The leaders of every municipality strive to have their communities look clean and inviting to attract shoppers and new businesses while instilling civic pride. Mount Kisco has just launched a new program to make sure that goal becomes reality.
Last week, the village initiated an Adopt an Area program, hoping to entice merchants, property owners and residents to sign up and commit to working together to beautify one of six municipal properties in downtown.
Patterned after the longtime popular Adopt a Highway initiative, officials believe it’s a small but significant step to spruce up the village.
“Being a real estate broker for over 20 years, it gives us curb appeal,” said Fortunato Cambareri, a member of the Adopt an Area subcommittee overseeing the effort. “Right now, we don’t but landscaping makes a big difference, especially in spring time.”
Cambareri said while the village is looking to sign up a few local landscapers or contractors who have experience in planting, anyone is encouraged to help in the effort.
Once a business or group adopts an area, responsibilities include purchasing plants and related materials, planting, mulching and maintaining the area through the growing season, said Katie Weisman, another subcommittee member.
The village is looking for a commitment for at least three years. Every group of participants will receive a sign to be displayed to acknowledge their efforts for as long as they are responsible for an area, Weisman said.
The areas that have been earmarked for this first round of improvements are the island on North Bedford Road at the intersection of East Main Street (Route 117); the area around the Chief Kisco statue near that intersection; the train station clock area; Fountain Park in front of the library; the entrance to Leonard Park; and the area of the gazebo.
Village Trustee Isi Albanese, who is helping to spearhead the program, said the effort may appear to be a small step but should be viewed as one of many strategies officials are using to improve the downtown. While there have been critical comments about storefront vacancies, there has also been a sentiment to make the village more aesthetically pleasing, he said.
“This is part of the spark that will do things and part of the seed that will help things grow, and every little bit of it helps,” Albanese said.
Since last week when the village announced the program, already a few businesses have signed up. The hope is that there will be others, particularly once more people in Mount Kisco learn what the village is doing, he said.
The projected completion date for the work is on or about May 25. Anyone interested in adopting an area or helping out should sign up by Tuesday, May 1, although the village would likely accept additional applications through the end of next week, Albanese said.
If the response is strong, the village could expand the effort beyond the six identified areas, Weisman said.
It is anticipated that a wide variety of flowers and plants is expected to pop up in the coming weeks, she said.
“We’ve talked about annual flowers in the summer,” Weisman explained. “We want to try to get in some perennial planting so there’s more structure and more spring planting, so we have tulips and daffodils and things like that, just to give some color early on.”
Albanese said the village is also considering the installation of a community board to allow the public to post notices of upcoming events. There are often signs and public notices on the North Bedford Road island, but that often becomes cluttered.
For anyone who wishes to be involved in the Adopt an Area program, visit www.mountkiscony.gov and go to the Beautification Committee page. An online application can be filled out and submitted. Members of the public can make a donation to the program also by going to the committee’s page on the village’s website.
Martin has more than 30 years experience covering local news in Westchester and Putnam counties, including a frequent focus on zoning and planning issues. He has been editor-in-chief of The Examiner since its inception in 2007. Read more from Martin’s editor-author bio here. Read Martin’s archived work here: https://www.theexaminernews.com/author/martin-wilbur2007/