RUTLAND - As dozens of organizations prepare to green up Rutland
with millions of flowers this spring, green of a different sort is
pouring into a fund set up to support the cause.
Just over a week after the city beautification effort was
announced by Green Mountain Power President and CEO Mary Powell and
Mayor Chris Louras, donations and pledges to Rutland Blooms are
nearing $10,000 and a dozen more businesses and organizations have
joined the 40 that had signed on when the campaign was announced
"Rutland Blooms seems to have tapped into a wellspring of
community pride and spirit," said Steve Costello, GMP's vice
president for generation and energy innovation. "We have received
multiple calls about the project every day, with checks arriving
Cash donations will be used to purchase seeds, plants and bulbs
for use at city entranceways, public spaces and non-profit sites.
GMP is also donating millions of flower seeds through local schools
and non-profit groups, and will be planting wildflower gardens at
numerous company properties in and around Rutland.
Among other donors are businesses, organizations and
individuals. Skip Pratico, owner of Pratico's Landscaping &
Fence Company in Rutland, is donating a large assortment of plants,
shrubs, mulch and labor and will work with the Stafford Technical
Center to build a significant new garden at City Hall, which the
students have already begun to prepare. Vermont Country Store
donated $1,000 to that project.
"My family has been in the landscaping business since 1950, and
we're proud of Rutland," Pratico said. "It's a great place to grow
up and live, and we like to support the community. We love Rutland,
and there's nothing better than flowers to beautify a place."
Altogether, more than 50 organizations are now involved in the
project, which is intended as a grassroots beautification
effort. Each organization will determine its role. Some plan
to promote the effort to members and clients, plant gardens, or
give away flowers, bulbs or seeds.
Donations may be sent to: Rutland Blooms, care of Downtown
Rutland Partnership, 48 Merchants Row, Rutland, Vt. 05701.
Businesses, clubs and other groups interested in getting
involved can call Chuck Piotrowski at 770-4088.