Here is all you need to know to make this the best year ever!

Springmill is not on the tour this year; however cars will still drive by to see your displays.

Charities will collect donations on December 4–6, 11–13, and December 16 through Christmas Day.

Judging will be the evening of December 14. Banners will be attached to mailboxes indicating winners and prizes will be awarded to residents.

Luminary pick-up will be at the the Powell Home at 54725 Merrifield on the following dates: Thursday, December 17, 3-5pm; and Saturday, December 19, 2-4pm.
You can call Brian Powell at 574-303-4130, if needed. Luminary cost to residents: Minimum donation of .75 per luminary.

Sand will be delivered by December 17 in the Hearthstone cul de sac.

Police officers will direct traffic Christmas Eve.

2020 Charities

Alcohol and Addictions Resource Center (AARC) offers alcohol and other drug prevention, education, advocacy assessment, and referral for individuals and families.

Blue Star Mothers is a private non-profit that supports mothers who havesons or daughters in the U.S. Armed Forces.

Children’s Dispensary the program, A Place to be Me, provides social and recreational programs for young people with developmental, physical and emotional needs.
Center for the Homeless is the largest residential facility in our area for individuals and families who are experiencing homelessness. The center serves men, women, children and veterans each day. We usually support its Montessori Classroom but due to COVID, it is not currently operating.

Family Justice Center serves as a one-stop help center for victims of sexual and domestic violence. It works collaboratively with other non-profits and governmental agencies so that survivors and their families can quickly and confidentially seek resources and information. S-O-S, the rape crisis center, is also a program of the FJC.

Hannah’s House maternity home provides a safe environment and programming for young pregnant women.

In*Source provides Indiana families and service providers with information and training necessary to assure effective programs and service for children and young adults with disabilities.

Tri Kappa, South Bend Chapter provides financial support for five local charities each year.

Resident Prizes for Decorations

Decorating started early this year when some residents took advantage of the balmy weather prior to Thanksgiving. Perhaps others have followed suit and are ready to vie for the following prizes!

Best Overall
Best Front Door
Best Theme
Most Original
Best Faith-Based Theme
Martha Stewart Would Be Proud
Clark Griswold Would Be Proud
Rookie of the Year — lived here less than a year
Best Artisan (handmade)
Four judges’ picks

Traffic

Especially for our new residents who have not experienced this time of year in Winding Brook, please know that this is a highly popular event with people coming from literally all over the region. It is their holiday tradition and they come to expect us to outdo ourselves each year. With all of the interest comes traffic particularly Christmas Eve when we light luminaries and are all aglow in more than one way. It gets so busy that police direct traffic for us that evening! Please know that as residents, you have the right to enter Winding Brook Drive against the traffic. Just make it known to the security guards that you live here. The last thing you want to do is get in the line with everyone else and take the tour when all you want is to get home!

Board members Maria Carter, Mariah Cressy, and Brian Powell were the resourceful residents responsible for the absolutely fabulous Halloween Parade! Praise continues to come in days after the very successful event which was well attended on an exceptionally beautiful Fall morning.

Many of our neighbors donated bags of candy. Sorry we don’t know all of your names but please know how appreciative we are of your generosity. Thanks to the many volunteers who heated and poured the cider, distributed candy from creatively set up candy stations in tailgates and on tables: Kyle Umbarger, Zach Dripps, Corinne Craig and her daughters, Mark McGill and Julie Lorenz, Anne Bolster, John and Michelle Slack, Neil and Debra Morey, Michelle Lacay, Michelle Henk, Donna Voor, Mary Jo Trikos and Maryia, and Katie Powell.

Most sincere appreciation to Maria, Mariah, and Brian who organized, bagged candy, set up the photo backdrop, took individual family photos, and just did a spooktacularly great job! Is this the start of a new Winding Brook tradition?!

A link to the online photo album can be found at this link. A sampling of the pictures can be found below!

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Halloween Costume Parade

Instead of our annual Halloween Party, The Winding Brook Park Association will be hosting a Halloween Costume Parade on the morning of Halloween. It will begin in the Hearthstone Drive cul de sac on October 31 at 11:00am. Come dressed in your Halloween best and parade with your families west on Hearthstone, across the Winding Brook Drive bridge, and east down the back of Winding Brook Drive. A photo backdrop for pictures will be set up in the cul de sac. Seven grab ’n go candy stations will be along the route, and apple cider tasting will mark the end of the parade.

