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Callicoon Gets Golden Feather, Neversink Has Best Showing of Flowers

August 8, 2011

[MONTICELLO] – Hundreds of people attended the 90-minute Sullivan Renaissance Awards Ceremony on Monday, August 8, as almost $100,000 in grants were awarded to winning communities from around Sullivan County.  The ceremony was held at Monticello High School Auditorium for the second year in a row.

Callicoon Business Association received the Golden Feather, a $25,000 grant presented by NYS Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther.  It was given to one of six large community projects that exhibited the highest level of excellence by incorporating beautification as part of a long-term strategy.  The Jeffersonville JEMS received the second place Silver Feather Award of $10,000.  Liberty Pride got a $5000 award for the community’s planning efforts.

Special flower awards went to five communities this year.  Neversink Renaissance was recognized with the “Best Showing of Flowers Award” of $5000.  The judges were impressed by the “use of repeating colors and textures in hanging baskets, street containers and landscape beds” and the “balance of woody plants, perennials, annuals and groundcovers which gave dimension and visual appeal to the landscape.”  Other communities received $1000 Judges’ Choice Awards: Roscoe Chamber of Commerce for “Most Bold and Dramatic Single Element,” Highland Lake Fire Department for “Most Outstanding Single Garden,” Jeffersonville JEMS for “Best Use of Space in an Urban Area” and Livingston Manor Renaissance for “Best Downtown Streetscape.”

Before winners were announced, horticultural consultant Mary Lewis spoke about garden design and introduced members of a newly created design panel that reviewed gardens during the application process.  This year’s panelists were: Maureen Charde, Caroline DeWilde, Will Foster, Kalman Freidus, Marian Fries, Susie Hull, Cindy Kashan, Joan Paese, Alden Thayer and Anna Lise Vogel.

Grants – ranging from $1000 to $25,000 – were awarded to projects in Categories A, B and C.  Projects in each category were also recognized with Stewardship Awards for the environment, history and best garden design.  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)

·         Roscoe Rockland Fire District in Roscoe – firefighter/veteran memorial garden

Second place ($2000)

·         Friends of Dillon Park in Monticello – Alice’s Wonderland Entranceway

Third place ($1000)

·         Hudson River Healthcare in Monticello – Enhancement of Aesthetics for Health Care (CARE)

STEWARDSHIP AWARDS – Sponsored by Sullivan County Democrat

Environmental Stewardship ($1000)  

·         Sullivan County SPCA – horse paddock improvements

Historic Preservation ($1000)

·         Luxton Lake Property Owners Association in Narrowsburg – plaque area and garden

Best Garden Design ($1000)

·         Eastern NY Federal Credit Union/SCVA in Liberty – building landscaping



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) :

·         Cochecton Ambulance Corps – Ambulance Corps park

Second place ($7000) :

·         Mountaindale Community Development Corp. – rails to trails gateway

Third place ($5000) :

·         Rock Hill Business & Community Association – entrance beautification projects


STEWARDSHIP AWARDS – Sponsored by The River Reporter

Historic Preservation ($1000)

·         Livingston Manor Renaissance – Remember Refresh Recycle

Best Garden Design ($1000)

·         Highland Lake Fire Department – Eagle Scout landscaping project


Category C projects are at multiple locations that incorporate beautification as part of a long-term community wide strategy.  Awards in the category were presented by Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther.

Golden Feather ($25,000 grant)

·         Callicoon Business Association

Silver Feather ($10,000)

·         Jeffersonville JEMS

Planning Award ($5000)

·         Liberty Pride

STEWARDSHIP AWARDS – Sponsored by Kristt Company

Environmental Stewardship ($1000)

·         Liberty Pride

Historic Preservation ($1000)

·         Neversink Renaissance

Best Garden Design ($1000)  

·         Lumberland Parks and Recreation

·         Narrowsburg Beautification Group



The Sullivan County Community College Foundation awarded one part time scholarship of $750 to a volunteer involved in a Sullivan Renaissance project in her community who is attending SCCC.

·        Bonnie Carnell of Monticello – Monticello landscaping


The Community Foundation of Orange and Sullivan Counties awarded nine 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. 

·         Jesse Fadis – Kenoza Lake Fire Department – Binghamton University

·         Maya Grady – Narrowsburg Beautification Group – Drexel University

·         Lauren Hazen – Town of Lumberland Circle Park – SUNY Oneonta

·         Meaghan Hazen – Town of Lumberland Circle Park – SUNY Brockport

·         Jonathan McCoy – Woodridge Kiwanis Club – Rochester Institute of Tech.

