Swan Habitat on Lake Hamilton

By Dick Gordon, Hamilton Lakes resident

Wills Maggart stands on the newly-anchored swan nesting platform in Lake Hamilton

My name is Dick Gordon, and my wife, Martha is a board member on the Hamilton Lakes & Parks Association.

The Board at Hamilton Lakes & Parks had been discussing how to keep the swans and any cygnets they have safe from predators that have killed our swans in the past. One thing they learned about was to have a floating “habitat” for them, but only one company in Chicago makes them. And they would not deliver them!

Martha and I noticed that our back door neighbor was a gifted carpenter and mechanically-inclined man. When the subject of the nesting platform came up, we eventually thought to ask if Mr. Zachary Maggart, and his son, Wills, may help. It turns out that Wills was looking for an Eagle Scout project, and BINGO! They jumped at the chance to build the platform. Wills carefully designed the platform and planned its construction, and wrote a very convincing proposal to the Board.

Wills and Scout Troop 26 built and launched the platform on the weekend of September 26. It all looks great! It’s anchored in the cove at the north end of Lake Hamilton. The habitat has soil and vegetation from the surrounding area, so the swans should feel comfortable once they get used to their new home.

Adding the float for the ramp for the swans to enter the habitat

I would like to thank Mr. Maggart and Wills for their effort and for further adding to our community. I hope that this new arrangement can keep the swans safe from predators and that they have healthy offspring.

Cheers to All!

How We Can Help and Respect Each Other in Stressful Times

The Board recognized early this spring that this was going to be extremely stressful for everyone, and we have been doing our utmost to let the lakes and parks be a place of refuge and enjoyment. 

At the same time, the increased pedestrian and vehicular traffic, especially at Lake Hamilton, has led to overcrowding on the shoulders of the city street, hazardous conditions for pedestrians along E Keeling Rd., and unsightly littering in the park and lake. 

That’s why it is important for us to continue to remind everyone that Lake Hamilton and Lake Euphemia are private property, and restricted to the use of dues-paying members only, and for us to enforce the restrictions for use of our private property. We cannot control parking along E. Keeling Rd – that’s a city street – but we can limit traffic if non-members are discouraged from fishing at Lake Hamilton.

Your membership dues help us defray the costs for maintaining the lakes and trails. Annual expenses run in the tens of thousands of dollars. We are grateful for your support. We get no financial support from the city or state; in fact, we pay taxes on the land.

We retain the services of a security monitor to help us check that only association members are using the lakes and surrounding trails. She carries a current roster of all paid members, listed by household address. If a woman wearing a Hamilton Lakes and Parks security badge approaches you and asks you for your address, she is doing her job to help protect you and your lake and park.

This is no different than being asked to produce your membership card when you enter a private gym, the YMCA, or a country club. We don’t have gates or fences or checkpoints, so her approaching you in the park is the only way we can check to see your membership status.

We have asked her again this week to ensure that if she approaches you, she does it in a polite and respectful manner. Likewise, we request that you politely and respectfully give her your address so that she may verify your membership. There’s no need for it to be anything other than a friendly, 30-second interaction.

We have several hundred members. It is impossible for her to remember everyone by sight to recall if they are paid members or not. That’s why she may ask you for your address if she does not know you personally.

For those members who don’t want to be disturbed, we have given her some membership cards to hand out to members who are fishing or boating, if they request one. She will just need to verify your address, and then she’ll give you the ID tag, which you can hang on your gear or clothing. Thereafter, if you see her coming toward you, all you have to do is wave your membership tag so that she can see it.

Also please be aware that the Board meets regularly with the Greensboro Police Department regarding safety and security. Every time we meet with them, they remind us to call the police IMMEDIATELY to report trespassing. We have chosen not to escalate situations to them unless (1) people refuse to identify themselves, (2) they are not members and refuse to leave after being asked to do so, or (3) we see behavior that is clearly destructive or potential harmful. The Board supports our security monitor’s judgment and discretion in making that call.

Thank you for your continued support and understanding as we walk the fine line between creating an open environment as possible for our members while also keeping Hamilton Lakes and Parks safe and secure. 

Device Found at Lake Hamilton, May 17, 2020

Hi folks, Jonathan Ward here, President of Hamilton Lakes and Parks Inc. I spoke with Officer O’Brien of the Greensboro Police Department today. The device that was found on the banks of Lake Hamilton on May 17 was a military-style grenade of the type that people can buy at gun shows. Officer O’Brien said that the device was “heavily weathered,” meaning that it had been on the ground for quite some time. He suspects that it was left there accidentally long ago and was not placed with malicious intent.

