On May 19th Pam Gardsy led a Barrett Township Marketing Meeting at which definite plans and target dates were established for 4 beautification planting sites to be started shortly after Memorial Day. The first planting site will be located below the Barrett Township welcome sign (on the southern approach via Route 390) and three other locations are to be determined. About ten residents were in attendance including two candidates for Supervisor — Grant Hilfiger and Patti O’Keefe, and the spirit of all who attended was that of enthusiastic support.
Alexandra “Olenka” Swigon presented beautification success stories from Sullivan County, NY as well as other states and explained their keys to success, some of which include:
- strong town leadership and community involvement
- active volunteers
- friendly competition between planting groups/sites
Alexandra is a master gardener in addition to being a Skytop wine steward, artist, and songwriter. She has previously worked on a beautification commission in North Carolina and as a "guerilla gardener” plants where she feels beauty is needed. Most recently Alexandra has volunteered by proposing potential planting sites for Barrett and planting her donated seedlings.
Additionally and fortunately for us Grant Hilfiger has stepped forward to lead the effort as project manager and generously covering all expenses for these first four sites — he will organize, prepare, build structures and help plant the sites. He has also volunteered to ask local landscapers and businesses if they would like to “sponsor” a planning site in return for a plaque of recognition on each site. Grant stated he will work over Memorial Day to assure planting as soon as possible, and he and Alexandra will work together on the actual plantings.
As some residents are aware Weiler Corp. has been providing upkeep for Barrett’s Route 390 southern entrance sign, and Karl Weiler is investigating the possibility of creating a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization within Barrett Township which would permit tax-deductable donations for future planting and beautification work. Moreover Elaine Bubb of Stonewall Gardens has devoted her resources to the annual planting and maintenance of the flower boxes on our Canadensis bridge, and thanks are due to both residents for their continued and generous donated service for the beautification of Barrett.
And now thanks are due to Pam for initiating this beautification project and Alexandra and Grant for their impressive volunteer effort in leading the project further to help beautify our town. We are sure grateful for such generous and talented volunteers! If you are interested in helping with the gardening, please contact Alexandra (“Olenka”) at (570) 595-2602.
Ethel and Tom Huff