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Stewardship Awards, Scholarships and Programs Recognized

August 11, 2009

[GRAHAMSVILLE] – Hundreds of people attended the 90-minute Sullivan Renaissance Awards Ceremony yesterday at the Tri-Valley Central School Theater as winning communities from around Sullivan County were announced.  Volunteers had been hard at work on dozens of community projects since initial grants were awarded in April.


Wurtsboro Renaissance received the Golden Feather, a $50,000 grant made possible by NYS Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther.  It was presented to one of four Category C projects that exhibited the highest level of excellence in all aspects of its three-year project.  Major funding for these four community development projects came through a $75,000 grant secured by NYS Senator John Bonacic.  


Roscoe Chamber of Commerce was recognized with the $3000 Best Overall Showing of Flowers Award.  Roscoe was also judged as the best in Category C.  Hurleyville Sullivan First received the best in Category B.  St. Peter’s Church Parrish Council in Liberty and Daytop Village, Inc. in Parksville were honored as the best in Category A.


Grants – ranging from $1000 to $10,000 – were awarded to projects in Categories A and B.  Projects in each category were also recognized with Stewardship Awards for history, the environment and best practices.  All of the communities that completed projects received a grant based on the size of their category, as well as certificates of recognition from Sullivan Renaissance and area legislators.  Three communities are still in the process of finishing their work.



Category A projects are made up of single elements such as a new sign or hanging baskets.  This category was made possible, in part, through the sponsorship of WVOS/WSUL.


First place ($3000)

·         Loch Sheldrake Renaissance – lake overlook beautification

·         Sullivan County Ladies League/Liberty ALIVE – sign replacement and, plantings

Second place ($2000)

·         D.R.E.A.M. Tank – box art in Town of Thompson park

Third place ($1000)

·         Fallsburg High School – entrance gardens

Fourth place ($500)

·         Bethel Business Association, Mongaup Valley – sign at visitors center gazebo

Showing of Flowers ($1000 each)

·         St. Peter’s Church Parrish Council, Liberty – sign replacement and plantings

·         Daytop Village, Inc. in Parksville


Historic Preservation ($2000) – Sponsored by the Kristt Company

·         Sullivan County Historical Society in Hurleyville – murals and gardens

·         Hortonville Beautification Committee – façade improvement, plantings

Environmental Stewardship ($1000) – Sponsored by Sullivan County Democrat

·         Daytop Village, Inc. in Parksville – flower beds and butterfly garden

Best Practices ($1000) – Sponsored by Gerry Foundation

·         Triangle Business Group in Liberty – Route 52 beautification project



Category B projects are made up of multiple elements such as park enhancements.  This category was made possible, in part, through the sponsorship of Thunder 102/Bold Gold Media.

First place ($10,000) :

·         Recovery Center at Monticello Housing Authority – playground renovations and gardens

Second place ($7000) :

·         White Sulphur Springs Fire Department Ladies Auxiliary – park enhancements

Third place ($5000) :

·         Hurleyville Sullivan First – Main Street landscaping

Showing of Flowers ($2000)

·         Hurleyville Sullivan First – Main Street landscaping


Historic Preservation ($2000) – Sponsored by Jeff Bank:

·         Youngsville Environmental Preservation Committee – landscape church thrift shop

Environmental Stewardship ($1000) – Sponsored by The River Reporter

·         Neversink Renaissance – library landscaping and Willowemoc kiosk

Best Practices ($1000) – Sponsored by Gerry Foundation

·         Phillipsport Community – gateway project



Category C projects are complex 3-year community development plans.  This category is made possible, in part, through a $75,000 grant secured by NYS Senator John Bonacic.  

Golden Feather ($50,000 grant) – Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther:

·         Wurtsboro Renaissance

Silver Feather ($5000) – Senator John J. Bonacic:

·         Roscoe Chamber of Commerce

Showing of Flowers ($2000)

·         Roscoe Chamber of Commerce


Historic Preservation ($2000) – Sponsored by Seneca Indian Nation and Rotate Black

·         Woodbourne Action Committee

Environmental Stewardship ($1000) – Sponsored by The Chapin Estate:

·         Roscoe Chamber of Commerce

Best Practices ($1000) – Sponsored by Gerry Foundation

·         Jeffersonville JEMS


The Sullivan County Community College Foundation awarded one full time scholarship of $1500 and one part time scholarship of $750 to volunteers involved in a Sullivan Renaissance project in their community, who are attending SCCC.

