Flower power in Menands

Villagewide competition encourages colorful blooms

— In an effort to bring life and color to the main drag of Menands, the village created a competition in the hopes that neighbors will inspire each other to take pride in their property.

In May, the village began its second year of “Grow Menands,” an incentive to get residents to plant flowers and create land-scaping in front of their homes. The judges will be awarding prizes for the best commercial property and the best private property.

While landscaping serves an aesthetic purpose, it can also increase the value of the home and the property next to it.

“Flowers are very contagious and make you want to do more to make your home look nice. Once you see your neighbor planting flowers, it makes you want to do a little more with your own home and improve the whole neighborhood. Nothing improves curb appeal faster than landscaping, and curb appeal truly increases property value,” said Mayor Meg Grenier.

Property value has a great deal to do with the adjacent properties, and Bill Geiring, the director of economic partnerships with the village, said that vacant properties within 100 yards of your home can take as much 17 percent off your property value. Curb appeal also helps to increase property value, which is where flowers come into play.

“If you do something with flowers and your house and I look across the street and I kind of want to keep up with that, then once I go out to do the flowers I pick up the papers out there and then I pick up the toys off the front yard I look at other things. It can really start things,” said Geiring.

Geiring went on to say that if the whole neighborhood cleaned up, then property values could go up 7 to 10 percent. The idea of keeping up with the Joneses would cause people to take better care of their property and in turn improve the entire neighborhood. The village sees that as more positive way to improve the look of the neighborhood than telling people how to maintain their property.

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