I was surprised to learn that the police get a LOT of calls about grenades being found. 

Official advice: If you are ever out and about and see anything that looks suspicious, DO NOT TOUCH IT; DO NOT PICK IT UP. Call the Greensboro Police Department, and they will investigate it and dispose of it properly. 

We are all grateful that no one was injured.

Please be aware that we have been increasing our security around Hamilton Lakes for the past several months, in order to keep everyone safe and to keep the parks and lakes clean and in good shape. If you are challenged by our security patrol, please know that her number one priority is your safety and the safety of our members and residents. You can help us by being vigilant for suspicious activity and by helping to keep the grounds clean! Nothing will spoil your day faster than stepping on a piece of broken glass or a rusty fishhook.

Spring Fishing Clinic and Clean-Up Day Cancelled – May 9, 2020

The May fishing clinic at Lake Hamilton has been cancelled due to the need for us to continue social distancing to limit the spread of Covid-19.

Likewise, we will not be holding our spring community clean-up rounds that morning.

At the moment, we still plan to hold the fall fishing clinic and our annual picnic at Lake Euphemia on September 20, 2020.

Thank you for your understanding!

A Reminder about How to Use Our Lakes Safely

An unauthorized activity at Lake Hamilton this past week seemed innocent enough on the surface, but was a matter of serious concern to the Board of Directors for Hamilton Lakes and Parks, Inc.

We must remind everyone that for public safety and for the protection of our members, it is the recorded policy of Hamilton Lakes and Parks, Inc. that:

  • Only dues-paying members and their accompanied guests are permitted to use the lakes and parks.
  • Our liability insurance prohibits anyone – member or not – from entering the water in the lakes for any reason, unless in a non-motorized watercraft with life preservers for all occupants.

Any requests for exceptions to the above MUST be approved by the Board of Directors in advance of the activity.

Thank you for your understanding and compliance with these requirements. Please help us keep our lakes and parks safe and beautiful!

Annual Meeting – February 18, 2020

Hamilton Lakes and Parks, Inc. will hold its annual open meeting in February. All residents of the Hamilton Lakes neighborhood are invited to attend.

Per our bylaws, this is the time for residents to approve the Board for the coming year. It’s also a great opportunity for you to meet your Board members and your neighbors, to hear about upcoming social events such as our fishing clinics and picnic, and to learn about what we’re doing to preserve the natural beauty of our lakes and parks.

When: Tuesday, February 18, 2020 at 7:00 p.m.
Where: Hamilton Lakes Swim and Tennis Club, 800 Montpelier Ave., Greensboro

(Please note that Hamilton Lakes and Parks, Inc. is not formally affiliated with the Hamilton Lakes Swim and Tennis Club. However, we thank the Club for generously providing us with the use of their meeting space.)

Spring Fishing Clinic and Neighborhood Work Day – May 18, 2019, 9 a.m. – noon

Our annual Lake Hamilton fishing clinic will be held at the Lake Hamilton Dock (at the intersection of E. Keeling Rd. and Henderson Rd.) on Saturday, May 18, from 9 a.m. until noon. Kids of all ages are welcome to come and learn from our enthusiastic resident anglers. Bring a rod and enjoy a beautiful morning at our lake!

As a reminder, fishing at Lake Hamilton is open to the families of dues-paying members of Hamilton Lakes and Parks. If you need to renew your annual dues, please visit this page.

We also invite residents to participate in our neighborhood clean-up and work day on the morning of May 18. We’ll be gathering by the dock at 9 a.m. to talk about what needs to be done. Bring a pair of work gloves (and maybe some bug spray!) and help us preserve the beauty of Hamilton Lakes and Parks.

Swans at Hamilton Lakes and Parks!

Lake Euphemia, Lake Hamilton, and Jim King Pond now all have pair of swans, thanks to the generosity of our neighbors in Hamilton Lakes and Parks. These majestic birds are enthralling to watch, and they also help keep the Canada geese under control.

Jack and Rose were relocated from a farm in Minnesota to Lake Hamilton in February.

Pretty Girl joined Big Boy, who was already a resident on Jim King Pond. They’re still getting to know each other, but maybe they’ll be in love by next year!

One of your neighbors recently wrote:

I wanted to thank you and the rest of the board for all the work that you did to get us not only a new swan couple for Lake Hamilton but also a mate for the widower swan that is on Jim King Pond.  For me these birds have added so much pleasure to already joyous walks on the paths in our beautiful neighborhood.  And I missed them terribly when they were gone. I know that many others value them as well even if not everyone has told you so. Please accept my thanks and extend it to all those who helped with this effort.