Whitehall’s Skenesborough Park will be going through a gardening project very soon near the town office building and the Skenesborough Museum in advance of a craft fair on May 15.
Chamber of Commerce representative Cheryl Putorti is looking to change the scenery outside of the museum to brighten up and give back to the community.
“We have a lot of new people and new ideas wanting to be more involved with the community than in the past,” she said.
With spring weather just around the corner, Putorti wants to spruce up the downtown area with a new planting project. The project will include cleaning up brush around the walking or biking path near the canal on Skenesborough Drive and planting some flower beds.
Putorti and Whitehall native Barbara Spoor have been discussing the planting project as well as a craft fair to be held on May 15.
“We’re hoping to use the park here in May for the big event,” Putorti said. “When we were talking about that, we thought it would be great if we could do something to help maybe beautify the park and make it more attractive.”
Putorti mentioned that one of the main focuses is behind the museum because the space offers good views for walkers, bikers and all of the community. With COVID-19 keeping most indoors last summer, she said she thinks this could be a chance to take the overgrown shrubs out and start fresh.
“The canal is going to open up to full capacity this summer again so we thought that might be a project that we would take on,” she said.
When Putorti brought the idea up to the Town Board at its April meeting, she highlighted she has started looking into getting sponsors for the project and has some local businesses interested in sponsoring the project. Dicky Gould of Gould’s Lawn and Landscaping has agreed to help with the project and has created flower and shrub plans for the space, she said.
“We’re looking at about $4,000, he (Gould) gave us a wonderful price which is about 50% of what he would usually charge us to do this project,” she said.
With the project being accepted by the board, they are looking to start the gardening project as soon as possible so it will be completed before the Craft Fair in May. Spoor is headlining the fair and discussed her plans at the April meeting as well.
“Right now, we’ve got 20 vendors that are signed up to do it,” Spoor said.
Because there are still COVID guidelines, Spoor said there will be social distancing at the event and patrons are expected to wear masks at the event as well. Sanitization stations will be scattered throughout the event.
“Right now, outdoor events are good in New York State for up to 200 people and we don’t anticipate that many people being there at one time,” she said.
Spoor mentioned they have had 20 gallons of hand sanitizer donated to the event as well as 150 small individual bottles to hand out to patrons at the event. There will be reminder signs for community members who attend to keep their mask on as well as keeping their distance from others.
“We really plan on keeping it as safe as possible for everybody,” she said.
To top off the event, there is a firework show planned for the community that will start at 9 p.m. and people looking to attend are asked to bring their own form of seating such as camping chairs and blankets. The craft fair will begin at 11 a.m. on May 15 and end at 5 p.m. with a 9 p.m. firework show. During the downtime between the events, there will be bands playing in Skenesborough Park.
“This is the only event happening in the Park in Whitehall this summer.” Putorti said.