All Those Leaves!

All Those Leaves!

One of our favorite neighborhood projects brings people together in sharing a job that just about no one really looks forward to. After enjoying the brilliant seasonal glory of all the yellow, red, and purple colors as our Southern Gables trees hunker down for the winter, we have to deal with the aftermath as the glory fades and the leaves fall to the ground. We bring out the rakes. 

Our neighbor Sharon was one of 34 Southern Gables residents who signed up to have their leaves raked up by volunteers for our Southern Gables Neighborhood Association Leaf Day. She wrote to Judy Whitten, the Volunteer Coordinator, to express her feelings after the young volunteers had completed the job, and sent a pretty impressive photo to show off their work. 

November 6, 2021

Hi Judy,

Thank you. Thank you. I appreciated the help of your young leaf raking volunteers yesterday. It was wonderful having such amazing young people in my yard. I enjoyed them. I included a picture to show you how hard they worked. I wanted to tip them but I was told I needed to donate to the school so I did. I appreciated this so much. It meant so much to me.

Sharon Sheppard

Leaves from Sharon’s yard, one of 34 yards raked by volunteers from Denver Christian School for Southern Gables Leaf Day

All the raking volunteers were from Denver Christian School. Denver Christian has a long history of volunteer community service with their students, and the Friday leaf raking in our neighborhood was a part of that tradition. 1

The bagged leaves were all picked up by yet more volunteers on Saturday morning, and taken to the Green Gables Elementary School parking lot where Doug Whitten had arranged for three large dumpsters to receive them to go to a composting facility. Keeping this much organic material from being wasted, and keeping it from taking up space in a landfill, is a big benefit of our Leaf Day project. In addition to all the leaves raked by the Friday volunteers, on Saturday many of our Southern Gables neighbors brought their own raked and bagged leaves to the collection site. Before the morning was half over, a fourth dumpster had to be brought in. Even after that, according to Doug, “Regrettably, we had to stop receiving leaves as we had nowhere to put them.  Our dumpsters were completely full after being compressed.”

Activity at the collection site on Saturday. The combined total of leaves brought in Saturday was 987 bags, compressed in the dumpsters to 80 cubic yards for composting.

Leaf stompers Carolyn Wolfrum and Bruce Loftis surveying the scene

The Saturday crew included the Whittens, Ken Fischer and his dump truck, and Greg Abelein with his truck. Trent and Margaret Freedman went around the neighborhood picking up leaves as well. The collection station was manned by Bruce Loftis, Monica Abelein, Monica Norval, Carolyn Wolfrum, Courtney & Jack App, Deb Martin, Kathy Bunzli, Drew from Westwoods Community Church, and several others along with a few of our neighborhood kids from Lakewood High School and Carmody Middle School. 

The cost of the dumpster rental and hauling to the composting facility was only made possible by the dues paying members of the Southern Gables Neighborhood Association.

As Doug said, “Your help is appreciated by all. In addition, we had a donation jar for the Make A Wish Program at Green Gables Elementary School. Those who brought leaves DONATED $281.OO for Make A Wish!  THANK YOU.” 



Don’t Forget! NNO Today

Don’t Forget! NNO Today

NNO? Yes, Neighborhood Night Out! If  you’ve lived in the Southern Gables neighborhood for more than a minute, you remember our annual event that brings neighbors together at the heart of the neighborhood, the Green Gables Elementary campus. It’s not just for school families though…

… it’s for ALL Southern Gables and Valley View residents. From the far northern boundary at Jewell Avenue to the southern edge at sunny Morrison Road, and from Garrison all the way over to Wads, ALL of our neighbors are invited to come and listen to the music, browse the booths and games, get their kids’ faces painted, and have some tasty hot dogs, chips, and drinks. And most importantly, visit with friends and neighbors! We missed it last year, and we are so glad to bring it back.

NNO Is Tomorrow!

Friday, September 24, 2021 from 5:00 to 7:30 PM on the campus of Green Gables Elementary School. The Southern Gables Neighborhood Association, in cooperation with Green Gables Elementary School and PTA, will provide free hot dogs,* chips, drinks, face painting by artistic students of Bear Creek High School, a bouncy house, a live DJ, and over 20 booths by participating neighborhood/community associations and previous business sponsors of Southern Gables. We will have games/activities which are family appropriate by booth participants. In addition, Lakewood Police Department and West Metro Fire will have displays as well. We want all our neighbors, students and parents and visitors to feel we are all “back” after the past eighteen months. We all need to connect with neighbors and meet our new neighbors to the Southern Gables area. This activity is yours, PLEASE PARTICIPATE. Make NEIGHBORHOOD NIGHT OUT A NEIGHBOR EVENT FOR EVERYONE.

We are looking forward to re-engaging with our community service organizations and business supporters with their participation in the September 24 Neighborhood Night Out. Many have struggled to keep going through the past year and a half, and we like to encourage doing business with our neighbors in whatever ways we can.

Masks are optional, and we know you will be careful with the social distance you personally need at this outdoor event.


Doug Whitten
President, Southern Gables Neighborhood Association

* P.S. The hot dogs will be provided by Joy’s Kitchen. Take a look at the article we wrote about Joy’s, and consider volunteering: Doing Good.