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Narrowsburg Gets ‘Golden Feather’ – Forestburgh & Neversink Win ‘Flowers’

August 13, 2012

[LOCH SHELDRAKE] – Hundreds of people attended the 90-minute Sullivan Renaissance Awards Ceremony on Monday, August 13, as over $100,000 in grants and scholarships were awarded to winning communities throughout Sullivan County.  The ceremony was held at the Seelig Theater of SUNY Sullivan in Loch Sheldrake.

Narrowsburg Beautification Group received the Golden Feather, a $25,000 grant presented by NYS Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther.  It was given to one of four large community projects that exhibited the highest level of excellence by incorporating beautification as part of a long-term strategy.  The Liberty Community Development Corp. received the second place Silver Feather Award of $10,000.  Rock Hill Business & Community Association got a $5000 award for the community’s planning efforts.

Flower awards went to seven communities this year.  Forestburgh Playhouse was recognized with the “Best Overall Showing of Flowers Award” of $5000.  Judges were impressed by the overall number of gardens; an abundance of color, unique designs and 2012 Renaissance Collection; the artistically themed container vignettes; creative use of structures incorporated in the gardens; cohesive use of perennials, annuals, tropicals, shrubs and trees; and the meticulously maintenance of the gardens.  

Other communities receiving $1000 Judges’ Choice Awards for flowers included: United Methodist Church of Liberty for “Best Containers,” Liberty Community Development Corp. for “Best Urban Park,” Narrowsburg Beautification Group for “Best Business/Municipal Display” and Town of Lumberland Parks & Recreation for “Best Annual Flower Display.”

A special “Best Showing of Flowers Award – Maintenance” of $4000 was given to Neversink Renaissance, one of eleven communities that received Maintenance Support this year.  Loomis Area Watch in Ferndale received $1000 for the “Best Overall Single Garden.”

Grants – ranging from $1000 to $25,000 – were awarded to projects in Categories A, B and C.  Some projects were also recognized with Special Awards for 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)

·         Boy Scout Troop 101 of Bloomingburg – nine hole mini golf course in town park

Second place ($2000)

·         The Recovery Center in Monticello – sign and seating area

Third place ($1000)

·         Sullivan County Visitors Association in Liberty – building landscaping

SPECIAL AWARDS – Sponsored by Sullivan County Democrat

Best Garden Design ($1000)

·         Action Toward Independence in Monticello – new garden bed



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) :

·         Friends of Dillon Park in Monticello – Alice’s Wonderland (Phase II)

Second place ($7000) :

·         Town of Lumberland Parks & Recreation – Circle Park enhancements

Third place ($5000) :

·         Town of Fremont – sign and landscaping

SPECIAL AWARDS – Sponsored by The River Reporter

Historic Preservation ($1000)

·         Sullivan County Historical Society – celebrating history mural project

Best Garden Design ($1000)

·         Smallwood-Mongaup Valley Fire Department – 911 Memorial Park


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)

·         Narrowsburg Beautification Group

Silver Feather ($10,000)

·         Liberty Community Development Corp.

Planning Award ($5000)

·         Rock Hill Business & Community Association

SPECIAL AWARDS – Sponsored by Kristt Company

Best Garden Design ($1000)  

·         Liberty Community Development Corp.

Winning communities will be on display during the “Winning Projects Tour” on Saturday, September 8 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.  Contact Sullivan Renaissance for more details.

Sullivan Renaissance projects were judged for aesthetic improvement, collaboration, youth involvement, permanence and an ability to be maintained.  The team of eleven judges from outside Sullivan County was headed by Ted Blowes, immediate past chair of the Communities in Bloom Program in Canada, which helped inspire the Sullivan Renaissance program.  Other judges were: Nicole Franzese, Donna Harrison, Michael Newhard, Linda Onofry, Peter Patel, Karen Schneller-McDonald, Ann Smith, Tim Stoddard, Deborah Sweeton and Michael Sweeton.

Before introducing the communities in the Maintenance Support Program, horticultural consultant Mary Lewis spoke about garden design and introduced members of the design panel that reviewed gardens during the application process.  This year’s panelists were: Maureen Charde, Caroline DeWilde, Susan Dollard, Kalman Freidus, Marian Fries, Janet Gula, Susie Hull, Joan Paese, Alden Thayer and Anna Lise Vogel. 

Mary Lewis also recognized the garden centers and nurseries that sold the Renaissance Collection of plants.  They were: Butterfly Botanicals in Bloomingburg, Catskill Harvest Market in Liberty, Delaware Valley Farm Home & Garden in Callicoon, Hillside Greenhouses in Liberty, Liberty Home Garden & Pet, Monticello Farm Home & Garden, Monticello Greenhouses, Inc. and Vita’s Farm & Garden in Jeffersonville.


