities should be. In addition to helping planners reschedule projects, the responses will be used to identify new projects should money become available.

To share your input, complete the survey by August 31.

The Fall 2020/Winter 2021 edition of RecConnect, the Wake Forest Parks, Recreation & Cultural Resources (PRCR) Program Guide, is now available online. Check it out for complete details on recreational programs and activities for all age groups, including preschool, youth and adult, scheduled from September 2020 through February 2021.

Hard copies of RecConnect will be available soon at the Wake Forest Town Hall, 301 S. Brooks St., Joyner Park Community Center (JPCC), 701 Harris Road, Flaherty Park Community Center (FPCC), 1226 N. White St., and Alston-Massenburg Center (AMC), 416 N. Taylor St. Program registration is underway at any of these locations and online at wakeforestnc.recdesk.com. Online registration closes two business days before the start of a program.

The Town of Wake Forest wishes to congratulate Maheen Khan, age 9, who submitted the winning design for the cover of the current edition of RecConnect. Maheen used colored pencils, crayons and markers to create her illustration.

The Wake Forest Board of Commissioners (BOC) agreed Tuesday evening to cancel all Town-sponsored events, including those at the Wake Forest Renaissance Centre, at least through October due to COVID-19. 

Many special events had already been canceled or postponed, such as Friday Night on White and Family Movie Nights at Joyner Park, but Town staff were awaiting the Board’s guidance on future happenings before initiating event planning. 

The decision to suspend these events was based on the unpredictability of the coronavirus, a desire to safeguard the health and safety of the community and an expectation that residents will not be allowed to gather safely in large groups for the foreseeable future. Currently, state law limits gatherings to 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors. 

The BOC’s decision does not apply to Renaissance Centre camps and workshops or Parks, Recreation & Cultural Resources’ programs, including summer camps, being offered at limited capacity.

Although the Wake Forest Renaissance Centre is closed and in-person events canceled, “the show must go on-line.” As we continue adjusting to life in the midst of COVID-19, the Renaissance Centre is now offering a series of free online visual and performing arts experiences you can enjoy from the comfort of your home.

One of the Renaissance Centre’s favorite performers, Happy Dan The Magic Man, is now performing his one-of-a-kind magic show on the third Wednesday of each month at 11 a.m. These performances can be streamed via the Renaissance Centre Facebook page. They will also be available on the Renaissance Centre website.

Everyone laughs louder when Happy Dan the Magic Man is in the house. Happy Dan has traveled the world entertaining families for more than 30 years. His hilarious family shows are regular features at Southeastern festivals, comedy clubs, banquets, trade shows, schools, and family living rooms. He is more than an entertainer. He's that slightly silly, can't-wait-to-see-him, loving uncle that every child loves.  

Happy Dan's zany character recalls the fun of live television hosts from years gone by. He blends the gentleness and homespun comfort of Mister Rogers with the silly antics and storytelling of Captain Kangaroo. His talents stretch to thoroughly holding the attention of children as young as three years to golden age adults. Wherever laughter and a caring heart is needed, Happy Dan delivers!

To learn more about the Renaissance Centre, including our virtual programming, like us on Facebook and sign up for free updates via E-Notifier.

The Wake Forest Area Chamber Foundation is currently accepting applications for the 2020-21 class of Leadership Wake Forest. The comprehensive program is designed to engage, cultivate, and motivate individuals interested in a strong, sustainable community.

Participants meet once a month for nine months. During each session, participants receive dedicated leadership development content with a certified facilitator and in-depth instruction on such subjects as the town’s history and government structure, the economic development landscape, the local educational arena, and the ins and outs of volunteerism, among other topics. The program will begin virtually in September, with plans for face-to-face sessions when phase restrictions are lifted. The program is capped off with a group philanthropic project benefiting a local non-profit institution.

Applicants with diverse backgrounds are sought from all sectors of the Wake Forest area. The cost to participate is $500 for Chamber members and $600 for non-members. Scholarship opportunities are available to reduce tuition by 50%. For complete information, including the application, call Corey Hutcherson at 919-556-1519 or visit our website.

