Every spring and summer, two to three volunteers from the Hartsdale Beautification Committee would walk up and down E. Hartsdale Avenue near the Hartsdale train station hand watering flowers in some 21 planters. Eventually the challenge of watering all those plants caused the committee to rethink and strategize a plan for keeping the flowers abloom on the avenue.
With the support of Hartsdale Beautification Committee president Barbara Brennan, the town, a number of volunteers and local sponsors, Hartsdale installed eight self-watering containers June 21 to help keep the perennials robust.
“Without the self-watering containers my fear was that there would be no flowers on East Hartsdale Avenue,” said Brennan, who holds a degree in urban design. “I feel that these containers … [have] built a community.”
Several local businesses and civic associations co-sponsored the beautification project with the beautification committee, generating enough money for eight self-watering planters, which Greenburgh Town ordered from EarthPlanter, a New York-based company that specializes in commercial use self-watering planter systems. The cost for each container was between $350 and $400 for plants and signs to acknowledge each sponsor.
The flowers in the planters were locally sourced from both Westchester Nursery and the greenhouse in the Hart’s Brook nature preserve.
Hartsdale now has 16 flower containers on the avenue — five less than when committee volunteers were hand watering. Half of the 16 are now self-watering, leaving it up to local merchants or volunteers to water the remaining containers. The self-watering containers have a large water reservoir, which can be filled through a plug near the top of the planter. The planters’ 25 gallon reservoirs need to be filled every two to three weeks and will be added to the town of Greenburgh’s water truck route.
Greenburgh Town arborist John Haas was also instrumental in the project, assisting with ordering and delivering the containers, and contributing the flowers.
“I believe next year I can probably generate some support for additional containers,” said Brennan. “Self-watering is ultimately the goal.”