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BEAUTIFUL SULLIVAN COUNTY

Practicing ‘Health and Happiness in the Garden’

April 24, 2014

[FERNDALE] – Community volunteers learned to identify plants and insects that may be foes, how to stay safe in the sun and the importance of water – not only for the gardens but for themselves – at the Sullivan Renaissance Spring Forum on April 24.  The event marked the beginning of Sullivan County’s annual push to clean up and beautify villages and neighborhoods by planting gardens and improving public spaces.

Sullivan Renaissance announced over $112,000 in funding to support 45 community projects as part of the four-month beautification contest.  The list of participating organizations and projects is attached. 

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, Robert Green Dealerships, Sullivan County Democrat and The River Reporter are also major sponsors.

Thursday’s program featured a presentation about “Health and Happiness in the Garden” to address safety concerns in the garden and learn how gardening relieves stress.  Presenters included Jessica Schwatz, RN, CHN, Epidemiology, and Lynn Wilcox, RN, Epidemiology, from Sullivan County Public Health Nursing, and Sullivan Renaissance Horticultural Coordinator Diana K. Weiner. 

The program was followed by refreshments and distribution of grants and “flower dollars” to community projects, and an orientation for new groups. 

Grants for the Community Mitzvah Award, seasonal demonstration projects, community development, environmental initiatives, facade improvements, technical assistance and mini-grants will be awarded over the next several weeks. 

FORTY-FIVE GRANTS ANNOUNCED

The grants include:
• Category A – nine single element projects – $1000 grants and $100 in flower dollars;
• Category B – nine multiple element projects – $1500 grants and $250 in flower dollars;
• Category C – five community-wide projects – $5000 grants and $500 in flower dollars;
• Maintenance – 22 support grants meeting specific needs in each community – up to $1000 in grants, $250 in flower dollars, bulb dollars and additional kinds of assistance;

Sixteen paid interns will provide gardening support to almost 20 community projects in partnership with Sullivan County Workforce Development:
• Hannah Bisland – Lumberland Parks & Recreation
• Celina Castellano – Woodbourne Action Committee
• Blake Costa – Liberty CDC
• Collin Frost – Phillipsport Community Center
• Brittany Fuller – Livingston Manor
• Taylor Goudreau – Mamakating/Wurtsboro Renaissance
• Samuel Hogencamp – Town of Thompson
• Jane Hyman – Swan Lake Renaissance
• Matthew Kerendian – Rock Hill Fire Department
• Joseph Krum – Woodridge
• Kimberly Marshall – Jeffersonville JEMS
• Jordan Milch – Long Eddy Renaissance
• Ronj Padu – Narrowsburg Beautification Group
• Sabrena Smith – Neversink Renaissance
• Djani Torres – Monticello Beautification Group
• Manuel Valentin – Roscoe

Sullivan Renaissance Flower Dollars are a resource that allows groups to purchase additional annual plants by July 7.  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 must be completed by August 4 and will be judged between August 7 and 10.  A second round of Phase II grants will be announced at the Sullivan Renaissance Awards Ceremony on Monday, August 11 at Bethel Woods Center for the Arts in Bethel. 

Phase II awards range between $1000 and $10,000 – with the Golden Feather Grant of $25,000 going to a Category C project.  There are also three $1000 Special Awards in each category: historic preservation, youth engagement and environmental stewardship.  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.

A special Showing of Flowers award up to $5000 will be given to the Category A, B or C community that has the best showing of flowers, along with four $1000 judge’s choice flower awards.  In the Maintenance Category, an additional showing of flowers award up to $5000 will be given to the community with the best multiple gardens; an award of $3000 for the best single garden; along with four $1000 judge’s choice flower awards.

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; 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. 

For information about how to get involved with the Renaissance Volunteers Corps, contact Cara Kowalski at 845-295-2405 or volunteer@sullivanrenaissance.org.

For individuals unsure how to garden, Sullivan Renaissance is sponsoring a series of free Gardening Trainings taught by Cornell Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners.  The next hands-on class is May 7 at Cornell Cooperative Extension on Ferndale-Loomis Road in Liberty. 

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 www.SullivanRenaissance.org.

2014 SULLIVAN RENAISSANCE GRANT RECIPIENTS

LOCATION, ORGANIZATION, PROJECT

CATEGORY A – 9 SINGLE ELEMENT PROJECTS (with support from WSUL/WVOS)

Cochecton, Town of Cochecton, Welcome Sign Enhancement
Lake Huntington, Lake Huntington Fire Department, Memorial Garden
Liberty, Liberty Museum & Arts Center, Museum Façade Enhancements
Liberty, Liberty United Methodist Church, Church Landscaping (Phase III)
Liberty, Sullivan County Child Care Council, Forgotten Gardens (Phase II)
Monticello, Islamic Cultural Center, Rear Entrance Landscaping
Roscoe, Roscoe Presbyterian Church, Church Landscaping
Swan Lake, Swan Lake Fire Department, Firehouse Sign Garden
Thompson, MAFCO (Monticello Area Football), Field & Roadside Beautification

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

Fallsburg, Dynamite Youth Center, Landscaping & Sign Gardens
Glen Spey, Lumberland Parks & Recreation, Ball Field Beautification
Liberty, CCE Master Gardeners, Centennial Entrance Garden
Liberty, St. Peter’s Regional School, School Landscaping
Livingston Manor, Livingston Manor Methodist Church, Church Landscaping
Mamakating, Mountain Lake Camps Association, Signs & Entry Landscaping
Roscoe, Roscoe Rockland Chamber, Revamping Main Street
Thompson, Town of Thompson, Signs & Park Landscaping
Woodridge, Village of Woodridge, Krieger Park Enhancements

CATEGORY C – 5 COMMUNITY-WIDE PROJECTS

Jeffersonville, Village of Jeffersonville, Backyard Park Enhancements
Long Eddy, Long Eddy Renaissance, Hamlet Beautification
Phillipsport, Phillipsport Community Center, Phillipsport Beautification
Rock Hill, Rock Hill Fire Department, Firemen’s Field Beautification
Swan Lake, Swan Lake Renaissance, Stone Castle Garden

MAINTENANCE GRANTS – 11 MULTIPLE GARDEN AREAS

Callicoon, Callicoon Business Association
Hurleyville, Hurleyville-Sullivan First
Liberty, Liberty Community Development Corp.
Livingston Manor, Livingston Manor Renaissance
Mountaindale, Mountaindale Action Committee
Narrowsburg, Narrowsburg Beautification Group
Neversink, Neversink Renaissance   
White Sulphur Springs, White Sulphur Springs Sullivan First
Woodbourne, Woodbourne Action Committee  
Woodridge, Woodridge Kiwanis   
Wurtsboro, Wurtsboro Renaissance  

MAINTENANCE GRANTS – 11 SINGLE GARDEN AREAS

Bethel, Smallwood-Mongaup Valley Fire Department
Bloomingburg, Town of Mamakating Park   
Callicoon, St. James’ Episcopal Church
Ferndale, Sullivan County Visitors Association
Highland, Lake  Highland Lake Fire Department
Hurleyville, Sullivan County Historical Society
Monticello, Bethlehem Temple Church
Monticello, Hudson River Healthcare
Mountaindale, Yeshiva Zichron Meir
Rock Hill, YMCA of Sullivan County
Woodridge, Woodridge Housing Authority