It's amazing what a few flowers and a green thumb can do for a main street or, in this case, the Four Corners of Delmar and the Delaware Avenue business district.
Flags and Flowers, a beautification project for a mile-and-a-half section of Delaware Avenue has so enhanced the aesthetics of the neighborhood that not many people can remember what the area looked like before.
It was not very nice before, said Anita Tipple, a local resident who said she now regularly drives by to enjoy what she sees on Delaware Avenue. "Now it's really impressive."
Flags and Flowers is paid for through fundraisers by the Bethlehem Chamber of Commerce. Contributions from the community ensure the program will continue through the next " and third " year.
"It began as an outgrowth of a partnership between the chamber, the IDA and town highway department and Verstandig Florists, where the flowers come from," said Marty DeLaney, president of the Bethlehem Chamber of Commerce.
DeLaney said it is the town highway department with Gregg Sagendorf and his staff that really keeps the flowers looking vibrant through any kind of weather from May to October.
"This project would have never happened without the highway department paying special attention to the soil and the pH," said DeLaney. "It's not just about watering the plants."
A total of $5,000 is needed in donations to pay for both the flowers and the "Welcome" banners up and down the avenue.
"We hope to be able to raise enough money to buy seasonal banners so we can change them four times a year," DeLaney said.
Kay Hendrick is another supporter of Flags and Flowers, and like Tipple, she said she is very impressed with what she sees along Delaware Avenue.
"They are absolutely beautiful," said Hendrick. "Whoever has taken care of them has put a lot of hard effort and work into it."
DeLaney said the effort is not only aesthetically pleasing, but it contributes to the pride of the community as well.
"It shows we care about our community," DeLaney said.
Contributions to Flags and Flowers can be sent to First Niagara Bank care of the "Flags and Flowers Fund" or directly to the chamber. For information on Flags and Flowers, contact the Bethlehem Chamber of Commerce at 439-0512.""