Project Pride Beautifying North Tonawanda

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By: Brendan McDonough

Reporter for North Tonawanda

A lot more color is coming to Webster and Oliver Street in North Tonawanda thanks to volunteers from Project Pride filling planters with bouquets of flowers.

“This is one of those things that is not necessarily a function of the City but it is something that the City has become used to and it makes the whole downtown look even nicer,” said Rich Andres, 8th District Legislator.

Despite being the third year they have done this, it is the first year they are planting at the Carnegie Arts Center. The money for the flowers comes from a number of fundraising events the group has all year long. For many it is a chance to make the area look better and help spread some neighborhood pride.

“It adds to a sense of community,” said Bob Brennan, North Tonawanda resident. “It makes the store fronts looks better and just gives you and overall good feeling, knowing that you helped to make the area look better.”

A special committee was set up to help pick the plants that will go in the boxes. Somewhere between fifteen and eighteen plants are put in each box and about fifty planters are spread out across the City. They include plants of all shapes and sizes and heights. Specifically, hand-picked so that they would not only help to make the area look nicer but be hearty enough for the ever-changing weather conditions.

“We are looking for plants that have color, curb appeal and certainly sustainability in these planters, for watering and sunlight, so a lot goes into deciding what goes into the planters,” said Barb Hughes, President of Project Pride.

In addition to purchasing plants the group in also working with the North Tonawanda Botanical Gardens taking a plant from a seedling and putting it on display for everyone across North Tonawanda to enjoy. Jay Robinson was one of the volunteers who came out this past weekend. He is a former dairy farmer and while he admits no farming skills were used, he hopes his hard work will pay off.

“I feel great that I am beautifying North Tonawanda,” said Robinson. “We need to keep it up. It is a nice little area and I hope that we can bring some people from the outside here and show them what we have.”

Volunteers hope that when people see the plants they will also stop in the local shops and help boost the local economy. It’s just one small step that Project Pride hopes will not only help to make the area look better but improve life for everyone. One plant at a time.


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