Spring is in the air on Crosby Avenue as the Waterbury LaSalle Community Association greens the business district.
Last fall, with the placement of 10 planters containing English Boxwood shrubs, the WLCA began a project to create a greener and more pleasant business corridor.
Merchants were asked to volunteer to receive the plant in front of their store, requiring only that they tend to the low maintenance of the shrub.
Within the same time span, through the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation and the Million Trees NYC initiative, the WLCA requested seven trees be placed along Crosby Avenue between Buhre Avenue and Middletown Road. The trees were planted last week.
The next installment, scheduled this spring, will bring eight more planters to the area with the shrub and flowers. Those already in place will also have flowers added.
“We are going to have all cascading flowers, a combination of Swiss Balcony Geraniums and Petunias,” said Mary Jane Musano, ways and means chair of the WLCA. “It’s going to be really nice.”
The flowers are going to be various shades of pink and purple, with some white and yellow flowers mixed in to compliment the color scheme. Sweet Potato Vines will also be planted in each pot.
According to Musano, a gel will be placed in the soil that will allow for a slow release of water to lessen the care needed for upkeep of the flowers.
“We have been here for five generations and we remember the true beauty of this neighborhood,” said Josephine Orlando of Giordano’s Pelham Bay Florist. “We hope this wonderful touch of nature will inspire people to care more for their hometown.”
The purpose of the planters is not only for the beautification, but to deter vandals from destroying the area with garbage and graffiti.
“We are following the theory that if the community looks upscale, it will stay like that,” said Musano. “I think vandals don’t realize it, but if they see an area is nice they tend to go elsewhere. We placed the planters on the store side because we felt people were less likely to use them as receptacles there.”
Each planter is worth approximately $500, with WLCA project funding provided by Councilman Jimmy Vacca, Senator Jeff Klein, and Congressman Joseph Crowley.
“Our community has always prided itself on clean streets and sidewalks and having an attractive, inviting commercial strip,” said Vacca. “Installing planters, tackling graffiti and addressing other potential blights is all in keeping with that tradition and I am proud to be able to support the Waterbury-LaSalle Community Association through funding from the City Council.”