A contractor working to extend Ledgerock Road in the Deacons Ridge Subdivision has closed a portion of the Dunn Creek Greenway. The closure is necessary to allow crews to realign the trail. The work is expected to be completed by early November.

Signage and barricades have been posted to inform the public of the closure.

The Dunn Creek Greenway begins at the Smith Creek Soccer Center, 690 Heritage Lake Road, and runs north to the pedestrian culvert under NC-98 Bypass/Dr. Calvin Jones Highway. Measuring one mile, the 10' wide paved and boardwalk trail is designed for biking, hiking or simply enjoying nature.

A partnership between the Town of Wake Forest and Wake Electric has resulted in the installation of four electric vehicle (EV) charging stations at Joyner Park Community Center, 701 Harris Road. Available to the public and free of charge, the charging stations are ideally situated for electric vehicle owners visiting E. Carroll Joyner Park.

The two Tesla-specific and two Clipper-Creek charging stations are Level 2 charging stations capable of fully energizing an electric car in about three-to-six hours, depending on the vehicle. The four spaces also include extra room to meet ADA (Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990) requirements.

On June 24, Gov. Roy Cooper signed Executive Order 147 extending Phase Two of the state’s reopening plan until July 17 and requiring face masks be worn in public. 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.

Exceptions to the mask requirement apply to children under 11, those with certain medical conditions and people exercising outdoors away from other people. Other exceptions allow for people to remove masks while communicating with someone who is hearing impaired, while receiving medical treatment, or while giving a speech for broadcast or to an audience. You are also not required to wear a mask while riding in a personal vehicle.

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.

Delayed due to concerns about COVID-19, the opening of the Holding Park Aquatic Center (HPAC) took place Wednesday, July 1, at 10 a.m. Open Swim times are scheduled in three-hour blocks, with one hour in between to allow staff to clean and sanitize the facility, including deck chairs, door handles, hand rails and other high-touch areas.

A maximum of 120 patrons are permitted inside the facility during each session. Patrons must register and pay online for each session at least two hours in advance. Registration instructions are provided below. Please note: No walk-ins are allowed.

The Wake Forest Parks, Recreation & Cultural Resources Department wants HPAC patrons to be aware of new policies and procedures in effect for the 2020 season.
Shape the future of
Wake Forest

The Town of Wake Forest is embarking on a major update to the Wake Forest Community Plan. The updated Community Plan will shape the Town’s vision and guide development for the next 10 to 20 years. The renewed plan will also help Town leaders make substantive and thoughtful decisions on behalf of the community.

The two-year process will start this summer and include various ways for
residents to participate and offer input.

In addition, the Town of Wake Forest is also updating the Northeast Neighborhood Plan. The plan provides short and long-term recommendations for the Northeast Neighborhood. The Town has contracted with Rhodeside Harwell, Inc. to update the Northeast Neighborhood plan. The project will kick off later this summer and is expected to take 12 months to complete.

Residents will have various opportunities to provide input for the new Northeast Neighborhood Plan. Topics of considerable interest include
food security, improved public and affordable housing, workforce training,
transportation, connectivity and building partnerships.

More information on both plan updates will be announced soon.

The Taylor Street Park Sprayground, 416 N. Taylor St., opened for the season on June 13. Free and open to the public, the sprayground operates daily in two-hour sessions, then closes 30 minutes for cleaning, Monday-Saturday from 10 a.m.-7:30 p.m. and Sundays from 1-8 p.m. The facility is scheduled to close for the season on Tuesday, Sept. 8. 

Out of concern for public safety, Wake Forest Parks, Recreation & Cultural Resources has introduced the following measures as part of the facility’s daily operations:
  • Temporary fencing has been installed around the sprayground to control the entry and exit of visitors;
  • For the purposes of contact tracing, all persons entering the sprayground must be signed in by staff;
  • Seating areas are clearly marked to ensure proper spacing and appropriate social distancing (patrons may bring their own chairs);
  • Staff is enforcing a maximum capacity of 16 people.

Again, the sprayground is open daily in two-hour sessions, then closed for 30 minutes while employees sanitize every surface. To view the daily schedule, visit our website.

Wake Forest Bus Service has resumed normal operations.

