Local News

Rutland Blooms: donors, volunteers grow project

RUTLAND—Rutland Blooms is planning its most ambitious crop of city beautification projects yet, and will kick off the spring season by planting 46 crabapple trees and nine maple trees, May 11.

The kickoff event will include planting  nearly four dozen crabapple trees along Harrington Avenue in front of St. Joseph’s Cemetery, and nine “Sunset Red” maple trees near the new Ripley Road bridge connecting Route 4A in Center Rutland to Dorr Drive.

Stafford Technical students and other volunteers will plant most of the trees, under the supervision of City Forester Dave Schneider.

“Rutland Blooms has been an amazing addition to our efforts to beautify the city,” Schneider said. “The program has allowed us to do far more work than we could ever have done without the support of the business community and other donors, and it has had a huge impact on the beauty of our city… This has been a seamless, productive project from the beginning.”

“Rutland Blooms is emblematic of the successes we are achieving in Rutland, because it is the epitome of collaboration, which is a key focus for the mayor’s office and the city as a whole,” Mayor Dave Allaire said. “Rutland Blooms has brought together a variety of businesses and individuals, all focused on city beautification, and has contributed to the growing sense of progress and community development in Rutland. In my experience, this kind of collaboration is critical to the success of a community, and in this case, it is creating tangible improvements in the look and feel of the city.”

Planned landscaping projects include the May 11 plantings, streetscape improvement on Strongs Avenue, and Rutland’s Center Street Marketplace. The Strongs Avenue project has funding in the amount of $27,000; the Center Street Marketplace will receive a $25,000 grant in January.

“Rutland Blooms is growing bigger than ever,” said Steve Costello, a Green Mountain Power vice president and organizer of the program. “It is so wonderful to see this take root in the community and increase pride, as we now have more donors and more ambitious projects than ever.”

“It’s exciting to see the program grow, and the impact that Rutland Blooms is having on the city, which is considerable,” said Dave Wolk, president of Castleton University, a lead GMP partner in the program. “When I see the hundreds of flowering trees planted in recent years along West Street and throughout the city, my pride in Rutland grows right along with the trees.”

“Most of Rutland Blooms’ supporters have been steady, strong backers for several years,” Wolk said.

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