If you are wondering how you can help with this fun time for our children, you may donate candy for the parade or volunteer at one of the seven candy stations.

Donations of unopened candy will be accepted at three Board members’ homes: Cressy: 54751 Rustic Terrace; Powell: 54725 Merrifield; Carter: 15595 Carriage Lane. In order to have this candy bagged and set aside for a three-day quarantine period, all candy needs to be received by Monday, October 26. If you won’t be opening your doors this year for trick or treaters, please consider donating your typical candy stash for the parade.

If you plan to participate with your family, it would be helpful to get a semi-accurate count or if you would like to volunteer at one of the candy stations, please fill out this Google form: https://forms.gle/ExBWw9ihWsMRvULF9.

Please don’t miss this exciting Halloween event! Boo!

Protective CovenantsWinding Brook Park is a unique neighborhood that draws residents to come back generation after generation. In order to maintain our neighborhood’s quality and reputation, the Winding Brook Park Association (WBPA) believes it is necessary to update and unify our Protective Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions which set standards for the quality and aesthetics of our properties and homes. These updated Protective Covenants would allow for all residents to better understand their expectations as neighbors and provide a structure to ensure issues can be addressed as they arise.

Background

We currently have binding and enforceable covenants, but they are nearly 60 years old and because the neighborhood was developed in phases there are some variations between the recorded covenants for each section. Over the years, the WBPA Board has considered many times whether and how to update our protective covenants. Incomplete information and turnover on the Board resulted in no past action and incorrect conclusions. However, the current Board revisited the issue in 2019 and now believes it has identified a path forward.

In May, the Board engaged SouthBank Legal to assess the enforceability of the existing protective covenants and how they could be updated and unified by the neighborhood residents. Indeed, we have enforceable covenants that restrict, e.g., storing large piles of rocks and other refuse or using unpaved portions of a lot as a driveway or heavy equipment storage. Any resident could bring an action to specifically enforce the protective covenants—but the WBPA does not itself have the power to enforce them. This is the primary shortcoming of the existing protective covenants. It is possible, however, for the residents to amend and restate the protective covenants and adopt new bylaws (more below).

Purpose: The purposes of going through this process include ensuring all of the neighborhood residents remain safe and protected from dangerous activity, protecting and further increasing the property values of the entire neighborhood, and maintaining Winding Brook Park's exceedingly high reputation. Please rest easy—there is no intention to dictate the color of anyone's front door. Rather, the hope is to clarify the protections we residents want and to provide procedures for straightforward and helpful resolution in event of a violation.

Next Steps

Drafting Updated Covenants

1. WBPA will work with SouthBank Legal to prepare a draft for consideration of updated protective covenants.

2. WBPA will ask for interested residents to form an Advisory Committee to provide initial direct input and feedback on drafting the protective covenants. All are welcome; please contact Zach Dripps at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

3. After consultation with the Advisory Committee and review from WBPA, we will share the proposed final draft with the neighbors.

Approval and Recording

4. WBPA Board members (and volunteers) will solicit written approval from residents by a door-to-door campaign and/or mail-in responses.

5. If at least 50% of the homeowners approve the amended and restated covenants, then SouthBank Legal will assist WBPA to process the new covenants with St. Joseph County.

6. Once the covenants are recorded, the WBPA will begin making the changes outlined in the revised protective covenants and bylaws to better serve the residents.

WBP Meal Train

Jump aboard the meal train and provide a meal for someone in the neighborhood who has had a major life event such as a new baby, illness, death in the family. You can nominate someone to be the recipient or perhaps you would like to nominate yourself.

Mariah Cressy is organizing this effort and once she is notified, she will send out the official call for meals to the volunteers she has already signed up and organize the drop-off. Recently a new baby’s family was the recipient and the majority of the new volunteers participated. The volunteers are also given COVID- specific instructions to leave food on the front step and text the family when it has been delivered so all can stay socially distanced and still support the family.

If you are interested in getting involved either by volunteering or to request a meal train for yourselves or a neighbor, please contact Mariah at 574-339-4941. She will be waiting for your call!