The cool weather of the fall season tends to bring forth a variety of activities undertaken by residents: Friday night football games, fall leaf-raking and in recent years, relaxing around a recreational fire in the backyard.
As this activity has become more common, there are several things that everyone should keep in mind.
Recreational fires are small fires typically confined in a non-combustible container made of metal or masonry. The size of the wood fuel pile should never be greater than three feet wide by two feet high.
Recreational fires should be kept a safe distance from other combustible materials, including structures, dry vegetation and wood fences. All fires need to be constantly attended with a readily available means to extinguish the fire, if necessary.
The only material suitable to burn is clean, seasoned firewood -- wood that has been split and stored to dry for at least six months. And don't use flammable liquids to start a fire. This advice should also be applied to material burned in residential fireplaces.
Burning only dry, seasoned firewood has the advantage of not only burning cleaner, it reduces the likelihood of creosote buildup, decreasing the risk of a chimney fire.
Yard waste or freshly cut vegetation should not be burned, as this can create a large amount of thick smoke.
Finally, please keep in mind that with the cooler weather, many residents leave their windows open and may not necessarily enjoy the smell of smoke wafting throughout their house, or wish to smell it for extended periods of time. Please be considerate of your neighbors so that all may enjoy the fall season and cool weather.
A team of graduate students studying city and regional planning at the Ohio State University is working to develop a comprehensive connectivity plan for the city of Upper Arlington for their class project.
Ultimately, they hope to develop policy recommendations for a systematic, comprehensive and financially feasible approach to expanding the city's network of sidewalks.
To help them in their efforts, a public meeting is scheduled to garner residents' input on this challenging community issue.
The meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 9, at the Municipal Services Center, 3600 Tremont Road. Attendees will be asked to participate in a general discussion about sidewalks in Upper Arlington and how to achieve an expanded sidewalk network.
Help this student group better understand the opportunities and challenges facing Upper Arlington relative to the goal of expanding the community's sidewalk network. Visit uaoh.net for additional details of this class project.
Third-graders at Windermere Elementary School have recently entered the blogosphere with their Thompson Park Tree Trek blog.
The blog is dedicated to promoting the tree trek, educating the community, providing digital access to the park for those who can't physically visit and inspiring young people's love of science and nature.
All 66 trees are catalogued with photos, including leaves, bark and seeds with any noteworthy details. It's great to see our youth not only getting involved in the community, but taking an interest in nature.
If you don't have a chance to take the Thompson Tree Trek itself, be sure to check out the blog at http://thompsonparktreetrek.blogspot.com/.
As we head into an election season with five candidates running for four city council seats, three candidates vying for two spots on the school board and the schools' levy request, there's a lot to be informed about.
Enter Leadership UA with its annual Candidates Night, scheduled this year for Thursday, Oct.10.
An informal meet-and-greet is from 6:30 to 7 p.m. and a moderated Q&A will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. You can submit questions in advance by visiting www.leadershipua.org.
Theodore J. Staton is Upper Arlington's city manager.