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Ten Years of Volunteer Community Beautification Honored

August 10, 2010

[MONTICELLO] – Hundreds of people attended the 90-minute Sullivan Renaissance Awards Ceremony at Monticello High School Auditorium on August 9 as over $100,000 in grants were awarded to winning communities from around Sullivan County.  Notable volunteer moments in the ten year history of Sullivan Renaissance were remembered, and senior judge Ted Blowes was recognized.

The Roscoe-Rockland Chamber of Commerce received the Golden Feather, a $50,000 grant made possible by NYS Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther.  It was presented to one of five Category C projects that exhibited the highest level of excellence in all aspects of its three-year project.  The Narrowsburg Beautification Group received the $5000 Silver Feather Award for its planning efforts.  Major funding for these five community development projects came through a $75,000 grant secured by NYS Senator John Bonacic.  

Special flower awards went to five communities this year.  The Narrowsburg Beautification Group was also recognized with the “Best Showing of Flowers Award” of $5000.  This display “wowed” the judges as exciting, colorful, artistic, imaginative, show stopping, ingenious, delightful, and a clever use of plant material, texture and space.  Other communities received $1000 Judges’ Choice Awards: Youngsville Environmental Preservation Committee for “Most Bold and Dramatic Single Element,” Ethelbert B. Crawford Library in Monticello for “Imaginative Concepts,” Hurleyville Sullivan First for “Best Combined Architectural Elements & Floral Displays” and Loomis Area Neighborhood Watch for “Most Outstanding Single Garden.”

Before the winning projects were announced, a special “10th Anniversary Comeback Award” of $3500 was presented.  Liberty Pride was chosen as a community that has come together again and shown outstanding achievement in welcoming floral displays, innovative banners, a successful community vegetable garden, extensive partnerships and a multitude of volunteers including youth.

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 the environment, history 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. 


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)

·         Literacy Volunteers of Sullivan County in Monticello – Literacy Center beautification 

Second place ($2000)

·         Ethelbert B. Crawford Library in Monticello – livening up the library lawns

Third place ($1000)

·         Town of Highland Senior Citizens Center in Eldred – landscaping bocci park

STEWARDSHIP AWARDS – Sponsored by Sullivan County Democrat

Environmental Stewardship ($1000)  

·         Loomis Area Neighborhood Watch – Loomis beautification

Historic Preservation ($500)

·         Catholic Daughters of America – Cemetery signage and restoration

·         Mamakating Historical Society – Summitville Schoolhouse gardens

Best Practices ($1000)

·         Youngsville Environmental Preservation Committee – Gateway sign restoration & gardens


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) :

·         Town of Lumberland Parks – Banner enhancement and landscaping

Second place ($7000) :

·         Loch Sheldrake Renaissance – Route 52 corridor beautification

Third place ($5000) :

·         White Sulphur Springs Fire Department & Ladies Auxiliary – Firemen’s Park playground

STEWARDSHIP AWARDS – Sponsored by The River Reporter

Environmental Stewardship ($1000)

·         Phillipsport Community Center – Summitville-Phillipsport beautification

Historic Preservation ($1000)

·         Time and the Valleys Museum in Neversink – cemetery restoration project

Best Practices ($1000)

·         Livingston Manor Renaissance – “More Gain on Upper Main”


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:

·         Roscoe-Rockland Chamber of Commerce

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

·         Narrowsburg Beautification Group

STEWARDSHIP AWARDS – Sponsored by Kristt Company

Environmental Stewardship ($1000)

·         Jeffersonville JEMS

Historic Preservation ($1000)

·         Roscoe-Rockland Chamber of Commerce

Best Practices ($1000)  

·         Woodbourne Action Committee



The Sullivan County Community College Foundation awarded one full time scholarship of $1500 to a volunteer involved in a Sullivan Renaissance project in her community who is attending SCCC.

·         Jamie Evans of Neversink – Time and the Valleys Museum project


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 $1000. 

