Tree planting, garden season end event set

GLOVERSVILLE — The Gloversville Housing and Neighborhood Improvement Corporation will host a tree planting event in the Burr Street neighborhood on Saturday at 10 a.m. followed by an end-of-season garden closeout at the Fremont Community Garden at 1 p.m.

GHNIC members, children from area schools, member of the volunteer urban forestry committee, members of the Fulton Montgomery Young Professionals Network and community volunteers will participate in the day of landscaping for community renewal and groundskeeping to prepare for a bountiful growing season next year.

“This year we had many volunteers come to our tree plantings and spend countless hours in the garden. We are excited to build on this momentum one more time this year,” GHNIC Executive Director and Gloversville Fifth Ward Supervisor Gregory Young said.

Saturday’s group tree planting event will be the fourth for the city’s volunteer urban forestry committee this year. The committee of community volunteers is tasked with increasing the number of street trees throughout the city to improve the overall appearance of the city while aiding the aging storm sewer infrastructure by absorbing falling rainwater.

The committee hosted two tree planting events earlier this year around the Farmers Market Pavilion and one in the Burr Street Neighborhood.

“We got off to a really great start,” Young said. “It’s clear from the events we’ve had so far that there’s a lot of interest from the community for planting more trees, so it’s really been encouraging.”

The GHNIC received a $500 Constellation Community Champions Award to fund this week’s tree planting in the Burr Street Neighborhood. The neighborhood was selected to receive the trees in coordination with a community renewal initiative proposed by the Fulton County CEO Roundtable.

“We see the Burr Street Neighborhood in particular, given its close proximity to downtown, as a neighborhood that has been really lacking in investment,” Young said. “We’re hoping to make Burr Street greener and more aesthetically pleasing.”

The GHNIC will purchase six trees from the end of season selection available at Goderie’s Tree Farm to be planted among the 10 land bank parcels the agency has acquired in the neighborhood.

“We’re going to be focusing on parcels and locations where the trees will be most visible and able to enrich the streetscape while you’re driving up and down Burr Street,” Young said.

Young noted that the GHNIC previously planted trees, hydroseeded and put up a fence on one of the agency’s land bank parcels on the corner of Burr and Phair streets, hoping to do similar work in the future throughout the neighborhood.

“We’re hoping to similarly beautify all the properties that we have to be a good neighbor,” Young said. “It’s part of an effort to enhance the aesthetics and living conditions in that neighborhood.”

Following the tree planting, volunteers from the FMYPN will lead an effort to close out the Fremont Community Garden for the season by removing remaining vegetation, spreading wood chips and laying the groundwork for next year’s growing season.

The community garden at 110 Fremont St. is divided in half featuring individual plots for use by families in the neighborhood on one side and a large communal plot for row production of a variety of vegetables to benefit the community on the other.

“We had great involvement from neighbors of the garden as well as community groups that took on plots,” Young said. “We’re very appreciative to the Young Professional putting wood chips down and getting things cleaned up so we’ll be ready to go in the spring.”

The community garden was grown this year with the support of 20 community gardeners including volunteers from the Gloversville Senior Center, Lexington Center and Captain Family and Youth Services.

The community garden also received donated food waste and scraps from Mohawk Harvest Cooperative Market for composting.

“The rich compost is the secret to our success,” Young said.

Over 100 pounds of vegetables and herbs harvested from the donation plots planted by GHNIC board members and surplus crops offered by individual gardeners were donated to the Salvation Army’s food pantry and soup kitchen and the Gloversville Senior Center’s food pantry.

“It’s great to have such a bountiful harvest that we’re able to share it with less fortunate members of the community,” Young said.

Aside from providing food to the community, Young pointed to the garden as an educational tool, noting that Cornell Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners of Fulton and Montgomery Counties hosted two free workshops for community members in the garden over the summer.

“I think it’s really important from an educational perspective to show how easy it is to grow your own fruits and vegetables, even in a backyard garden you can raise so much food,” Young said. “It’s a large part of our mission, it isn’t just housing and neighborhood improvement in terms of buildings, it’s also about improving quality of life.”

To volunteer for Saturday’s tree planting or garden cleanup, or to learn more about the urban forestry committee, contact GHNIC Executive Director Gregory Young at (518) 620-6276.

By Patricia Older

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