The Maintenance Support Program provided financial support and technical assistance to established groups with a history of Sullivan Renaissance projects.  Participants received up to $1000, a Merchant Discount Card, $100 in Flower Dollars, assistance in organizing a volunteer work day, additional funding for infrastructure improvements, and other technical and gardening help.  The eleven participants were:

·         Bloomingburg                                  Town of Mamakating

·         Ferndale                                         Loomis Area Watch

·         Jeffersonville                                    Jeffersonville JEMS

·         Livingston Manor                              Livingston Manor Renaissance

·         Monticello                                        Federation for the Homeless

·         Neversink                                        Neversink Renaissance

·         Roscoe                                            Roscoe-Rockland Chamber

·         Swan Lake                                      Swan Lake Renaissance

·         Woodbourne                                    Woodbourne Action Committee

·         Woodridge                                      Woodridge Kiwanis      

·         Wurtsboro                                       Wurtsboro Renaissance


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

·         Charles S. Gambino III of Wurtsboro – SUNY Sullivan


The Community Foundation of Orange and Sullivan Counties awarded twelve 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 $200 to $750. 

·         Luis Arango – Phillipsport – New York University

·         Gabriella Ginsberg – Monticello – Binghamton University

·         Maya Grady – Narrowsburg – Drexel University        

·         Lauren Hazen – Lumberland – SUNY Oneonta

·         Meaghan Hazen – Lumberland – SUNY Brockport

·         Kendall Menges – Callicoon – Rochester Institute of Technology

·         Brandon Rieber – Rock Hill – SUNY Orange

·         Patrick Reiser – Lumberland – SUNY Oswego

·         Amanda Rosenberger – Callicoon – Oneonta State College

·         Kane Sauchuk – Swan Lake – Binghamton University

·         Aaron Schmitt – Livingston Manor – Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

·         Rebecca Wood – Smallwood – Keuka College


The 2012 interns are: Gabriella Ginsberg, Maya Grady, Jacob Hufcut, Justin Mapes, Connor McCausland, Madison McCormack, Jonathan McCoy, Kristen McEneaney, Dominic Michael, Ethan Porter, Patrick Reiser, Cassandra Sherwood, Seth Wegener, Matthew Young and Tyler Young.


Sixteen 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: All Breeze Guest House, enhancing parking & front entrance; Bethlehem Temple Church in Monticello, hanging planters & addition gardens; CYO at St. Peter’s Parish in Monticello, building landscaping; 1st Way Life Center in Monticello, new signage & flowers; Flour Power Bakery & Café in Livingston Manor, garden bed; 52 Automotive in Monticello, entrance landscaping; Global Home in Jeffersonville, flower beds & container plantings; Java Love Coffee Roasting Co. in Kauneonga Lake, storefront enhancement; Makovic Homes, LLC in Monticello, container gardens; New Hope Manor, Inc. in Barryville, entrance gardens; Parksville United Methodist Church, flower pots, planters & containers; Scout Pack 106 in Jeffersonville, Presbyterian Church vegetable garden; Town of Delaware, welcome sign garden in Hortonville; Town of Thompson, entrance landscaping in Monticello; Whispering Pines Community, LLC, front entrance enhancement; Woodridge Kiwanis Club K-Kids, addition to Benjamin Cosor Elementary gardens.


Through the Seasonal Demonstration Program, Sullivan Renaissance makes available a limited number of matching grants up to $2500 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:

·         American Theological                     Sign replacement and landscaping

·         Camp Kavunes Halev                     Dumpster enclosure and landscaping

·         Camp Simcha                               Fence replacement

·         Green Acres Cottages, Inc.            Barn quilt mural and new signage

·         Steve’s Camp at Horizon Farms      Sign replacement and landscaping

·         Wagon Wheel Campground            Signage and landscaping


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 were:

·         Catskill Mountainkeeper, Cornell Cooperative Extension and Green Village Initiative                                         Catskill Edible Garden Project

·         Cornell Cooperative Extension        “Compost Happens” project                  

·         Cornell Cooperative Extension         Tree Stewardship Program           

·         Delaware Highlands Conservancy    Environmental Site Plan in Bethel

·         Fort Delaware Colonial Museum      Heritage Garden

·         RJK Middle School Eco Club           Enhance a Community Garden

·         Roscoe-Rock Chamber                   Riverside Park Trail & Education

·         Sullivan County Adult Care Center   Composting Program

·         Town of Tusten                              Community Garden in Narrowsburg

·         Tri-Valley Central School                 Apple Orchard Demonstration


The ceremony opened with the singing of “America the Beautiful”by Cathy Paty, Vice-President of the Sullivan County Chamber of Commerce.  Sandra Gerry welcomed everyone and thanked participants for the work they are doing.  SUNY Sullivan Interim President Dr. William Murabito also praised the work of Sullivan Renaissance and the volunteers in his opening remarks.

Project recipients received framed certificates of excellence from Sullivan Renaissance, as well as individual certificates from U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, U.S. Representative Maurice Hinchey, NYS Senator John Bonacic, NYS Assemblywoman Aileen 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 special initiatives undertaken by Sullivan Renaissance.  Through a federal grant secured by the Congressman, 64 street lights were installed last fall as part of the Monticello Enhancement Program – using a combination of students from Delaware Valley Job Corps Center and Village of Monticello employees.  This year a new wayfinding system will be introduced to help vehicles and pedestrian get from Broadway to municipal parking lots in Monticello.  Sullivan Renaissance is also making improvements to Sullivan County gateways and working with SUNY Sullivan to beautify the campus in Loch Sheldrake.

Before the ceremony, attendees viewed displays of the projects.  Refreshments included decorative cupcakes and other desserts supplied by Erin Lipsky and staff at Granite Associates. 

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