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

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Volunteer for Caldwell Beautification Day!


Saturday, September 25 will be a special day of community service and celebration in downtown Caldwell.  Please join your friends, neighbors, local business owners, civic organizations and houses of worship as we come together as a community to clean up, spruce up and beautify our historic downtown. Everyone is welcome as a variety of projects will be underway.

The day will begin at 9:00 with a volunteer welcome and registration on The Green, next to the Caldwell Public Library. Teams will then break out into their work groups for instruction and demonstrations. From 10-2, teams will work on cleaning up our sidewalks and public spaces, planting flowers and trees, weeding and mulching tree beds, and a host of other beautification projects.  A volunteer celebration with refreshments will follow on The Green at 2:00.  Come make new friends, have some fun and enjoy a day you will be proud of!

Click here to sign up for the day's events or call volunteer coordinator Christy Berg at 973-600-9607 for more information.

Caldwell Beautification Day is being hosted by Project Main Street, who spearheaded fundraising efforts and the installation of hanging flower baskets and American flags along Bloomfield Avenue earlier this summer.  Our completely volunteer organization believes strongly in the difference one can make when a community pulls together.  We aspire to make Caldwell Beautification Day an annual event.

Project Main Street is funded through donations from individuals and local businesses who care about the future of downtown Caldwell.  Beautification Day is funded in part through proceeds from their Caldwell Beautification fundraising dinner and 50/50 this spring. Additional donations to help cover costs are greatly appreciated and tax deductible. Use the donate button on this page to donate by credit card. Checks should be made payable to The Caldwell Downtown Alliance and sent to 14 Forest Avenue, Caldwell, NJ 07006.

Project Main Street is a nonprofit and nongovernmental organization committed to preserving, protecting and nurturing the economic and cultural vitality of downtown Caldwell through the creation of public and private partnerships.  You are invited to join them in preserving Caldwell’s heritage while building our future through historical preservation, downtown beautification, and realizing a vision of downtown Caldwell as a pedestrian friendly center of community

Thank you for your support!

The Project Main Street Team.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

It Takes a Community to Hang Flower Baskets

Project Main Street Volunteers Sara Robertson, Rick Ventola, Christy Berg, Kevin Macken, Tammy Wysocki, Alan Schindler and James Haas. 

This summer, beautiful baskets of cascading dragon wing begonias were hung on decorative wrought iron brackets along Bloomfield Avenue in Caldwell.

What seemed to be a simple suggestion from Project Main Street volunteer Barbara Pucciarello was, in fact, no small project. It took an outstanding collaborative effort by a team of dedicated volunteers and an overwhelming show of support by local residents, merchants and government to turn her suggestion into reality.

With money raised through Project Main Street’s first Caldwell Beautification Dinner and 50/50 raffle in May, the organization’s Design Committee members worked to ensure that the money raised was returned to the community as promised. But, as they researched options, one question continually challenged the team – how would they water the flowers often enough to keep them flourishing throughout the hot summer months? 

Three local landscapers stepped up to the challenge. Rick Ventola of R. Ventola Landscaping, James Haas of The James R. Haas Landscape Spectrum and Kevin Macken of K. Macken Landscaping all volunteered their time to water and fertilize the flowers throughout the year.  All three men are long standing residents of Caldwell and cited their reasons as their love of this community and their desire to give something back. The landscapers follow a schedule set by Project Main Street volunteer Tammy Wysocki and use a 25 gallon rolling watering machine purchased by the nonprofit organization.

“This is an extraordinary effort by Ventola, Haas and Macken,” said Alan Schindler, Project Main Street Design Committee Chair. “Not only did they volunteer to do the bracket installation and hang the baskets for us, but they’ve been watering the flowers daily or every other day in this heat to keep them thriving. It’s a labor of love for the town of Caldwell. Project Main Street is extremely grateful to have them as volunteers.”

Schindler, along with Design Committee members Tammy Wysocki, Barb Pucciarello, Stephanie Kirsch, Alan and Diane Ryan, Lara Bechwati, Irene Cacciopoli and Christy Berg, did significant research to make the best decisions from both a financial and a design perspective. They selected the elegant begonia varietal for their visual impact, bloom longevity and drought tolerance.  The bracket design was selected to be congruous with the aesthetic of the lampposts and the feel of a historic downtown. The team walked Bloomfield Avenue to determine optimal placement, alternating poles to allow for banners hung throughout the year.  

The final step was gaining approval. Project Main Street worked with PSE&G to gain authorization to hang the baskets and American flags on their poles.  The Mayor and Council gave their unanimous approval for the project in a June council meeting.  Smiling warmly, Mayor Gartland thanked Project Main Street for their efforts, sharing that this was something she’s wanted in Caldwell for a long time.

After the first frost, the hanging baskets will be replanted with seasonal selections. And, next March, they’ll be planted and stored in a greenhouse until mid-May when they’ll be ready to grace Bloomfield Avenue again.

Funding for this project was made possible by the community’s support of Project Main Street’s Beautification Dinner and 50/50 raffle organized by volunteers Barbara Pucciarello, Teresa Akerson, Elisse Glennon, Karen Della Santi, Paula Sules, Carolyn O’Brien and Jerry Smith and through the tricky tray donations made by Caldwell’s merchants.

The event and outpouring of support for the initiative exceeded Project Main Street’s expectations.  Roseland resident Mary Collins summed it up as she purchased two raffle tickets to support Project Main Street’s efforts. “I consider this my downtown too. I grew up in Caldwell and I’m nostalgic for the days I could buy everything downtown,” said Collins. “I’m excited that someone’s working to make downtown more attractive. It will help keep the businesses going and help get some new stores open.”

Project Main Street, an initiative of the Caldwell Downtown Alliance, is a completely volunteer, non-profit and non-governmental organization working to restore Caldwell’s cultural and economic vitality collaboratively through public and private partnerships.  To learn more, share your ideas, become a volunteer or show your support, email, call 973-228-8900 or become a fan on Facebook.