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.
Face coverings encouraged but not mandatory

Following the City of Raleigh’s announcement that it will implement a mandatory face mask rule starting at 4 pm Friday, the Town of Wake Forest has received numerous inquiries about its policy. At this time, the Town is not requiring residents to wear face coverings when out in public.
However, in accordance with the guidance from NCDHHS , the CDC and other public health experts, Town officials strongly encourage residents and visitors to wear face coverings when out in public.
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.

Delayed due to concerns about COVID-19, the opening of the  Holding Park Aquatic Center  (HPAC) is scheduled for Wednesday, July 1, at 10 a.m. Open Swim times will be 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 will be allowed inside the facility during each session. Patrons must register and pay for each session in advance online . No walk-ins will be 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 .

The 2020-21 budget was approved by the Wake Forest Board of Commissioners on June 16. The property tax is reduced from $0.52 to $0.495 per $100 of assessed property valuation.

A residential solid waste fee of $21 per month will take effect Jan. 1, 2021 and appear on the
water and sewer bill from the City of Raleigh.

The vehicle fee remains at $25 and no adjustments were made to electric rates.

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 performance can be streamed via the  Renaissance Centre Facebook  page. They will also be available in the coming days 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 Taylor Street Park Sprayground , 416 N. Taylor St., opened for the season on Saturday, 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 .

Simple Recycling has informed the Town of Wake Forest that it will discontinue its curbside textile collection program in Wake Forest effective today (Friday, June 19). In a letter to Town officials, Simple Recycling identified the COVID-19 pandemic as the primary reason for its decision.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has materially changed our nation and the world at large. While the full impact and interruptions to our business are yet to be fully realized, in the immediate term, they are significant. We have been challenged to make difficult but prudent decisions to ensure the continuity of our programs in your community and at a national level.

Because of this, please accept this notification that Simple Recycling will be discontinuing our curbside textile collection program in the City of Wake Forest and our last day of service will be June 19th as we are closing our local facility.”

The Town is encouraging residents to consider the following tips when apparel, footwear and accessories are out of style, worn, stained or just no longer useful.

  • Pass clothing along to family or friends. Babies and children often outgrow clothes well before they are worn out.
  • Donate clothing. Reputable charities and thrift stores accept and sell donated clothing to help fund their activities and achieve their charitable missions. See a few local charities listed below. Approximately 20 percent of donated clothes are sold at thrift locations. The remaining 80 percent is sold to recycler.
  • Recycle clothing. Some clothing retailers, such as Levi Strauss, Madewell, H&M and The North Face provide in-store receptacles to take back used clothing and may offer incentives to participate.
  • Repurpose clothing. This can be as simple as turning an old t-shirt into a cleaning rag.
  • Buy recycled. Seek out and purchase clothing and accessories made from recycled materials.

Additionally, the following local non-profits accept donations of clothing:  GCF Donation Center & Store Goodwill Retails Thrift Store , Ukay Ukay Thrift Store,  Giving Tree Foundation Helping Hand Mission Salvation Army Women's Center of Wake County North Raleigh Ministries .

The average person throws away nearly 70 lbs. of clothing, shoes and accessories each year. By recycling these items, Wake Forest residents can keep them out of the landfill and make them available to others who can use them. For more information, visit our website .

Over the past several months, the Towns of Wake Forest and Rolesville have been studying transit service alternatives to improve and expand our citizens’ travel options. Please take a moment to provide your feedback by completing this survey between now and June 25.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the Wake Forest Parks, Recreation & Cultural Resources (PRCR) Department is taking a slow and cautious approach to resuming 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. 

Due to the ever-evolving situation surrounding COVID-19, PRCR-sponsored athletic programs are subject to change with limited notice. Wake Forest officials will continue to closely monitor updates and follow guidelines from the Wake County Health Department, N.C. Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHSS) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). These guidelines have been implemented in protocols established by the Town to address potential exposure to the coronavirus and protect our community and staff.

Registration continues for Youth Fall Baseball & Softball
PRCR officials announced today that Youth Fall Baseball and Softball registration is underway for boys ages 6-16 and girls ages 6-14 and will continue through Sunday, July 12. A participant’s eligibility is determined by his or her age on April 30, 2020, 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. Team placement and draft information, along with additional registration details and league rules are also provided online and at the Wake Forest Town Hall, 301 S. Brooks St.

Players in every league except “Rookie League” must participate in a draft to determine team placement. The Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources Department will conduct drafts for each league in August and in July will contact all registrants with draft/placement information.

Team practices will begin in August and games will be played through mid-October.

Community health and safety is the top priority for the PRCR Department. Once practices and games begin, several precautionary measures will be taken to protect players, coaches and parents.


Co-Rec Church Softball Registration continues through June
The PRCR Department is now accepting team registrations for Co-Rec Church Softball through Tuesday, June 30. Online registration is available. The entry fee is $550 per team, and the league is limited to participants ages 18 and older.

Beginning in mid-August, league games will be played primarily on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 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 wakeforestnc.gov, search “Free Agent” and complete the online registration form.

Community health and safety is the top priority for the PRCR Department. Once practices and games begin, several precautionary measures will be taken to protect players, coaches and officials.


Adult Summer Co-Rec Kickball registration is underway
The PRCR Department is now accepting team registrations for Adult Summer Co-Rec Kickball through Tuesday, June 30. Online registration is available. 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 from mid-July through late August.

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 wakeforestnc.gov, search “Free Agent” and complete the online registration form.

