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.

Beginning Monday, Sept. 14, the Wake Forest Parks, Recreation & Cultural Resources Department will offer limited access by registration only to Joyner Park Community Center (JPCC), 701 Harris Road; Flaherty Park Community Center (FPCC), 1226 N. White St.; Wake Forest Community House (WFCH), 133 W. Owen Ave.; and Alston-Massenburg Center (AMC), 416 N. Taylor St. Closed to the public since March due to COVID-19, these facilities will reopen with the following limited operating hours:

  • Monday-Friday, 8 am-Noon; Noon-4 p.m. (Business Hours only); 4-8:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, 8 a.m.-Noon
  • Sunday - Closed

Before entering any of these facilities, visitors must register in advance online. No walk-ins will be allowed. Online registration began today (Friday, Sept. 11), at 8 a.m.

Activities will be scheduled in one-hour blocks, with 30 minutes in between to allow staff to clean and sanitize the facility, including equipment, chairs, door handles, handrails and other high-touch areas. Patrons may only register for one time slot per day for pickleball open play (JPCC and FPCC) and usage of the fitness room (JPCC) and walking track (JPCC).

Beginning the week of September 14, the Wake Forest Loop (WFL), a fare-free bus service for residents traveling within Wake Forest and a portion of Wakefield, will expand its route to include six new all-day stops along Heritage Lake Road. The first pair of stops will be located near Gateway Commons, while the next two will be situated at opposite corners of the Heritage Lake Road/Heritage Club Avenue intersection. The final two stops will be located at the intersection of Heritage Lake Road and Rogers Road.

The expanded service into Heritage will become part of the WFL’s permanent route effectively introducing all-day service into an area that had previously enjoyed mid-day service only.

As a result of the expanded route, current stops along South Main Street/US 1A in front of The Lodge and near Forbes Road will be removed.
The new all-day stops in Heritage, along with other enhancements introduced over the past several months, are designed to make public transportation more accessible to larger numbers of residents.

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 that once required a telephone call to the Public Works Department.

Now, instead of calling Public Works, residents can visit the Town website, then complete and submit the appropriate online form to accomplish the following:

  • 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;
  • Sign up for Waste Wizard.

The online forms are also available on the Town app under the “Waste Wizard & Other Solid Waste Resources” function.

After completing and submitting the appropriate form, residents will receive an email confirming their submission has been received.

The Wake Forest Parks, Recreation & Cultural Resources Department is committed to ensuring that our resilient community members have resources to maintain healthy lives, grow meaningful relationships and continue to have unique experiences.

While we miss seeing you on a daily basis, it is our goal to bring resources right to you and your families with the hope of making it easier for you to prioritize your health and well-being.

Our team has been hard at work putting together an exciting line-up of virtual classes for you and your family to enjoy while at home due to COVID-19. Here's a schedule of our virtual offerings, including special events, music, culinary and education classes, and athletics. You will note that many also offer in-person options.

The Town of Wake Forest and Republic Services have coordinated trash, recycling and yard waste collection re-routes that beginning Monday, Oct. 5, will shift collection days for many residents in the following neighborhoods:
  • Adams Ridge
  • Bowling Green
  • Cardinal Hills
  • Crenshaw Hall
  • Crenshaw Manor
  • Deacons Ridge
  • Downtown Wake Forest
  • Edgeford Parks
  • Everly
  • Forest Mill
  • Green Acres
  • Heath Ridge Village
  • Heritage
  • Holding Village
  • Home Garden
  • Homestead at Heritage
  • Mangum
  • Northhampton
  • Oakwood Estates
  • Retreat at Renaissance
  • Richland Hills
  • Stonegate
Not every street in these neighborhoods will be impacted. Affected residents will receive a postcard in the mail (see sample above) and decal on their rollout trash cart that reads “Your Solid Waste Service Day is Changing.” The information pieces will identify the resident’s new trash, recycling and yard waste collection days.

The revised collection schedule is in response to the significant growth experienced throughout much of Wake Forest over the past several years. Republic Services officials say adjusting the routes will help balance the number of homes that must be serviced each day.

Although the Wake Forest Renaissance Centre remains closed and in-person events suspended due to COVID-19, the arts venue continues to offer free online visual and performing arts experiences you can enjoy from the comfort of your home. Grey Seal Puppets’ presentation of “Salsa Cinderella” will be streamed via the Renaissance Centre Facebook page on Wednesday, September 30, at 11 a.m. The following day it will be made available on the Renaissance Centre website.

Experience this timeless classic re-told with Latin American flavor! An original musical score by Charlotte composer John Alexander will have you fighting the urge to mambo in your living room. A dazzling array of rod puppets and shadow puppets all join in the quest to find the foot that fits a simple sandal. This show is sure to delight the salsa fan in everyone!

This project is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts.

The Holding Park Aquatic Center (HPAC) is open daily through Sunday, Sept. 13, according to the following schedule:

  • Weekdays, 4-8 p.m.
  • Saturdays, 9 a.m.-Noon; 1-4 p.m.; 5-8 p.m.
  • Sundays, 1-4 p.m.; 5-8 p.m.

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.

