When dozens of volunteers from businesses and nonprofits turned out recently to help plant 76 flowering crabapples along West Street in Rutland, they made a statement to everyone who enters the city by that western gateway in the future.
For hours, bank tellers and accountants, medical workers and students labored to make over roughly 1,700 linear feet of land along the south side of the street, reclaiming an overgrown streetscape and creating what will be a growing, flowering welcome to Rutland.
Thanks to donations from Casella’s, Rutland Regional Medical Center and The Vermont Country Store, which joined us in funding the purchase of the trees, the streetscape was dramatically changed with minimal expense to the city. City forester and arborist Dave Schneider ensured the trees were planted correctly, with help from Wilk Paving, which dug the 76 holes in advance so volunteers could focus on planting, mulching and watering. Dave’s expertise and willingness to collaborate made what may have seemed like an unmanageable project a success.
The project, sponsored by Rutland Blooms, included volunteers from Berkshire Bank, city of Rutland, Green Mountain Power, NeighborWorks of Western Vermont, Rutland Regional Medical Center, Stafford Technical Center, The Vermont Country Store, Vermont Council of Urban and Community Forestry and Wilk Paving, with support from the Village Snack Bar. Their collaboration will be a model for similar projects in the future, as Rutland Blooms continues to help beautify Rutland, support the city’s VISION Project, and bring together Rutlanders who want to participate in the city’s ongoing revitalization.
Steve Costello is a GMP vice president who oversees Rutland Blooms, a grass-roots project to beautify the city by planting flowers and flowering trees and shrubs.
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