Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Sidney Center Improvement Group
Beautification Committee

Our History: 2005-2006

The beautification of Sidney Center has been one of the major concerns of our citizens since the Sidney Center Improvement Group's first meeting in November 2005. In April 2006, the Sidney Center Improvement Group sponsored a Visioning Workshop at the local Fire Hall with the Catskill Center, which generated a lot of excitement in the community. One common community concern was to clean up the community and restore the historical hamlet to its former glory.

Several weeks later, a group of determined individuals met at the local general store to put their concerns into action. With shovels, brooms, and garbage bags in hand, we set to work. Loading up countless truckloads of rubbish, our volunteers headed to the town shed in their pick ups with the goal of cleaning up our Main Street. Several weeks later, Delaware County offered the support of a truck. Once again, with volunteer help on hand, we did an additional community clean up. Our hard work paid off! We began to visibly see the potential of putting our shared ideas into action.

In May, with the generous support of Senator John Bonacic, we received a Micro Main Street Grant to purchase 30 flower barrels for the community. The Sidney Center Improvement Group volunteers placed the barrels along Main Street and planted them with bright spring flowers. We all felt very proud of our community efforts on Memorial Day as the band marched down our Main Street.

Unfortunately, in late June of 2006 our community was devastated by a record breaking flood. Our Main Street area was literally consumed with water as the Willowbrook and Carr's Creeks converged in the heart our hamlet. Our community was heartbroken by the effects of this event on our hamlet and the damage done to our community and the surrounding towns and villages. Our volunteer firemen and Young Explorers did an excellent job of rescuing people, monitoring property damage and keeping us all safe as we waited for the water to recede (you can look at pictures of flooded Main Street on our Flickr slide show, captioned 'Sidney Center Flood of 2006'.) Several weeks after the flood, the Sidney Center Improvement Group, working with the of the Town of Sidney, gathered piles of debris that had been carried into the hamlet by the roaring and raging creeks. Despite all the damage incurred on that day, we had only lost one flower barrel from our Main Street. Our little community group would survive, fully realizing how important stream mitigation, septic issues, and safe drinking water are to the success of any community effort here in Sidney Center.

Our Current Activities: 2007-2008

In the spring and summer of 2007, the Sidney Center Improvement Group continued cleanup efforts and planted our community barrels. Now, in 2008, our beautification efforts continue. Our group has applied for a “hometown grant” through Hamburger Helper. We hope to purchase ornamental trees, shrubs and flowers to beautify the hamlet. Also, we will plant an evergreen tree in the heart of the hamlet as a symbol of our growing community pride.

Spring Cleanup Is Right Around The Corner!

April 26th will be Town Shed Day for the Sidney Center area. Please check your local paper or fliers that will be posted in the hamlet regarding the items that will be accepted this year. Sidney Center Improvement Group volunteers will be available that morning to assist with the clean up. A second clean up day is planned for early May. Information about that day is upcoming. Also, in late May, we look forward to planting our community flower barrels.

The Sidney Center Improvement Group hopes through our simple beautification efforts to revive a spirit of community pride. Eventually, we would like to see the restoration of our historical Main Street. The flowers and trees we plant today are a symbol of the bright future our community is reaching towards. However, we do realize that we can only reach that goal with the “hardworking” hands of our citizens. If you are interested in helping our community, please join us! The Sidney Center Improvement Group meets the second Tuesday of each month at the Sidney Center Branch Library.

Upcoming 2008
Beautification Events:

Town Shed Clean-up Day: April 26th
Volunteers Needed Look for our fliers on April 17th

Second Clean-up Day: early May
Date to be determined in the next few weeks

Flower Barrel Planting: late May
Before Memorial Day Parade

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About S.C.I.G.

Sidney Center, New York, United States
The Sidney Center Improvement Group (SCIG) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, grass roots organization based in Sidney Center, NY. The small Hamlet of Sidney Center - like many upstate NY towns, villages, and hamlets, has had it’s fair share of challenges over the years. However, thanks to a group of dedicated residents who gathered for a visioning meeting in 2006, SCIG is now a thriving community group who's sole purpose is increasing the quality of life for all who live in Sidney Center and for future generations.