“June is bustin’ out all over…”

The title of the 1958 Rodgers and Hammerstein’s song from Carousel is appropriate as one walks down Main Street or Bridge Street in the Village of Catskill. The Cultivate Catskill volunteers were busy last month planting a swath of color in gardens, pots, urns and baskets. Thanks to plants purchased from Story’s Nursery and Story Farms (made possible through donations from local businesses and foundations) and the help of the Department of Public Works (DPW)), we’ve been able to add a splash of color to the sidewalks, pocket parks and Uncle Sam’s Bridge for the enjoyment of the residents and visitors to our area.

William Kent perhaps said it best with “All gardening is landscape painting.” Luther Burbank went a bit further when he stated “Flowers always make people better, happier, and more helpful; they are sunshine, food and medicine for the soul.” In my conversations with many people around town as we’ve been planting this season, there seems to be a consistent appreciation of the benefits of having an attractive downtown area. It’s gratifying when we see people enjoying lunch in the parks or hear visitors exclaiming how nice everything looks. The fiberglass cats with the added flowers around town seems to be a winning combination!

That said, “a garden requires patient labor and attention. Plants do not grow merely to satisfy ambitions or to fulfill good intentions. They thrive because someone expended effort on them.” — Liberty Hyde Bailey.

After a lot of effort expended last month planting the flowers, the work is not over. Now the watering and weeding starts. Thankfully, the DPW has agreed to water the baskets on Main Street and the planters on Uncle Sam’s Bridge. However, we are always looking for volunteers to help to water and weed the parks including Policeman’s Park, Blue Star Memorial Park, Leggio Park, Mott Street and Howard Street. By staying on top of the weeds, the focus can remain on enjoying the beauty of the colors and textures of the other plants. Lou Erickson correctly stated that “gardening requires lots of water, most of it in the form of perspiration.”

We recognize, however, that everyone is busy and/or may not have the time or inclination to help us with this ‘manual labor”. That said, there are other ways to get involved. As you can imagine, the purchase of all the plant materials costs a significant amount of money. Cultivate Catskill hosts a variety of fundraisers (e.g. the Trunk Sales – like the one being held tomorrow) to defray these costs but we would love to do more and extend the reach of our efforts. If you would like to help, please visit our website at http://cultivatecatskill.org to learn more about our non-profit organization, mission and how you can help.

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