by Pete Mazzaccaro

Don’t look now, but May is here.

I know. That was fast. Seems like only a month ago we were all complaining about the ceaseless snow storms and bitter cold. Now we’ve already got several warm sunny weekends behind us, and Northwest Philly is buzzing with park cleanups, plant sales, yard mulching, Phillies baseball and Flyers’ playoffs.

This weekend is jam packed with activities for anyone looking for something to do. Green in Chestnut Hill is hosting an e-cycling event at Norwood Fontbonne on Saturday from 1 to 4 p.m.. Teenagers Inc. is sponsoring a health fair, with an emphasis on health for teens, on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Water Tower Recreation Center. And The Friends Of Jenks Playground are looking for people to help them clean the playground on Saturday morning from 8:30 to 10:30.

You could clean the playground, get health advice and then drop off your old busted computer before dinner.

And, this Sunday, Chestnut Hill’s annual Home and Garden Festival will bring thousands to the Avenue.

Though it happens every year, it’s by no means a festival on auto pilot. It takes an incredible amount of work by the Chestnut Hill Business Association/BID/CDC – all the business groups housed in the small four-person office at 16 E. Highland Ave.

By the time this paper is in the hands of readers, CHBA staff will be out marking the Avenue for the hundreds of tables and tents, stages and chairs that will transform the street into a fairground. And after it closes at 5 p.m., that fairground will be quickly packed away to return the Avenue to business as usual.

It’s supposed to be sunny and in the mid 60s, according to weather reports for Monday. Let’s hope the prediction holds. It should be the perfect day for a festival.

A new CHCA board

Another sign of spring is the annual turnover of the CHCA board, which held its annual meeting and election last Thursday, April 24.

The election has returned several incumbents and will introduce four new members to the board.

The most notable change, however, will be the replacement of CHCA president Brien Tilley, who will finish his second year in the position. A new president will be nominated and elected at the board’s regular meeting on Thursday, May 22.

Tilley will be tough to replace. His approach to the job of CHCA president was always to try and work to find common ground, a tough task anywhere, but one he managed to accomplish regularly.

He also brought a can-do spirit to the position, introducing one of the association’s most popular new events – the Hoops Madness basketball tournament – and reviving the long dormant tradition of a Chestnut Hill holiday parade down Germantown Avenue.

Tilley deserves no small amount of credit for keeping the CHCA placid and productive these last two years, getting different personalities and very different ideas to share the room. The person who succeeds him will find he or she needs to get to work on keeping that harmony intact.

Here’s hoping that Tilley continues to be involved in the association in a meaningful way though he no longer leads it.

Knowing him, I’m pretty sure he will.