Community health and safety is the top priority for the PRCR Department. Once practices and games begin, several precautionary measures will be taken to protect players, coaches and officials.

The Wake Forest Renaissance Centre will host Red, White and Hues, a Virtual Art Exhibit and Wine Tasting on Saturday, June 26, at 6 p.m.
Free and open to the first 90 people to register, the event will take place over Zoom.

Take a virtual tour of several works of art supplied by the Wake Forest Guild of Artists while enjoying three wines specifically selected from Unwined on White to pair with the art. The artists and sommelier Andrew Mehring will join the conversation to share their inspiration and knowledge.

The cost of the three wines is $40 plus tax. Wines can be purchased online  or by calling 919-761-5049 and may be picked up in-store or curbside. 

Orders must be received no later than Wednesday, June 24.

For more information, email Renaissance Centre Manager Debbie Dunn .

The Town of Wake Forest and Wake Forest Downtown, Inc. (WFD) are looking to stimulate the downtown Wake Forest economy and reward residents who are supporting downtown businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. To achieve these goals, a special incentive is being offered through July 5 to people who shop at participating stores.

As part of Red, White & Blue - Downtown Wake Forest Needs You , for every $25 a customer spends at one of the participating downtown businesses, he or she will receive a raffle ticket to be entered into a weekly drawing.

Altogether, $1,500 in Downtown Dollars will be given away with the grand prize winner receiving $500.

Drawings will be held on the following Wednesdays: June 17, June 24, July 1, and July 8. Winners will be announced on the Wake Forest Downtown Facebook and Instagram pages.

Downtown Dollars can be used the same as cash. To learn more about Downtown Dollars and view a list of downtown merchants who accept them, visit our website .

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 set to begin 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 signature events, The Malpass Brothers in concert , will take place virtually on Saturday, July 25. The event will begin at 7 p.m. and can be streamed via the  Renaissance Centre Facebook  page.
Steeped in traditional country music, The Malpass Brothers feature a smooth vocal blend and skillful musicianship while performing in the styles of Johnny Cash, Marty Robbins and Hank Williams, Sr.

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

Northern Community Food Security Team (NCFST) Chair Andrew Brown, Jr. recently announced that the Northern Regional Center (NRC), 350 E. Holding Ave., will continue serving as a weekday food distribution site through Friday, July 31. Until then, parents and caretakers of students ages 18 and younger can continue to pick up free, nutritious meals Monday-Friday from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. as part of Wake County’s Summer Nutrition Program. Distributed curbside at the NRC, the food is placed in safe and sanitized containers to minimize concerns related to the spread of COVID-19.

Brown also reminded residents about the NCFST’s Weekend Meals Program. Offered Fridays at the NRC from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. (rain or shine), the initiative invites families to pick up enough food to sustain them through the weekend. Thanks to the NCFST’s network of partners, a variety of foods are available at no cost, including dairy, poultry, fruits, vegetables and shelf staples (peanut butter, pasta, oatmeal, cereal, canned goods and nuts).

“Our efforts would not be possible without the support we receive from our incredible partners,” said Brown. “These partners include Farmer’s Foodshare, Backpack Buddies, Bread of Life Ministries, Tri-Area Ministries, Fresh Point Produce, and Inter-Faith Food Shuttle.”

For more information, contact NCFST Chair Andrew Brown, Jr. at 919-435-9466. 

Wake Forest Loop B resumed normal operations on May 26 after being suspended since March 30 due to COVID-19. Wake Forest-Raleigh Express service remains suspended until further notice.

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). More>>

The Town of Wake Forest is following North Carolina’s Safer-At-Home Phase 2 Order as outlined by Governor Roy Cooper’s Executive Order No. 141 . The Safer At Home Phase 2 runs through at least Friday, June 26.

Mass gathering limits in Phase 2 are no more than 10 people indoors or 25 people outdoors in most circumstances. 

Due to the current mass gathering limits and an expectation that residents will not be allowed to gather safely in large groups for the foreseeable future, the Town has canceled its traditional July 3 Fireworks Spectacular.
However, instead of the conventional in-person celebration, officials plan to put on an aerial fireworks display that residents can watch in a variety of ways, including (but not necessarily limited to) Facebook Live and WFTV 10. Plans are still being developed, so specific details will be provided in the coming weeks.

Wake Forest’s July 4 festivities, including the annual Children’s Parade and Art-in-the-Park, have also been canceled. Planning was well underway for these events before the COVID-19 pandemic was declared. The Town of Wake Forest would like to recognize the Wake Forest Optimist Club and the Wake Forest Woman’s Club for pledging their support for these events.
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. Its designed to help you "get the right things in the bin - for the win!"
We're behind in the
Mayors' Census Challenge!

Oh no! Our friends in Fuquay-Varina are maintaining a slight lead in our head-to-head match-up over which town finishes with the better 2020 US Census self-response rate. We are now trailing 72.9 percent to 72.5 percent! Please encourage everyone you know to complete the Census online. Not only does completing the Census help ensure Wake County receives its fair share of federal funding for schools, hospitals, roads and other vital programs, but every every person counted in our community brings more than $1,800 in state and federal funding each year. If that's not enough to motivate you then do it to help ensure Mayor Jones and Wake Forest emerge victorious in our contest with Fuquay-Varina! We're "counting" on you!"

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
Please...don't...litter!

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.

Thank you for doing your part to keep Wake Forest safe, and for proving every day that the caring community we know and love is still here and as strong as ever.  #StayStrongWF

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>>
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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.