The end of the year is always a good time to reflect on activities and results from the prior twelve months in order to help recharge energy for the future. For Cultivate Catskill, it was a very busy year!

Winter was the appropriate time to make plans, and plan we did! We held our annual fund raising mailing just before Valentine’s Day. Thank you to everyone who generously donated to support our efforts. Orders were placed for plants and baskets for our local flower beds, pots, light poles and pocket parks. Once the ground started to defrost, the leftover winter greens in the various pots along Main Street were removed to make way for the new growing season.

The emergence of spring was marked by Catskill’s first Roadside Clean Up held in April. Covering the entire town, we distributed trash bags from our local fire houses (Catskill, Leeds, Kiskatom and Palenville) to volunteers who scoured various village, town and county roadways picking up accumulated trash. With the help of the Town Highway Department and the Village DPW, we were able to restore some of the scenic beauty to our byways. That was quickly followed by multiple planting days. Thanks to our dedicated volunteers, flowers were installed in the various pocket parks and urns along Main Street. Baskets of petunias were also hung from light poles as well as installed on Uncle Sam’s Bridge. For the first time, an Alphabet Garden in Leggio Park was planted which included markers highlighting the names of various plants. Trunk Sales were also held once again.

Summer saw the plants grow and bloom, spreading color and joy throughout the community. But the work did not end there. Weeding and watering were key to keeping the flowers healthy as we also prepared for the arrival of the America in Bloom judges in July. While they gave us high marks for our floral displays, they cited the need for better code enforcement, municipal official support, and weed control. This time of year, work was also underway preparing for our first Caturday event which was successfully held in September.

With the advent of cooler weather in autumn, it was once again time to put the gardens to ‘bed’ in October while also installing ‘harvest’ decorations. In November, a wreath was decorated and donated to the Festival of Trees. We gathered greenery to make huge swags for Uncle Sam’s Bridge with the help of even more volunteers. Greenery and lights were installed along Main Street just in time for the Festival of Lights parade. They helped to make downtown even more festive for the holiday season. Bakeware and culinary skills were put to use during our annual Cookie Sale. For the first time, we also created and sold decorated wreaths which made this event extra festive.

As you’ve walked through the streets of Catskill over the past year, I hope you were not looking at its flaws but, rather seeing its potential. It’s been said that the only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary. If you like the progress that’s been made over the last several years and want us to continue this success, please work with us in helping to create a community that we all can take pride in. We always tend to fulfill our own expectations of ourselves, so let’s collectively set the bar high for the coming year. As we enter 2019, please consider helping us continue to look for and cultivate Catskill’s potential. Happy New Year!

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