As we enter our second week of “Stay Healthy at Home” and learned that Falmouth Schools will hold virtual classes for the rest of the 2019-2020 academic year, we understand the many sacrifices our residents have made to flatten the curve. Nationwide we are beginning to see glimmers of hope that all our efforts are working. The Town of Falmouth has been hard at work adjusting services to meet the needs of residents during this time. As always, our efforts have been guided by the following three priorities:
- The safety of our residents, especially seniors and residents with underlying health issues
- Implementing “social distancing” policies and practices as recommended by the U.S. CDC
- Maintaining a healthy work environment for our first responders and front-line employees, so they can perform their critical duties and continue to serve and protect our community
One of the biggest frustrations we have heard from residents is regarding the Town’s decision to close trails, parks, and trailhead parking. As noted in many previous updates, trails are closed every spring during mud season to protect them from damage caused by hikers and bikers. We are monitoring the trail system and will open trails as they dry out and conditions allow.
The closure of parks, including playgrounds, tennis courts, basketball courts, athletic fields, and trailhead parking areas is occurring across the country to ensure that people stay at home and practice social distancing. It is worth noting that many non-residents enjoy our trail and park system. In ordinary times, we welcome them. However, increased use of these facilities, can also lead to more strain on our first responders, as EMS crews are called to accidents and illnesses that occur in these public spaces.
Governor Mills’ March 31 “Stay Healthy at Home Mandate,” directed Mainers to engage in outdoor exercise activities close to home and discouraged any unnecessary travel. In our almost daily updates via E-Alerts, ads in the Forecaster, and in our social media postings, the Town has reiterated this message and encouraged residents to ride bikes, walk, and seek exercise in their own yards and neighborhoods, rather than drive somewhere for exercise. Unfortunately, a percentage of the population (including many non-residents) continue to ignore the Governor’s stay at home order. In more recent communications to residents, we have indicated that the Police Department may have to issue criminal trespass complaints against those who continue to violate this mandate and ignore closure signs, barricades, and locked gates, but it is a necessary act to keep everyone safe. We understand the term “criminal trespass” sounds intimidating. The Police Department has been tasked to monitor these areas and will issue warnings but repeat offenders could be charged with Criminal Trespass.
I understand and share your frustrations. These are trying circumstances. I commend everyone who is doing their part to ensure that the spread of the virus is curtailed. Thank you for your continued patience and cooperation as we navigate this difficult situation.
On a brighter note, as we enter into the weekend, we are pleased to announce two new programs. Please read further to learn about Falmouth Parks & Community Programs #silverlingings Campaign and the Department of Public Works Leaf Bag Delivery Initiative.
Finally, I encourage everyone to stay connected with the Town. Follow us on social media and sign up for our Town News and Announcements E-Alerts at www.falmouthme.org/subscribe.
Nathan Poore, Falmouth Town Manager
Spring Leaf Bags and Collection Schedule for 2020
The Falmouth Public Works Department is pleased to announce that spring curbside collection for leaf bags will be Friday, May 8 and Friday, May 15. All leaf bags must be curbside by 7:00 a.m. to ensure pick up.
In light of the Covid-19 pandemic, leaf bags are available by delivery only this year. To request leaf bags, please contact the Public Works Office at this number: 699-5370. Please leave a message with your name and physical address. Bags will be delivered in quantities of 12 per Falmouth household/residence. Delivery will occur a few business days after receiving your voicemail. Deliveries will be weather permitting.
- Bags are first come, first served, and will be delivered in the order that the request has been received.
- As always, there is a limited supply. Therefore, the amount has been reduced to 12 per household so that more households can have an opportunity to receive bags.
- Town employees will be delivering the bags to your driveway apron, or ‘curbside’. They will not be approaching any residents or houses. We expect residents not to approach Town employees. Thank you for practicing safe distancing guidelines during this time.
- The Public Works Department remains closed; therefore bags are not available for residents to pick up.
- The Transfer Station remains closed, therefore curbside collection is the only method of disposing of your leaf bags at this time.
For more information, please contact the Public Works Office at 207-781-3919
FCP #silverlinings campaign
Falmouth Community Programs is working hard to help residents stay active and engaged and to make staying safe at home a little more enjoyable. To that end we are pleased to launch our #silverlinings campaign. We are posting uplifting positive stories to our Facebook page and the Town’s new Instagram account @MyFavoriteFalmouth. Share with us your stories and photos of how you and your neighbors are coping, helping others, getting things done, and finding many silver linings or small moments of joy during this unprecedented and difficult time. See the photo above from our neighbors on Cavendish Way for inspiration!
How can you participate?
- E-mail us your stories or photos and give us permission to share at: email@example.com
- Tag @Falmouth Parks & Community Programs on all your silver linings posts on Facebook
- Tag @MyFavoriteFalmouth on Instagram when you share silver linings photos
- Don’t forget the hashtags! #silverlinings, #covidcoping, #MyFavoriteFalmouth, #FalmouthME