In keeping with its Rockwellian community vibe, the Bayport-Blue Point Chamber will once again be fundraising to beautify their strip of Montauk Highway/Main Street this spring with hanging plants.
A tradition that began nearly 10 years ago, it takes $10,000 annually to pay for plants, their setup and takedown, and watering in summertime. That price quote also covers the Beautification Committee’s winter projects with garland and bows on the lamp posts.
Longtime member of the chamber, Bayport Flower Houses, does all the placement/removal of the flowers (as well as holiday décor in the winter).
“Our goal is to get more garlands with bows and more hanging baskets, but we voted to wait on this until we get all the repairs done first,” said chamber president Carol Seitz Cusack.
This year’s major benefactors were: Tom Reid AGC Printing, who donated all printing and advertising; the Johnny Mac Foundation, who has continually donated $3500 annually towards the watering of the plants; Therm-a-Trol, $2500; Little Angels, $1500.00; and Chris Cook (owner of tony salon Razing Hair) and Bryan Tarbox, $1000.
Kevin Cusack is the gratis water technician for the project, who waters them three times a week.
“We are looking to put more hanging baskets out and more holiday décor. We collectively decided that the first step is to repair what we have that is broken, so that all looks neat and tidy,” said Seitz Cusack. “Depending on how successful our fundraisers are, we would like to purchase more décor and planters to adorn more lampposts. Our goal is to have every lamppost decorated throughout the year. Also, Blue Point Civic is currently working on a grant to add more lampposts down Montauk Highway towards Patchogue.”
According to Seitz Cusack, when towns such as Sayville, Bayport-Blue Point Patchogue decorate their downtown centers, that brings communities together with an increased sense of community pride.
The flowers also allow for congruency when driving from Patchogue to Sayville, as all four towns showcase hanging plants.
Bayport Flower Houses, a central figure in the Beautification Committee, is responsible for designing the annual plants.
This year the baskets are cascading geraniums of the variety “Acapulco,” which is pink and “bright cascade,” which is red.
The baskets began growing in early January in BFH’s greenhouses, where they took special care to maintain adequate moisture and keep the geraniums well fed and growing.
The baskets are planted with a special gel to help with water management during the hot summer months.
According to general manager Karl Auwaerter, “I should say that the secret to keeping them looking good and lush is that we give them some special food at almost every watering. The bright pinks and reds help to really make the BBP business district pop.”
For years, Bayport Flower Houses has been part of many other villages’ and towns’ beautification endeavors and always dreamed of having one in their hometown.
“BBP is a little unique in that we don’t have a traditional walkable business Main Street… but does that really matter? The chamber started out years ago with the cement planters that became available through a grant that Seth Needelman [The Fish Store] and Chris Cavanaugh worked on. Through a partnership with the neighbors and gardeners, we put together a collection of flowering plants that would do well all summer long. This was such a welcomed sight throughout town that hanging baskets seemed like a natural continuation,” said Auwaerter. “We are happy to contribute to and be a part of making BBP a bright spot on the South Shore.”
To donate to the Beautification Committee, please visit www.bayportbluepoint.com.