·         Full time: Brian Mullally of Jeffersonville – Sullivan West nature trail signage

·         Part time: Gabriella Ginsberg of Hurleyville – So. Fallsburg Rivoli Theatre, Fallsburg High School



The Community Foundation of Orange and Sullivan Counties awarded seven Sullivan Renaissance scholarships to volunteers who made a significant contribution to a Sullivan Renaissance project.  These scholarships to the college of one’s choice range from $500 to $1500. 

·         Brian Corcoran – Lumberland Circle Park – Wells College

·         Austin Gager – Forestburgh Renaissance – SUNY Cobleskill

·         Kayla Gager – Forestburgh Renaissance – Syracuse University

·         Ian Laufersweiler­ – Forestburgh Renaissance – SCCC

·         Ruth McCoy – Mountaindale Community Development – University of Buffalo

·         Janine Lynn Neumann – Kenoza Lake Methodist Church – SUNY Oneonta

·         Rebecca Rodriguez – Community Garden at SCCC – SUNY New Paltz



A new program awarded grants up to $750 to help well-established groups maintain and embellish previously-funded projects.  These grants were used to add and replace soil, mulch, plants, trees, shrubs and other landscape elements.  The ten participants were: Bethel First to refresh previous projects in the town; The Club at Smallwood to refresh previous projects; Mountaindale Action Committee to repair planters, signs and add solar lights; the Old Stone House in Hasbrouck to install flower barrels, upgrade signage; Forestburgh Renaissance to refresh previous projects in the town; Town of Lumberland/Circle Park for maintenance on Circle Park;   Landfield Avenue Synagogue in Monticello to refresh previous projects; Recovery Center in Monticello to refresh previous projects; Sullivan County Federation for the Homeless in Monticello to continue its vegetable garden; and White Rock Colony in Monticello to put up a fence and refresh previous projects. 



Seventeen organizations and businesses were recognized for participating in the mini-grant reimbursement program which provided up to $200 worth of flowers for each project.  These included:

Dirie Family Farm in Livingston Manor, signage and flowers; St. Francis RC Church in Youngsville, landscape entrance/sign; Kenoza Lake Methodist Women’s Group, memorial bench/garden; Liberty Elks Lodge 1545, enhance front entrance; Liberty Fitness Center, barrel and planters; HASC Summer Program in Parksville, campus landscaping; Hashomer Hatzair/Camp Shomria in Swan Lake, vegetable garden; Bethlehem Temple Church in Monticello, flower planters; Ethelbert B. Crawford Library in Monticello, landscape entrance/sign; Literacy Volunteers of Sullivan County, Inc. in Monticello, flower gardens; Temple Sholom in Monticello, “Looking Good is Contagious” garden; United Methodist Church of Monticello, building landscaping; Church of St. Peter’s CYO in Monticello, flower gardens; DAV Ministries in Monticello, sign and flower bed; Narrowsburg Business Association, container planting on Main Street; Congregation Ohave Sholom in Woodridge, entrance garden; and Helen Morrell’s in Masten Lake, sign.



Eight schools participated in “Spruce Up Your School” projects and were recognized at the awards ceremony.  These included: Benjamin Cosor Elementary in Fallsburg with sign landscaping; Sullivan West Elementary in Jeffersonville with a nature trail; Liberty High School Garden Club with a special demonstration vegetable garden; George L. Cooke Elementary School in Monticello with entrance landscaping; Robert J. Kaiser Middle School in Monticello with a community garden; Roscoe Central School with entrance landscaping; Sullivan BOCES in White Sulphur Springs with entrance landscaping; and Nana’s House Child Care Center, Inc. in Rock Hill with a butterfly garden.



Eleven environmental grants were recognized by Sullivan Renaissance, Sullivan County Legislator Leni Binder and Dali Levy of Empire Resorts as part of a collaborative program to fund innovative demonstration projects.  All of these demonstration projects received a matching grant up to $2500 to explore sustainable, environmental and educational initiatives that could serve as models for other communities.  


