Webmaster | edited by Phyllis French
As they say “you only get a chance to make a first impression once.” The first visible object that greets any visitor to the lake is our Welcome to Lake Heritage sign. It’s the kind of thing that a visitor notices but a full time resident doesn’t see because it blends into the background inhabited by all familiar objects. Our previous sign was very similar but there are significant differences between the old and new that perhaps warrant a mention.
A passing truck cracked a piece off one side of the old sign leaving it a bit less than perfect and asymmetrical. Several LHPOA residents and Beautification chair, Barbara Keyton, advocated a new welcome sign to replace the old. Brian and Phyllis French have for years kept the base of the sign clean, trimmed, weed free, watered and bright with a variety of plantings. However, the base around the old sign was formed by a rough circle of cement blocks that were thrown together in the early years of Bill Clinton’s presidency. So, besides the sign, there emerged a second project, how to improve the base of the sign making it more receptive to an aesthetically pleasing arrangement of grasses and flowers. The stonework at the sign’s base was done by Lake Heritage’s own Chris Johnson.
The new sign’s content is identical to the old with the exception of the addition of Lake Heritage’s website, lakeheritage.org, another “first visible object” to online visitors. The new sign is made of metal with reflective and weather resistant paint. It is more durable than the old with a very long life expectancy (barring collisions with passing trucks). Phyllis and Brian plan to continue making the sign a pleasing focal point by keeping the base weeded, well-watered and maintaining a select arrangement of plantings at its base. They also police the area to gather up the detritus of disposable wrappers and containers for disposal.
The project was shepherded through the Board of Directors for funding by Barbara Keyton, a board member and chair for the Beautification, Recreation and Community Center Oversight Committee. What made the sign particularly cost effective was that Len Dick, our local sign maker, was able to reuse the support structure from the previous sign to hang the new sign. Not having to construct a new structural support for the sign funded the second project which was the new natural stone block base.
Many will pass the sign and not give it a single thought but it did take some vision and effort to get it off the drawing board. So the next time you’re entering Lake Heritage and see the Welcome sign, you’ll know more about it and how it got there. The frugal among you will even stop to look at the back of the sign which saved us a bundle!