LANDING – With almost $1,400 in donations from local merchants and residents, the ‘Let’s Beautify Landing’ project has once again added color and life to the most southern entrance to Lake Hopatcong.
Started nine years ago by local residents Mary-Beth Boughton and Chris Houtz, the beautification of the railroad bridge and traffic light area on Lakeside Boulevard is their small way of brightening up an area heavy with concrete, chain link fence and the color grey.
Every spring and fall, Boughton solicits money from the businesses and residents around the area, and with the help of volunteers that includes about a dozen local Boy and Girl Scouts, adds a splash of color with multiple pots filled with beautiful plants.
In springtime, the group plants white petunias and red geraniums paired with vincas, which bloom throughout the summer. By fall, the pots are cleared out for brightly colored mums.
The money raised also pays for bunting, adding even more color.
“While we got off to a slow start collecting money, it is coming together once again,” said Boughton. “We received additional contributions in the last two days and when I did a tally we collected almost $1400 in contributions. This will allow us, in addition to our spring flowers and new pots, flags and buntings we just purchased, to replace the additional pots we need, and to buy fall flowers.”
Boughton, Houtz and two-dozen volunteers worked a couple of hours over Memorial Day weekend to complete the project, spending two hours on Friday night potting all the flowers and an additional two hours Saturday morning placing and hanging the pots.
“I learned what a petunia is,” said Ryan Mangano, 15, from Boy Scout Troop 188.
For Christa Cattano, 20, helping is a way to “give back” and because she is friends with the Houtz family. This is her eighth year volunteering.
Most of the teen volunteers agree though, the real reason they help is the reward at the end of the task – Mary-beth Boughton’s chocolate chip cookies.
“I really come for the cookies,” said Mangano.
According to Boughton, this year’s group planted and placed 25 large round pots, 22 half pots that hang on the fence and 16 narrow pots for the bridge. The group also hung 16 buntings.
The contributors are listed below.
ACCURATE PEST CONTROL
BAGELS ON THE HILL
CAMBIOTTI’S TOMATO PIE CAFÉ
COFFEE TALK KITCHENS
HOWARD AND JACKIE GUTTMAN
JUDY AND BOB GILFILLAN
KATHY COURTER, REMAX HOSUE VALUES
LAKE’S END MARINA
LANDING AUTO CENTER
LEBER LAKESIDE FUNERAL HOME
NJ MARTIAL ARTS ACADEMY
SPEEDWAY GAS STATION