The Wake Forest-Raleigh Express (WRX) serves a Park and Ride Lot (located at the intersection of White Street and Elm Avenue) in Wake Forest, the Triangle Town Center Park-and-Ride at Orvis, State Government, and the Moore Square Transit Station during rush hour. Tickets can be purchased on the GoRaleigh website, in-person at the GoRaleigh Station, or at Wake Forest Town Hall. Ticket sales at Town Hall can be made by visiting the Planning Department on the 3rd Floor.

Operated using GoRaleigh vehicles, Wake Forest Loops A and B offer fare-free service for residents traveling within Wake Forest and a portion of Wakefield.

Customers are asked to board buses using the rear doors in an effort to promote greater social distancing. GoRaleigh cannot collect fares at the rear doors, therefore fare collection will continue to be suspended. Front door access will be available for persons with disabilities. 

GoRaleigh standard sized buses will allow up to 16 passengers to comply with social distancing practices. If a bus reaches full capacity and resources are available at the time, a tripper bus will be sent to pick up any remaining passengers.

For the safety of the operators and passengers, we encourage wearing a face covering of some form on all buses.  

These practices can help limit the impact of COVID-19 on our community. For more information, call 919-485-RIDE (7433).
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!"

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, about six out of 10 people living with dementia will wander away from their homes. As the development of the disease continues, it can become increasingly difficult and potentially impossible for the person to find their way home. Many children with autism may also wander. That’s why the Wake Forest Police Department (WFPD) is introducing a new program designed to help officers find and safely return home people with disabilities as quickly as possible when they wander away from their families or caregivers.

The Take Me Home initiative is designed to protect Wake Forest children, adults and the elderly with disabilities, such as autism, Down syndrome or Alzheimer’s and other dementia disorders, who go missing and may be unable to communicate who they are and where they live.

The program is a free, voluntary and confidential database offered, managed and maintained by Wake Forest police for Wake Forest residents. It is only accessible to law enforcement via the WFPD.

Fred Smith Co., a private contractor working on behalf of the Town of Wake Forest, has begun preliminary work on the Ligon Mill Road Operational Improvements Project (LMROIP)

Initial efforts will include the installation of project signage and silt and tree protection fencing, along with equipment mobilization. This work will have little to no impact on pedestrians or traffic.

The LMROIP consists of widening the existing narrow corridor from two lanes to a four-lane median-divided roadway with left-turn lanes, bike lanes, curb and gutter and extra-wide sidewalks. In addition, crosswalks, pedestrian signals, and dedicated left, through and right-turn lanes will be installed at the existing intersection with South Main Street/US 1A.

These improvements are designed to significantly improve the mobility and safety of this corridor. Decorative stone retaining walls will also be installed to enhance the visual appearance of the area.

For complete information, including project updates, visit our website

The NC Department of Transportation wants to hear from you about North Carolina’s trails and how to make them better. The NCDOT is encouraging residents and leaders to participate in a brief survey on our state’s multi-modal transportation. The input will be used to identify a network of shared-use paths and trails that connects​​​ every county in North Carolina.

The public can give feedback in two ways by taking an interactive map survey or a 10-question survey. Participants are encouraged to take both surveys beginning now through September 30.

Available here, these surveys are a part of NCDOT’s effort to develop its statewide trail plan and 5-year implementation strategy, called the Great Trails State Plan.

The Great Trails State Plan is focusing on shared-use paths that can serve transportation purposes, providing connections between where people live, work and play. 
Check out our new "Wonderful Wake Forest" video

The Town of Wake Forest often receives reports about trash of all kinds along our roads. It's a shame we're forced to constantly reinforce this message - but please don’t litter! We need everyone to help keep Wake Forest and North Carolina beautiful and safe, and it starts with each of us doing our part.

All Wake Forest Parks, Recreation & Cultural Resources' playgrounds are closed until further notice. All Town parks and greenways remain open to the public, but water fountains are turned off.
Parks and greenways users are urged to remember the following:
  • Refrain from using parks or trails if you are exhibiting symptoms.
  • While on trails, warn other users of your presence as you pass, and step aside to let others pass.
  • Always observe CDC’s minimum recommended social distancing of 6 feet from other individuals. If this is not possible, find an alternate location or depart that space.

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. More>>
Stay In Touch
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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.