The action or process through which something is changed so much that it appears to be entirely new is known as reinvention.

Cultivate Catskill is continually working towards reinventing our village. We do this in many ways. You probably have noticed the flowers on Uncle Sam’s bridge this year. Not only have we added additional hanging planters but we planted a larger variety of flowers such that it appears completely different.

Similarly, instead of only two hanging baskets per light pole on Main Street, many of the poles now have four creating a different and much fuller look.

But perhaps one of the most striking examples of reinvention this year is Leggio Park. As most of you know, over the last three or four years, the raised bed gardens at Leggio have been used to grow vegetables, herbs and last year even featured Catskill’s first Alphabet garden. This year, we tried something completely different.

Thanks to a generous grant from Greene County and help from the Village of Catskill’s Department of Public Works and Greene County’s Buildings and Grounds, we’ve been able to transform Leggio to a place of beauty and contemplation.

It all started over a dinner conversation with a visiting landscape architect who then sketched a rough plan with a Park redesign. However, with all good ideas, challenges were encountered that necessitated some modifications to the original plan.

We started by moving the perennials that were in the raised beds to the edge of Factory Street. We were thrilled that not only did they survive, they looked great!

When we attempted to rearrange the configuration of the raised beds, however, we discovered that the beds fell apart during the move and thus could not be re-used. So we built a stone wall to create a more terraced look to the sloped land and added some steps connecting the upper portion of the park with the lower section. This was truly a team effort and we thank everyone involved in the project.

Flowering trees were added to provide some shade to a very sunny venue. To reduce future maintenance of the park, we replaced the grass with gravel that will still enable rainwater to contribute to our groundwater supply and reduce the need for future mowing. Additional perennials and shrubs were planted that will fill in and add color and texture to the garden.

Wood chips were added as mulch to reduce weeding requirements and help hold moisture and thus reduce the need for watering. The final touch was the addition of some large rocks that provide seating and add a zen quality to this redesigned space.

We hope you get a chance to experience this reinvented space as well as all the other parks we maintain include Blue Star, Policeman’s, Mott Street and Howard Street in addition to all the pots of blooms along Main Street. We welcome any additional volunteers to help with ongoing weeding and watering to keep everything green and looking nice. Together, we will keep Catskill blooming!

As a side note, two judges from America in Bloom will be visiting Catskill towards the end of next week. If you see them exploring the village, please make a point to welcome them by saying ‘hello’. We are proud of the work we’ve done to cultivate pride in Catskill and we hope you are too!

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