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!

In spite of the odds, the annual 4th of July parade happened with a very respectable turnout. Everyone social distanced and some wore masks and it was clear that enjoyment was the top priority of the morning as we celebrated out country’s beginnings. Thank you to Tim and Marybeth Sullivan for hosting and for providing water and iced tea on that steamy morning. Such a nice touch! And to Jason Stefaniak, Mishawaka Police Department, who led the parade with sirens and lights announcing we were on our way!

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