Friday, June 25, 2010

Barry - one of the hardest working volunteers!!!

Barry Corcoran wins the big prize...that is being one of the most dedicated volunteers in helping Downtown Westfield Corporation & Williams Nursery in this year's America in Bloom (locally known as Westfield in Bloom) competition. For over two weeks, Barry has been assisting not only in supervising juveniles who have been assigned community service, but he has been working very hard himself. He not only supervised, but also weeded and spread mulch in Parking Lot #1 between Elm and Prospect Streets. Thank you Barry! and thank you DPW for delivering the mulch!

Caught them doing something good!

Department of Public Works employees Dennis and Gerry were seen repairing the belgium block curbing in some of the islands of the South Ave. parking lot. Thanks Dennis and Gerry!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Train Station now has a 'Green Up' Crew

The "Westfield Green-Up Crew's" inaugural cleanup and weeding of the area in an around the southside of the Westfield Rail Station took place on Saturday, April 17th. Our group is part of NJ Transit's Adopt-A-Station Program which is a way for members of the community to enhance a highly visible area of our town. Pictured from left to right are: Sean Collins, Ross Katz, Daniel Moore and Stu Turner. (Other members who couldn't make the first event but swear to be at the next one are: Neil Morrison, Cara Foerst, Michael Jackman and Chris Schifando). A future event will be planned for late Spring or early Summer. If anyone is interested in joining, please email Ross at

School Energy Program Wins EPA Awards

From Lorre Korecky, Westfield Public Schools Public Relations...

Principals of our four schools who received the United States Department of Environmental Protection Agency’s “Energy Star” award presented to us recently. Only 9 schools in New Jersey have received this recognition out of the 2,500 public schools in the entire state. Westfield's Energy Managers, Michael Pate and Tony Cuccaro (who also work in our Maintenance Dept), presented plaques from the US EPA to the principals of Tamaques, Franklin, Roosevelt and Edison Schools and to some of their custodians were there for the presentation. Mr. Pate noted that since the inception of the program 33 months ago, the District has saved $1,005,813 or 25 percent of our energy costs in electricity and natural gas consumption. This equates to 573 passenger cars not driven in one year, or 81,667 tree seedlings planted and grown for 10 years, or 3,193 metric tons of CO2 Greenhouse gas reduction. Mr. Pate attributed the success of the program to teamwork by the entire staff of the district. He projects our energy savings to reach more than $5 million in 2017. In addition to the tremendous financial savings we have experienced, we are being good citizens of the earth and role models for our students.

Highland Avenue Mansion First in NJ to Receive National Green Building Designation

A Westfield, NJ newly constructed home receives designations from NAHB and Energy Star.

Franklin School helps Westfield Bloom

There are some exciting projects taking place in the Westfield, New Jersey Schools. For example, when the children return to Franklin Elementary in September, they will find ten outdoor tables on the property. Due to extraordinary fundraising and careful budgeting, the PTO was able to purchase and install these for use by the children at lunchtime. In addition, on beautiful days, teachers will be able to bring their classes outdoors for lessons. Six tables will be on the field near the baseball diamond and four tables will be alongside the fence of the Habitat Garden. In her final few months as PTO co-president, Beth Ripperger researched and negotiated extensively to make this possible. Thank you Franklin School parents for your generosity of time and funding. Thank you, Beth Ripperger, for your outstanding leadership and vision.

Community Service at work!

Thank you Barry Corcoran! When Barry Corcoran, Westfield resident and volunteer asked how he could help with the Westfield in Bloom project, a light bulb went off for Sherry Cronin, Executive Director of Downtown Westfield Corporation. The DWC is a community service agency of the Union County Juvenile Service Bureau which has been assigning a number of juveniles to perform community service. Thankfully Barry rose to the occasion to instruct and supervise the crew(s) to perform necessary weeding and clean ups downtown. Barry (tall dashing fellow walking at left) can be seen walking between the two landscaped areas near the Starbucks lot entrance supervising students who worked both landscaped beds.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Dave Williams - Educator, Nursery Owner, Garden Center of America President and All Around Nice Guy!

Dave Williams of Williams Nursery recently hosted a Westfield Area Chamber of Commerce networking event in his greenhouse and gave the attendees alot of tips on plants and gardening. The crowd really enjoyed their tour and learned alot too! (The food and drink was great too!...thanks Dave and crew!).

Thank you Monroe and Scott of DPW!

You may not know that the well manicured landscapes around the World War I Memorial, Wychwood Gate, the median at Lamberts Mill Road, Stoneleigh Park, and others are maintained by Monroe and Scott of the Town of Westfield Department of Public Works. They do a great job and we appreciate their attention to detail.

We caught them yesterday cleaning out the garden beds with the beautiful daylilies around the traffic circle.

Thank you Monroe and Scott!

