By Jack Mariano
Bridget McDonald Reilly
The Parkesburg Beautification Committee sprouted on Facebook from discussion among Parkesburg locals. Led by Erin Minch, owner of the Bird’s Nest Salon on First Avenue in Parkesburg, the group was originally called the “Planter Posse”, but soon blossomed into the Parkesburg Beautification Committee.
Cultivating their first project entirely online (and on Facebook) the team arranged a crowd-sourced project to fund, plant, and distribute large flowering planters, downtown.
Before a single root went into soil, the project was brought to Borough Council by a group led by Alan Fellman, President, and Mike Martorano, Vice President of PABA, and received unanimous approval. Once approved, the committee launched into action. In just six weeks they raised funds to sponsor twelve large, flowering planters packed with hardy blooms and greenery. To add a personal touch, sponsors were able to add personalized plaques to remember loved ones, dedicate to friends – even to Parkesburg itself!
On a sunny Saturday morning in May, the committee and volunteers met to put the plan in action. In just a few hours the team had completed the first official beautification project, and found time to tidy up the area where each planter was placed. While everyone was commended for taking part, some volunteers went the extra mile to become “planter parents”; agreeing to water, weed and care for a planter or two throughout the year – and take part in fun decorating projects.
With one success on the ground, the committee isn’t stopping there! While the planters will continue to be top priority, more projects are planned for Parkesburg. On June 15 the committee once again addressed Borough Council with a new idea for Minch Park. Joined by Christine Huntzberry, owner of Zolē on Main Street, Martorano presented a project to re-imagine the back of the block building with a mural by Zolē. Facing the children’s playground, the mural – painted by teams assembled by Huntzberry from art associations, clubs, and schools from Lancaster and Chester counties – will incorporate fun imagery along with significant Parkesburg icons.
Council unanimously approved the mural along an event to unveil it as part of a family picnic in Minch Park on July 26th from 1- 3 pm. Opening with a 1940s theme, the event will welcome families and art lovers to enjoy music by swing band The Swing Kings, dress in 40s-inspired costumes, and watch as Parkesburg mayor John Hagan cuts the ribbon on a new piece of public art created exclusively for the town.
Just a week later, committee members and volunteers will join area residents again at Minch Park to celebrate Parkesburg’s second annual Community Day on August 8th.
Many great citizens have jumped on board with the planter projects by active participation and with help raising funds. In October the team will debut a project created to mark Make A Difference Day, sponsored by the Western Chester County Chamber of Commerce. Ideas for Christmas decorations, planter-parent contests and more are on the way, so stay tuned!
The Parkesburg Beautification Committee is a sub-committee of the Parkesburg Area Business Association that aims to help grow our little town into something beautiful. To contribute time, much-needed funds, or to check in on what the Parkesburg Beautification Committee is working on next, follow us at www.facebook.com/beautifyparkesburg