A is for Allium; B is for….

Have you ever wondered what the name of a plant was? Or been interested in what kind of flower a plant produced? If so, Catskill may just have the right garden for you!

Newly installed at Leggio Park on Main Street in the Village of Catskill is an Alphabet and Pollinator Garden. For the last few years, Cultivate Catskill planted a vegetable garden in the raised beds of this pocket park. This year, we decided to do something different.

America in Bloom, an organization that comes to Catskill and judges our gardens, parks, historic preservation, urban forests and the overall impression of our community, had suggested for the last couple of years that we install a pollinator garden. When visiting Fort Ticonderoga last summer, one of our members stumbled upon an alphabet garden which was both a demonstration garden and an educational vehicle to help visitors learn about gardening. This triggered the idea of trying this approach locally.

The planning started last year which led to the planting of tulips (T) and daffodils (D) last fall. Daffodils are members of the Narcissus family which is why you’ll also see them planted by the letter ‘N’. Coneflowers (C), also known by their Botanical name Echinacea (E), were also planted last fall in addition to other perennials (e.g salvia, sedum, sea holly (S), hosta (H), iris (I), lavender (L), yarrow (Y) and monarda (M) –which is commonly known as bee balm (B)).

Over the last week, more plants have been added including pansies, petunias, phlox and portulaca (P), zinnias and zebra grass (Z), geraniums and Gaillardia (G), Joe Pye Weed (J), knautia (K), verbena (V), among others. Seeds have been sown for Queen Anne’s Lace (L), nasturtium (N), and four o’clocks (F) so it will take some time before you will see them germinate and flower. X is for xeriscaping plants (those that thrive in dry conditions) so there you will eventually find Yucca, Mallow and beardtongue added to the ice plants that are already there.

Many of these plants are pollinator friendly which means that birds, bees and butterflies feed of the nectar that the flowers produce. Thus, you’ll get a chance to learn about plants, enjoy the flowers and watch the pollinators all during the same visit.

Cultivate Catskill invites you to visit our new garden and return frequently as the plants grow, mature and flower for your enjoyment.

Over the next few weeks, watch for the flowers that will start to appear in the planters on Main Street as well as the return of the hanging baskets that will add a touch of beauty to our community over the summer months. In addition, look for a scavenger hunt that’s been created for children to enjoy the Alphabet and Pollinator garden too. We hope you enjoy them as much as we do!

Cultivate Catskill’s Trunk Sale

The saying goes that “April showers bring May flowers” but we say that May brings back Cultivate Catskill’s “Trunk Sale”. It starts on Saturday, May 5, 2018 (rain or shine) from 9AM to 1PM in the parking lot at the corner of Bridge and Water Streets in the Village of Catskill.

It all started when two Cultivate Catskill founders, Shelly Pulver and Robin Smith, were on a trip to England. They heard about a “boot sale” from some locals. Expecting to find some new footwear, they discovered that the event was actually what Americans might describe as a flea market or garage sale where vendors sold their wares from the back of their cars, vans or pickup trucks…. hence our ‘trunk sale’.

Vendors are invited to pack their treasures in their trunks and join us to sell (and shop) at this unique venue. For a nominal fee ($5.00 per car or $10.00 per van/pickup), this is a great opportunity to clean out any unused or slightly used items that you might have lying around and help them find new homes. Craft makers may find this a great venue to reach potential new buyers.

Next Saturday promises to be a comfortable day in the low 70 degrees, so it’s a a great opportunity to get outdoors and potentially get inspired for a new project. In past years, shoppers have been able to find, furniture, books, records and tapes, tools, collectibles and jewelry among other great finds. Note that there is no charge to shoppers, so stop by and take a look and you might find a new treasure perfect for your home!

To help you plan ahead, other Trunk Sale dates this year will include June 2, June 9, July 7, August 4 and September 8… Same time and location. We hope to see you there!

Cultivate Catskill is all about planting Pride I. Our community. It is an entirely volunteer effort for all of us, by all of us. But it does need your participation and/or donation to make it Flower!

Check us out on Facebook and at or email us at For further information, please call Shelly at 518-653-1381.

