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Whiting Woods Community Initiatives

Through the Whiting Woods Property Owners Association (WWPO), the Whiting Woods neighborhood has a long history of promoting and maintaining the natural beauty of the "Woods" and protecting it from indiscriminate development. Time and time again neighbors coming  together to conserve and protect the natural beauty of this wonderful somewhat rural neighbor hood where people walk and bike down streets lined with beautiful native Oak Trees and pine trees.

For a lot of you who may have moved to the "Woods" in the last 10 or 20 years you may not be aware of past efforts to maintain our neighborhood in this quiet natural setting.

The city has been a great supporter of work to keep Whiting Woods natural. Through an arrangement with the City in the 50's a galvanized water line was installed to water the strip between El Lado and the wash, if the residents would agree to landscape and maintain it. That water line lasted some 50 years and was replaced in 2003 with a PVC line at the city's expense.

The city has continued to encourage and invest in the efforts to keep our neighborhood one of Glendale's most desirable and attractive communities.  They have arranged, when asked, for work crews to prune and haul away dead vegetation.  On occasion they have even provided trees where old ones have died.

In the 70's the WWPO led an effort to buy out a developer who wanted to build 500 plus homes in Henderson Canyon above Whiting Woods Road.  This would have required the construction of a second bridge at the bottom of Mesa Lila  to accommodate a huge increase in traffic.  The loss of a quiet wooded neighborhood would not have been limited to the prolonged construction phase of the bridge and 500 homes.  It would have been  permanent.  WWPO lead the a successful effort to raise nearly  $1,000,000 from our neighbors, the City of Glendale, the State and the Federal government to buy the whole canyon from the developer and designate it as an "urban wilderness park" in perpetuity, never to be developed beyond a few trails and a fire road.  If you have never hiked up that canyon it is still truly a wilderness experience, a protected secluded and quiet place right in our own backyard.

Also in the 70's the land between the wash and El Lado Drive was landscaped with infested Chinese Elms, a real eyesore.  Through the efforts of some of our residents who worked for Arco Oil, that company contributed over 50 trees (Live Oaks, Canary Island pines, Eucalyptus) and shrubs (Pyracantha, Oleander  etc.) to landscape the area and provide an attractive visual buffer to the concrete wash.  The neighbors worked together to remove the Elms and plant the new trees and shrubs including the pines at the bridge and the entrance corners.

In the 80's a concerted effort was made to encourage Whiting Woods residents to adhere to the Glendale ordinance to not store or park long term their RV's in their driveways or on the street. Residents cooperated and store their RV's in parking facilities for that purpose.

For several years the Whiting Woods Property Owners Association participated in the national Firewise Communities/USA Project that encourages sustainable, survivable living in an urban, wild land setting. Although we no longer actively participate in the program Whiting Woods homeowners gained insight regarding their external environment only, and recommend prevention steps they may take to reduce risk of fire damage to their homes.

  • To prevent/reduce losses due to urban wild land fires

  • To foster community participation to help achieve the first goal

  • To share information.

Volunteer Whiting Woods residents participated and attended multiple training sessions led by the GFD to develop a neighborhood CERT (Community Emergency Response Team).

In the event of a catastrophic event, that may leave traditional first responder resources stretched thin. The basic idea is to use CERT to perform the large number of tasks needed in emergencies. This frees highly trained professional responders for more technical tasks. Much of CERT training concerns the Incident Command System and organization, so CERT members fit easily into larger command structures.

A team may self-activate (self-deploy) when their own neighborhood is affected by disaster. An effort is made to report their response status to the sponsoring agency. A self-activated team will size-up the loss in their neighborhood and begin performing the skills they have learned to minimize further loss of life, property, and environment.

In the short term, CERTs perform data gathering, especially to locate mass-casualties requiring professional response, or situations requiring professional rescues, simple fire-fighting tasks (for example, small fires, turning off gas), light search and rescue, damage evaluation of structures, triage and first aid. In the longer term, CERTs may assist in the evacuation of residents, or assist with setting up a neighborhood shelter.