To help preserve, protect, and nurture the economic and cultural vitality of downtown Caldwell through the creation of public and private partnerships.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Project Main Street - Beauty and the Borough By Diane Lilli

It's been a wildly successful month for Caldwell's Project Main Street, also known as the CDA.
A few weeks ago, the not for profit organization hosted their food and wine pairing, and raised over $12,000.
Now, with money in their coffers, plans are underway to tackle the downtown Caldwell area from tip to tip, and spruce up the dull looking sidewalks with some local color.
At the council meeting in Caldwell Tuesday night, Project Main Street members Alan Schindler and Christy Berg asked borough for the okay to hang baskets onto 30 lamp posts in the borough.
A resolution, drafted on the spot, was passed unanimously.
These baskets are black wrought iron, with biodegradable material lining the inside.
"We plan to plant begonias in them now, but they'll need to be planted first into them and grow in a greenhouse for a few weeks," noted Schindler.
These plants will not just sit in soil, either. Instead, to maximize their potential for survival, they will be planted into a special gel mixture.
And don't think once the weather cools, these baskets will be stored away for another sunny day.
"In the fall, we plan to grow mums, and when it gets
cold, maybe we will plant holly or something else," added Schindler.
According to Berg and Schindler, local landscapers will also volunteer their time to water these plants three times a week.
Project Main Street Director Jerry Smith added the idea is to make sure the plants thrive.
"We don't want to plant all these beautiful flowers and then let them die," he said.
At the council meeting, there was plenty of slapstick humor as Berg, Schindler, and council members Joe Norton and Kay Slattery tried to hold up the heavy baskets for everyone to admire.
Norton is the chair of the newly re-launched Downtown Committee, and told the crowd that Caldwell will be presenting a new branding image along with a 2010 calendar with monthly activities, all geared towards revitalizing downtown.
Caldwell Mayor Sue Gartland, smiling at the baskets, said she's been waiting to see something like this for a long time.
The baskets will be put up the beginning of July.
Soon afterwards, about 25 banners should join them, on alternating poles lining Bloomfield Avenue.

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