·         Karina Arango – Phillipsport beautification – Orange County Community College

·         Jaxon Denman – Neversink Renaissance projects – SUNY Cobleskill

·         Lauren Hazen – Lumberland Circle Park – SUNY Oneonta

·         Andrew Johnson – Mamakating Historical Society – Associated Training Services Network

·         Kathryn Justus – Summitville Renaissance – SUNY Oswego

·         William McKerrell – Lumberland Circle Park – SUNY Cortland

·         Robert Jesse Neumann – Kenoza Lake projects – SUNY Oneonta


A program begun last year 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 three participants were: Hurleyville Sullivan First; South Fallsburg Action Committee; and Sullivan County Historical Society Museum.


Eighteen 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: Bethel Local Development Corporation, town hall sign gardens; Town of Delaware, planters at courthouse; Dirie Dairy Farm in Livingston Manor, new sign and landscaping; First Baptist Church of Monticello, church sign and entry plantings; First Church of Monticello Presbyterian, tree replacement; Flour Power Bakery in Livingston Manor, herb garden; Fosterdale Motor Lodge, butterfly and hummingbird garden; HASC Summer Program in Parksville, flower gardens and window boxes; in2retro in Bethel, sign plantings; Liberty Joint Fire district, entrance gardens; Monticello High School “Looking Out” Drivers Ed Club, landscaping at sign; Miss Monticello Diner, window plantings, signage & painting; Monticello Housing Authority, front entry, sign & playground plantings; Roark’s Tavern in Monticello, window murals & flowers; Schoolbell Townhouses Homeowners Association in Liberty, courtyard gardens; Sonoma Falls Cider Mill & Country Market, entryway gardens; Sullivan County Dramatic Workshop in South Fallsburg, hanging planters and flower beds; and Temple Sholom Beautification Committee in Monticello, border & entrance plantings.


Seven school and youth communities participated in projects this year and were recognized at the awards ceremony.  These included: Benjamin Cosor Elementary in Fallsburg with beautification of the school grounds; Winston Day Camp in Monticello with a vegetable garden; Eldred Central School District/Boy Scout Troop 102 with school entryway flowerbed; Monticello High School Eco Club with organic gardening project; Roscoe Central School with landscaping front lawn; Sullivan West High School in Lake Huntington with a memorial garden; and Sullivan BOCES/White Sulphur Springs School with a garden. 


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.

Five projects were recognized: Regency Homeowners Association in Woodridge for a fence replacement; Garden View Estates in Fallsburg for entryway landscaping; MYRCB-Merchav (Camp Morris) in Woodridge for entryway landscaping; Motty’s Supermarket/United Talmudical Academy in White Lake for a supermarket façade improvement; and Main Street Mall in Woodbourne for a commercial building façade improvement.


Ten environmental grants were recognized by Sullivan Renaissance.  These 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 Initiatives Program are: Catskill Mountainkeeper, place-based curriculum development; Delaware Highlands Conservancy, farming conference with Joel Salatin; NACL Theatre, production of “The Little Farm Show;” Sullivan County Rain Barrel Connection, design and distribution of rain barrels; Yankee Lake Preservation Association, Inc., rain garden; Liberty Community Development Corporation, community vegetable garden; SullivanArc,community vegetable garden; Sullivan County Community College, community vegetable garden; Sullivan County Federation for the Homeless, community vegetable garden; Tri-Valley Central School, community vegetable garden.       


The ceremony opened with the singing of “This Land Is Your Land” by Alan Sorenson, Sullivan County Legislator from District 9.  Sandra Gerry welcomed everyone and thanked participants for the work they are doing.  Slides of “Notable Moments in Renaissance” were then shown.  As senior Judge Ted Blowes was being recognized for his decade of dedication and service, a cake was wheeled on stage and everyone sang Happy Birthday to the Sullivan Renaissance volunteers.

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 Jill Lieberman of Liberty, a summer intern with Sullivan Renaissance. Throughout the ceremony, Van Morrow from the Mountain Tones based in Livingston Manor played a drum roll as each winner was announced.

Before the ceremony, attendees viewed displays of the projects.  Refreshments included a variety of desserts supplied 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 ten 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: Birgitta Brophy, Nicole Franzese, Mary Lewis, Michael Newhard, Linda Onofry, Mike Pogue, Karen Schneller-McDonald, Tim Stoddard and Anna Lise Dyhr Vogel.

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 Realtors 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