Reflections on the Catskill Roadside Cleanup

Over 35 community members participated in picking up litter along our county, town and village roadways last weekend. There is a noticeable improvement to our roads when I drive around this week, compared to last. It’s amazing how a few dedicated individuals can make such a huge difference to the appearance of our local landscape.

Special thanks go to members of Cultivate Catskill, The Fortnightly Club, Plant Palenville and the Bank of Greene County who all contributed to the success of this event. In addition, the Town and Village of Catskill all played a key role in helping to plan, publicize and participate in this cleanup. A special thanks goes to the Catskill Highway Department and Department of Public Works for their help in disposing of all the filled trash bags. It truly was a team effort.

As I walked along a stretch of Cauterskill Road picking up trash, some random thoughts came to mind. We’ve all been reading a lot about how plastic is polluting our waterways, including the oceans. It was amazing to me how much plastic finds it way to our roadsides…. including those right next to the many creeks in the area. Plastic water bottles contribute to much of the litter as do plastic bags (Walmart and Price Chopper seem to be favorites), fast food cups, tops of coffee cups and the occasional salad container. If left long enough outside, the plastic starts to disintegrate with these smaller pieces ultimately finding their way into our waterways. Thus picking up litter is not only helping to improve the appearance of our roadsides but also reducing the amount of plastic that eventually finds its way into our creeks.

It was also astonishing how many glass bottle and cans were added to our trash bags during the cleanup. Corona and Budweiser Beer were clear favorites along with multiple brands of soft drinks. Drinking while driving is a clear problem, especially along our roads with lots of hills and curves. That said, it completely puzzles me why these cans and bottles are not properly disposed of instead of thrown out of a car window or pickup bed or simply left on the roadsides. The volume of this debris is so great that one has to conclude that this disposal approach was intentional versus accidental. What baffles me is what these individuals must think happens to these items. Don’t they see the clutter that is created? Why is it expected for someone else to dispose of them? Keeping a small trash bag in their vehicles would be a simple answer to contain the ’empties’. Another option is to increase the bottle and can deposit to something more than a nickel. That would make it more worthwhile to return bottles and cans rather than littering or dumping them.

Other ‘intentional’ trash we found included a tire from a riding mower or small tractor, carpet remnants, car brake shoes, fluorescent light tubes, and insulation. These items were clearly not left accidentally. Our roadways are not dumping grounds. It is relatively inexpensive to bring these items to the transfer station to be disposed of properly. Homeowners doing renovations should ensure that their contractors dispose of materials properly — which does not mean dumping them on rural roadways.

Finally, as you might expect we found many cigarette lighters and innumerable empty cigarette packs. Newport was the most popular brand. Based on this volume, it’s evident that many individuals have not yet gotten the message that smoking causes cancer. While they have the right to smoke, they do not have the right to litter. And those that regularly throw out their empties should feel a responsibility to help to clean up their garbage by participating in future roadside cleanups.

While considerable progress was made, there are still many roadsides that still need attention. If every homeowner took the time to pick up litter on their property and maybe even on the shoulder of the road across the street, it would go a long way to keep Catskill looking great — as a place that the community takes pride in.

Until next time……

Catskill Roadside Cleanup

Have you noticed how much litter has accumulated along our local Catskill roadsides over the winter?  As you drive around the area, do you notice all the discarded bottles, cans, cups and paper in the gullies along our roadways?  Trash detracts from the beauty of our community and harms the enviroment.  Now you can help do something about it!

Earth Day is an annual event that is held to demonstrate support for environmental protection.  Join Cultivate Catskill and the Fortnightly Club by participating in our first annual Catskill Roadside Cleanup.  Volunteers will walk along our local roadways to pick up and bag roadside trash.  Do your part for Earth Day and restore the beauty of our local landscapes!

The Details

Pick up trash bags at your local firehouse between 9AM and 11AM on April 21st, rain or shine.  Please bring your own gloves.  Water and a vest will be provided.  You will be asked to sign a volunteer relase form.  Select which street you’d like to work on or we’ll assign a roadway that needs your attention.

Carefully walk along the roadway and put trash in the bags provided.  Leave full bags on the shoulder of the roadway to be picked up.  The Town of Catskill Highway Department and the VIllage of Catskill Department of Public Works will help us by collecting the bags.

Thank you for helping our community and the earth!