Participants in the Environmental Demonstration Grant Program are: Basha Kill Area Association, light bulb exchange and education in Wurtsboro; Bee Green Community Garden, composting at community garden; Delaware Highlands Conservancy, land protection and conservation volunteer training; Benjamin Cosor Elementary in Fallsburg, East Pond Creek restoration and nature stations; Glen Spey Explorers 4-H, recycling program; Hospitality Green Composting Project, turning kitchen scraps to tasty treats; Nana’s House Child Care Center, Inc., “Twist and Shout” light bulb exchange and education; Sullivan Alliance for Sustainable Development, initiative to help Village of Jeffersonville go solar; Sullivan County Long Beards, creation of blue bird and bat houses; Sullivan West Elementary School, nature trail education; and YMCA of Middletown & Sullivan County, wetland trail-building program.


Other Sullivan Renaissance environmental initiatives were mentioned, including:

·         The MINI E field trial of electric vehicles in collaboration with the BMW Group; and

·         The rain garden demonstration project at Lake Superior Park in collaboration with Robert Hayes and the Tri-Valley Natural Resources Class, the Sullivan County Division of Planning and Environmental Management, and Sullivan County DPW – Parks and Recreation.



Sullivan Renaissance offered grants to municipalities to tear down dilapidated buildings, clean up roadside dumps or fund anti-litter campaigns.  Seven towns, two villages and Sullivan County were awarded almost $50,000 in matching grants to remove 12 buildings, clean-up one roadside and conduct four anti-litter campaigns.


The Sullivan County Legislature waived tipping fees for part of each building demolition and Waste Management of Beach Lake, PA donated dumpsters for the roadside clean-up.  Participating municipalities included the towns of Bethel, Delaware, Fallsburg, Neversink, Rockland, Thompson and Tusten; and the villages of Jeffersonville and Liberty.                             



Through the Seasonal Demonstration Program, Sullivan Renaissance makes available a limited number of matching grants to camps, bungalow colonies and seasonal businesses so they can create projects to improve the appearance of their properties and serve as an example to others.  This program was sponsored in part by Thompson Sanitation.


Four projects were recognized: Regency Homeowners Association in Woodridge for fencing and planting; Whispering Woods in Fallsburg for a new front gate, signage and landscaping; Camp Shomria in Swan Lake for new signage, landscaping at entranceway; and Far Site Colony on Route 17-B in the Town of Thompson for planting and new fencing at entrance.



The ceremony opened with the singing of “Catskill Mountain Trilogy” by Paul Lounsbury and Keith Edwards of Chestnut Creek.  Sandra Gerry welcomed everyone and thanked participants for the work they are doing.  Project recipients received framed certificates of excellence from Sullivan Renaissance, as well as individual certificates from U.S. Rep. Maurice Hinchey, Senator Bonacic, Assemblywoman Gunther, and the Sullivan County Legislature.  As groups accepted their certificates, photographs of each project were displayed in a power point presentation created by Courtney Scott of Bethel, a summer intern with Sullivan Renaissance.


Before the ceremony, Chestnut Creek performed in the school gym, while attendees viewed displays of the projects.  Refreshments included ice cream from Pandas Parlor; kettle corn from Jim and Melissa Rennison of What’s Poppin; and cookies by Erin Lipsky and staff at Granite Associates. 


Sullivan Renaissance projects were judged for aesthetic improvement, collaboration, youth involvement, permanence and an ability to be maintained.  The team of nine judges from outside Sullivan County was headed by Ted Blowes, chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Communities in Bloom Program in Canada, which helped inspire the Sullivan Renaissance program.  Other judges were: Nicole Franzese, Manna Jo Greene, Mary Lewis, Alice McAdams, Tim Stoddard, Deborah Sweeton, Michael Sweeton and Alden Thayer.


Applications are available for the annual Board of Realtors Sullivan Showcase Awards, the next program supported by Sullivan Renaissance.  The program is run by the Sullivan County Board of Realtors.  For information contact the Board of Realtor’s at 845-794-2735.


Sullivan Renaissance is a beautification and community development program principally funded by the Gerry Foundation.   


For information about Sullivan Renaissance, contact 845-295-2445 or