Local Resident transforms her surroundings

Westfield Resident Janet Scourzo writes "When I bought my house 8 years ago, the yard was a weed-filled lawn, cracked patio, and a scraggly hedge ... over time I've transformed it into my own little garden oasis. Except for the initial planting of some of the larger trees, I have done all the garden design myself (I must confess to a fair amount of trial and error, and moving plants (more than once!) to achieve the right look and have a happy plant). And I'm proud to say, I do all the upkeep labor myself. By the end of winter I find myself longing to get outside and dig in the dirt... "

Dave and his water-wise gardening!

You may have noticed that selected urns around town have been creatively arranged with plants that require little or no external watering. Dave Williams of Williams Nursery has been using this technique at the North Avenue train station urn as well as the urns at the Mindowaskin Park overlook. The main succulent is an Agave plant which is commonly associated with tequila. These plants are readily available at Williams Nursery and may be the perfect fit for your summer garden. Thank you for donating the materials and planting the urns Dave!

Crosta garden

This wonderful setting is host to many backyard gatherings for people and wildlife. Thank you to the Crosta family for sharing your labor of love!

Lovely landscapes you may have missed

Have you ever noticed the great job of landscaping that is always taking place at 600 South Avenue W? Every season is a new surprise. Great job!

Colorful Planters and Baskets Emerge in Downtown Westfield

Westfield, NJ – The Town of Westfield is gearing up for the annual “America in Bloom” competition as the Downtown Westfield Corporation and Williams Nursery co-lead the effort for Westfield to be considered for the 2010 "America in Bloom" award. Westfield is among 28 towns nationwide to compete this year. Westfield has the distinction of being the only town in the state of NJ to participate in the 2009 and 2010 competition.

The Downtown Westfield Corporation and Williams Nursery will be working with the Town of Westfield and its residents, as well as local businesses and organizations in order to hopefully nab the grand prize in their population category. Decorative planters containing an assortment of flowers will be adorning storefronts and an array of colorful hanging flower baskets have emerged outside many restaurants and shops. Flowering baskets are being installed on the historic utility poles by Town of Westfield Department of Public Works personnel to welcome patrons and visitors to downtown.

Judges will be heading to Westfield on July 12 and 13 to view and critique various landscapes, homes and business fronts for the annual America in Bloom Competition. Final results will be announced in October at the national symposium. In 2009, Westfield received a four-bloom rating out of a possible five bloom rating (a significant achievement for a first-year competing community) and special mention for the Floral Displays category.

For local information about Westfield's involvement, to volunteer or to participate by submitting stories and photos of your Westfield residence, businesses or outdoor environment contact Sherry Cronin at the DWC or Dave Williams at Williams Nursery at To inquire about the national program, contact America in Bloom at 614-487-1117 or visit Awards, including gift certificates to Downtown Businesses and Williams Nursery, will be given in the following categories: Best Window Boxes, Best Planters, Best Storefronts, Best of Westfield, Best Gardens, and Best Kid’s Gardens.

Photo caption: Flowering planters are being placed around downtown storefronts by the businesses and Downtown Westfield Corporation as part of the annual America in Bloom competition.

Graffiti Busters

As part of the Westfield in Bloom initiative, volunteer “Graffiti Buster” Dan Cronin paints over the ball wall at a Westfield park recently that had many graffiti markings. Dan and his mother, Sherry have formed an anti-graffiti team of volunteers who remove graffiti regularly on street signs and areas around town.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Thanks Department of Public Works!

If you haven't visited the train station in a while, you may find that something is different there. Keller-Williams Realty donated all the rose bushes and planted the beautiful rose garden in the front of the train station near North Avenue. Town of Westfield Department of Public Works (Monroe and Scott) worked to prepare the garden area for Keller Williams. DPW supervisor, Jim Van Blarcom then had an idea to take out the overgrown, poison-ivy infested shrubs at the other end near the train station. Thanks to the efforts of Gerry Stabenow and Rory Ruhl, Westfield DPW, the area is now clear and ready for an easier to maintain lawn or future garden. With some future trimming under the tree, the view to the historic station, the new rose garden and Elm Street will be more open as people visit the train station. A big thank you for their hard work!

Community Pride starts at a young age!

Young volunteers Emily Kirschner, Sara Kirschner (and their father, Joe Kirschner), Isabella Salerno, and Lauren Fazio took to the streets to clean up Central Avenue underpass and to plant some flowers around the trees. As part of the Westfield in Bloom initiative, they are proud of the work they accomplished and encourage other young volunteers to get involved. The flowers were donated by Williams Nursery.

Downtown is Blooming!!

Have you seen the beautiful planters that our Department of Public Works (thanks Joe, Bill and Art!) is helping to install on the light poles around the downtown? Thanks to alot of nurturing at Williams Nursery, these white and pink "Queen of Balcon" ivy geraniums and the multi-colored rectangular planters came out of their greenhouses this week just in time to make a big splash downtown. The Downtown Westfield Corporation and Williams Nursery appreciates everyone's assistance in making our downtown's floral displays really shimmer for the America in Bloom judges visit on July 12 and 13! More flowers to come! Enjoy!