·         Anthony Nittoli – Town of Mamakating – SUNY Fredonia

·         Patrick Reiser – Lumberland Parks & Recreation – SUNY Oswego

·         Erika Vorstadt – Erika’s Better Bags – SUNY Oneonta

·         Matthew Young – Wurtsboro Renaissance – SUNY Plattsburgh


A program begun two years ago 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 nine participants were:

·         North Branch Fire Department – spruce up firehouse

·         Old Stone House of Hasbrouck – window boxes, signs, planters

·         Woodridge Kiwanis Club – maintain prior years projects

·         Woodbourne Action Committee – maintain prior years projects

·         Yankee Lake Preservation Association – fencing and plantings

·         Daytop Village, Inc. (Parksville)  – maintain prior years projects

·         Sullivan County Ladies League/CDC – sign and garden maintenance

·         Phillipsport Community Center – spruce up prior projects

·         Roscoe Chamber of Commerce – downtown garden maintenance


Three community development grants were recognized by Sullivan Renaissance.  These grants are for experienced groups interested in expanding their beautification efforts into other areas, including downtown revitalization, planning and economic development.  This year’s recipients were: Town of Lumberland for a site feasibility and market analysis; Wurtsboro Renaissance for D&H Canal trail enhancement; and Roscoe Rockland Chamber of Commerce for development of a marketing program.


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 Flea Market, install hedges and bushes; Callicoon Center Firemen’s Auxiliary, hanging baskets for lamp poles; Choices Mental Health Counseling, Inc., fencing and shrubs in Monticello; Daytop, Inc. – Swan Lake, replant flower beds; Eureka Market & Café – Grahamsville, plant shrubs and perennials; Kenoza Lake Fire Department, maintain planters and flower beds; Kenoza Lake United Methodist Women’s Group, spruce up planters and gardens; Kerrendian Development, Inc. – Monticello, plant flowers; Mineral Springs, Inc. – Monticello, landscape entrance & parking lot; Mountaindale Art Center, flower pots and hanging baskets; Mountaindale Beautification Committee, hanging baskets for Main Street; New Salem Baptist Church – Monticello, install flowers around sign; SC BOCES – White Sulphur Springs, perennial garden; Town of Delaware – Hortonville, new flower garden at triangle; Town of Thompson, Town of Thompson Park; Upstate Karate of Mountaindale, Inc., storefront improvements; Woodridge Kiwanis Club K-Kids, expand school gardens; and Woodstock Community Congregation – Kauneonga Lake, building landscaping


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.

Six projects were recognized: Camp Simcha in Glen Spey for fencing and flowers; Fallsburg Hills for replacing a fence and plantings; Ichud Fun in Monticello for a sign replacement and landscaping; Ichud Hatalmidim in Monticello for replace an entrance sign and garden; Menucha in Monticello for landscaping and fence; and MYRCB Kochav in Woodridge for entryway landscaping & sign.


Five 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: Delaware Highlands Conservancy, trail mapping project; Monticello High School Eco Club, Arbor Day/Earth Day Festival; Liberty CDC, community garden enhancement; Workforce Development Board of Sullivan, Inc., environmental summer cooperative; and Sullivan County Federation for the Homeless, community garden enhancement.


Four communities were acknowledged for receiving technical assistance grants, which are used for professional expertise and assistance with planning, engineering, design, renderings or organizational development.  Recipients were: Barryville Chamber of Commerce for architectural renderings; Roscoe Rockland Chamber of Commerce for historical reconnaissance survey; Friends of Dillon Park for Dillon Park master plan; Village of Monticello for assistance with way finding signage design.


The ceremony opened with the singing of “God Bless America” and “This Land is Your Land” by the Monticello Chamber Choir.  Sandra Gerry welcomed everyone and thanked participants for the work they are doing.  NYS Senator John Bonacic also praised the work of Sullivan Renaissance and the 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 Meaghan McCormack of Monticello, a summer intern with Sullivan Renaissance.

Chris White, District Representative for Congressman Maurice Hinchey, reported on two special initiatives.  The Monticello Enhancement Program is using a combination of volunteer labor and federal funding to improve Broadway, DeHoyos Park and the parking lots and alleyways in Monticello.  Sullivan Renaissance is also making improvements to three gateways to Sullivan County: Route 17 Exit 104, Shortline Bus Terminal and the Sullivan County International Airport.

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, Donna Harrison, Michael Newhard, Linda Onofry, Peter Patel, Karen Schneller-McDonald, Ann Smith and Tim Stoddard.

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