TOMPKINS COUNTY, N.Y. — The Tompkins County Community Beautification Program recognized businesses, civic associations, community partners and volunteers who have contributed to beautification efforts at an awards ceremony at La Tourelle on November 8. While the Community Beautification Program plants and maintains gardens in the downtown area including the plantings on the Commons, at the Main Library and by Purity Ice Cream on Route 13, this awards program recognizes beautification efforts done outside its program. The new program was launched in 2016 and recognizes businesses and civic associations that contribute to community beautification in the City of Ithaca and Tompkins County.
Winners were selected from nominees in four categories: Business, Civic Association, Residence, and Placemaking. The awards were presented by Jennifer Tavares, Tompkins County Chamber of Commerce president.
The Community Beautification Award for a Business was presented to Alternatives Federal Credit Union on Route 13 South in downtown Ithaca and their landscaping provider, Kaleidescape. The flower plantings around their building and along Rt. 13 add a bright spark of color to this busy traffic corridor. The rock gardens on both corners of Seneca Street and Route 13 use native shale interplanted with perennials and add interest to this busy intersection.
The Community Beautification Award for a Not-for-Profit was presented to the Ithaca Children’s Garden. From the giant turtle at the south end to the bulb labyrinth at the north end, the children’s garden helps beautify this section of Route 89 while providing a safe and stimulating place for children and their families to explore nature. Additionally, the attractive signage at the garden entrance makes it easy for visitors to find the garden.
The Community Beautification Award for Placemaking was presented to Nancy Medsker, designer of the renovation of the Danby Gathery on Route 96B in Danby. This property has been an eyesore since the previous business there closed, and the renovations of the building along with a new patio and landscape plantings have made a dramatic difference to this well-traveled route. The patio, fence and plantings were installed by Green Scene.
The Community Beautification Award for a Residence was presented to Neil Golder. Neil’s property at 203 College Avenue includes a dramatic front garden sloping down to the sidewalk. The plantings include ornamental grasses and perennials with a variety of foliage colors and textures, and are a welcome spot of beauty in Collegetown.
The Community Beautification Award for a Residential Business, a new category, was presented to Mary Ellen Salmon and sculptor Jay Seaman for the property at 79 East Main Street, Trumansburg. The colorfully painted house is the home of Mary Ellen as well as her business, the Salmon Pottery Gallery. The front yard contains eye-popping sculptures by Jay and include giant flowers and a dinosaur skeleton crafted from metal, all surrounded by landscape plantings.
In addition to the Community Awards, volunteers and community partners were also recognized at the Beautification Program’s annual dinner. Super volunteers Louise Sallinger, Linda Bartnick, Nancy Wayman and Mary Kirkwyland all received an award, as well as grower Kendra Hutchins, who provides new varieties of annuals to the program each year.