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Volunteers are at the heart of efforts to beautify the region

April 25, 2013

[LIBERTY] – Volunteers from dozens of communities were celebrated this evening, as Sullivan County begins its annual push to cleanup and beautify villages and neighborhoods by planting gardens and improving public spaces.

Sullivan Renaissance announced over $114,000 in funding to support 41 community endeavors during its annual Spring Forum on April 25 at the CVI Building in Liberty.  The program kicks off a four-month beautification contest to improve communities and win additional grants.

The list of participating organizations and projects is attached.  Additional grants will be awarded over the next several weeks. 

Sullivan Renaissance is a beautification and community development program principally funded by the Gerry Foundation.  Sponsorships are provided by WSUL/WVOS for Category A projects; Bold Gold Media Group/Thunder 102 for Category B projects; and Thompson Sanitation for seasonal projects.  FisherMears Associates, Kristt Company, Large Media, Robert Green Dealerships, Sullivan County Democrat and The River Reporter are also major sponsors.

Thursday’s program featured a panel discussion by volunteers from three winning communities that shared their best practices and spoke about how they overcame key challenges to become Sullivan Renaissance winners.  Participants included teacher Linda Hazen from Lumberland, retired executive Elaine Fettig from Roscoe and guidance counselor Dave Moore from Neversink.

Volunteer Coordinator Cara Kowalski was introduced to help steer volunteers to groups needing assistance with planting, garden maintenance, and a variety of other horticultural tasks.  For information about how to get involved, contact 845-295-2405 or

For individuals unsure how to garden, Sullivan Renaissance has a series of three Volunteer Gardening Trainingstaughtby Horticultural Coordinator Diana Weiner.  The first hands-on class is May 1 at Cornell Cooperative Extension on Ferndale-Loomis Road in Liberty.  To register, contact Sullivan Renaissance at 845-295-2445 or

The Spring Forum opened with the singing of the Beatles “In My Life” by Amanda Langseder, Director of Programming at Cornell Cooperative Extension Sullivan County.  The program was followed by refreshments and distribution of grants and “flower dollars” to community projects. 

Grants for seasonal demonstration projects, supported by Thompson Sanitation, and environmental initiatives, technical assistance and mini-grants will be awarded at a later date.


The grants and interns announced on today, include:

·         13 single element projects in Category A received $1000 grants and $100 in flower dollars;

·         9 multiple element projects in Category B got $1500 grants and $250 in flower dollars;

·         4 community-wide projects in Category C were given $5000 grants and $500 in flower dollars;

·         15 maintenance support grants designed to meet specific needs in the community received up to $1000 in grants, $250 in flower dollars, bulb dollars, and additional kinds of assistance;

·         16 paid interns will provide gardening support to 19 community projects, in partnership with Sullivan County Workforce Development.

Sullivan Renaissance Flower Dollars are a resource that allows groups to purchase additional annual plants by July 8.  The flower dollars can only be used at local participating nurseries, greenhouses or garden centers; and they must be matched with plantings of an equal or greater value.

Beautification and maintenance efforts are completed by August 5 and judged between August 8 and 11.  A second round of Phase II grants will be announced at the Sullivan Renaissance Awards Ceremony on Monday, August 12 at SUNY Sullivan in Loch Sheldrake. 

Phase II awards range between $1000 and $10,000 – with the Golden Feather Grant of $25,000 going to a Category C project.  A special Showing of Flowers award up to $5000 will be given to the community that has the best showing of flowers, along with four $1000 judge’s choice flower awards.  There are also two $1000 Special Awards in each category: historic and youth involvement ($1000).  A Silver Feather Award of $10,000 is given in Category C, as well as a $5000 award for planning.  All projects that finish will receive completion grants.

In partnership with the Community Foundation of Orange and Sullivan, a limited number of scholarships to the undergraduate college of one’s choice will be offered to volunteers who make a significant contribution to a Renaissance project.  The SUNY Sullivan Foundation also offers full and part-time scholarships to Renaissance volunteers.  

Sullivan Renaissance collaborates with many organizations and agencies, including the Sullivan County Chamber of Commerce, which sponsors the merchant discount program with almost 75 businesses offering discounts for community projects. 

Several organizations help local groups supplement their projects by providing some level of volunteer help such as general clean-up, site preparation, planting and painting.  Other assistance may also be available.  Some of these agencies include: Alternatives to Incarceration; Cornell Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners; Daytop; Delaware Valley Job Corps Center; New Hope Community; Occupations, Inc.; Retired Senior Volunteer Program; Sullivan County BOCES; and Workforce Development Board of Sullivan County, Inc. 

Since 2001 Sullivan Renaissance has funded hundreds of projects throughout Sullivan County.  For more information about programs, call Sullivan Renaissance at 845-295-2445 or visit the website at


LOCATION            ORGANIZATION                              PROJECT


Bethel              Smallwood-Mongaup Valley FD       911 Memorial Park

Hankins            United Methodist Church                Building Landscaping

Liberty              Friends of Liberty Library                Building Landscaping

Liberty              Sullivan Co.Childcare Council         Rebuild Forgotten Gardens

Liberty              United Methodist Church                Building Landscaping

Monticello         United Methodist Church                Building Landscaping

Monticello         Hudson River Healthcare                Hillside Garden

Parksville          United Methodist Church                Building Landscaping

So. Fallsburg    Sullivan Co. Dramatic Workshop     Garden Enhancements

Swan Lake        Swan Lake Hose Company #1       Firemen’s Memorial

Woodridge        Woodridge Fire Auxiliary                Park Sign & Garden

Westbrookville  Basha Kill Area Association            Gateway to the Basha Kill

Wurtsboro         Yankee Lake Preservation Assoc.   Patio & Flagpole

CATEGORY B – 9 MULTI ELEMENT PROJECTS (with support from Thunder 102)

Ferndale           Sullivan County Visitors Assoc.       Gardens & Landscaping

Ferndale           CCE Master Gardeners                  Herb Garden Extraordinaire

Fremont Cen.    Town of Fremont                            Veteran’s Park

Kenoza Lake     Kenoza Lake Fire Department         Firehouse Beautification

Liberty              Liberty Comm. Development Corp.   Walnut Mountain Park

Monticello         Friends of Dillon Park                     Alice’s Wonderland III

Narrowsburg      Narrowsburg Beautification Group    Main Street Planters

Roscoe            Roscoe-Rockland Chamber             Riverside Park

Thompson Park  Seeds of Hope Project                   Memorial Gardens in Park


Callicoon          Callicoon Business Association          Railroad Square

Hurleyville         Hurleyville Sullivan First                     Main Street

Liv. Manor         Livingston Manor Renaissance           Main Street

Rock Hill           Business & Community Assoc.        Downtown Garden


Bethel                          Bethel Business Association

Bloomingburg               Town of Mamakating Park

Bloomingburg               Our Lady of the Assumption Meditation Garden

Glen Spey                    Circle Park/Lumberland Park & Recreation

Jeffersonville                 Jeffersonville JEMS                                         

Lake Huntington            Cochecton Volunteer Ambulance Corps Park

Livingston Manor           Livingston Manor Rotary Park

Monticello                     Ethelbert B. Crawford Library

Neversink                      Neversink Renaissance                                     

Phillipsport                   Phillipsport Community Center              

Swan Lake                    Swan Lake Renaissance

Woodbourne                 Woodbourne Action Committee                        

Woodridge                    Woodridge Housing Authority

Woodridge                    Woodridge Kiwanis                                          

Wurtsboro                     Wurtsboro Renaissance