The Wake Forest Parks, Recreation & Cultural Resources (PRCR) Department is now accepting 2021 facility rental reservations. In an effort to safeguard the health and safety of our community and staff, the PRCR Department will offer citizens the opportunity to reserve rental facilities online by following a simple step-by-step process:

  • Confirm the date and time by calling the facility or the PRCR Department at 919-435-9560;

Once an application has been reviewed and accepted, applicants will receive confirmation via email or telephone, followed by an invoice for the rental deposit or full rental fee.

Please note: Submitting a rental request does not guarantee approval. All requests are considered “tentative” until the entire process has been completed, including payment of the rental deposit or full rental fee.

Once payment is accepted, applicants will receive confirmation via email or telephone.

The Town of Wake Forest recently introduced a new video series entitled Wake Forest Perspectives. Each program in the series features a 15-20 minute conversation with a Town of Wake Forest staff member, official or Wake Forest personality. Our goal is to engage a range of local guests in one-on-one discussions to provide a variety of “perspectives” on Wake Forest events, activities and initiatives.

On Mondays at noon, we post a new conversation on the Town’s Facebook page and begin airing it on WFTV 10.

This week's guest was Wake Forest Customer Service Manager Drew Brown. Other recent guests have included Renaissance Centre Manager Debbie Dunn, Wake Forest High School Football Coach Reggie Lucas and Senior Historic Planner Michelle Michael.

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 Meeting 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.”

The Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) recently named the Town of Wake Forest as the recipient of the GFOA’s Award for Outstanding Achievement in Popular Annual Financial Reporting for its Citizens’ Financial Report for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2019. This marks the third consecutive year the Town has garnered the award.

The Award for Outstanding Achievement in Popular Annual Financial Reporting is a prestigious national award recognizing conformance with the highest standards for preparation of state and local popular reports. To receive the honor, a government unit must publish a Citizens Financial Report, also known as a Popular Annual Financial Report (PAFR), whose contents conform to program standards of creativity, understandability, distribution methods, reader appeal and other elements.

The Citizens Financial Report, or PAFR, is prepared to inform Wake Forest residents about the Town's finances in a format that is easy to understand by those without a background in public finance or accounting. The document is designed for readers who would like to review financial and operational information in a summarized format. It also provides non-financial information to give users a better understanding of the community. To view the Town’s 2019 PAFR, visit our website.

In June, the Wake Forest Board of Commissioners voted to change how the Town charges for solid waste collection. Since 2008 Wake Forest property owners have paid for solid waste service as part of their annual property tax bill. Beginning January 1, 2021, the service will no longer be covered solely by annual tax revenues, but instead by a $21 monthly solid waste fee included on residents’ water bill. The monthly fee includes weekly trash, recycling and yard waste collection, along with seasonal collections for loose leaves, Christmas trees, bulk waste pickup and large brush collection.

Several improvements to the Town's yard waste and bulk waste collection programs (described below) will begin in January. The Town has created a portal on its website that provides a complete overview of program improvements, including answers to several frequently asked questions.

Yard Waste Collection
We heard repeatedly how working in your yard provides a tremendous stress relief (especially during a pandemic). The following improvements aim to keep up with your needs. Again, all will begin in January 2021:

  • The weekly bag limit of yard waste will increase from 10 bags to 20 bags.
  • The limit of large brush will increase from four to eight cubic yards (that’s about two pickup truck loads).
  • Large brush collections must be scheduled in advance via an online form on the Town’s website similar to the scheduling of bulk waste collections. Any yard waste that does not fit into bags or yard waste containers is considered “large brush” and must be scheduled in advance.

Residents in single-family and townhome communities not previously receiving yard waste service will receive service beginning in January.

Residents that contract with a landscaping company are responsible for coordinating with their contractor to ensure that any yard waste is placed in clear plastic bags, Town-provided carts or biodegradable paper bags for collection. Yard waste must be placed in front of individual homes, not in front of common areas or open space.

Bulk Waste Collection
Beginning in January, bulk waste items of any weight will be collected — so items no longer need to meet a 75 lb. minimum requirement. Bulk waste is simply any acceptable trash that does not fit into your rollout cart, such as furniture, appliances, rugs and lawn mowers.

Bulk waste pickups must be scheduled online. Residents can schedule up to two free bulk waste collections per year. After that, collections are billed at $50 each.

Stay tuned because you'll be hearing much more about these improvements over the next several months.

Wake Forest Power (WFP) offers residential customers a simple, yet effective way they can help neighbors struggling to pay electric bills due to COVID-19 or other financial hardships.

Helping Others by Providing Electricity or H.O.P.E. is an initiative offered by the Town of Wake Forest designed to help financially disadvantaged electric customers pay their utility bills. The program is funded by the generous donations of WFP customers and administered through a partnership between the Town and ChurchNet, a local non-profit organization assisting area people in need.

WFP now offers three ways for customers to contribute to H.O.P.E. online:

  1. Round up your bill to the next dollar. For example, a bill of $73.46 would become $74.00. Individually, this is pretty small change; on average, participants will contribute around six dollars annually to the program.
  2. Make a recurring contribution with your monthly utility payment. For your convenience, the Town of Wake Forest is happy to set up a recurring donation of as little as $1/month or whatever dollar amount you choose.
  3. Make a one-time contribution via PayPal. This option is available to everyone - not just WFP customers.

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) has introduced 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.

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.

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 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.

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.

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 Community 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.
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!"
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.

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>>
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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.