Volunteers needed for Main Street Highland Park’s Planting Day

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HIGHLAND PARK – Help beautify Highland Park by planting flowers for the 7th Annual Planting Day.

Join friends and neighbors for this Highland Park tradition from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on May 22, 2010.


“It’s a great and fun way to have a tangible effect in your community. When you build something or plant something, in some ways it’s yours, even though you did it to share it,” said James McCrone, executive director of Main Street Highland Park, which is organizing the event. “With the planters, there is a little thrill, a warm satisfaction as you pass ‘your’ planter. Families have adopted planters and return to it each year.”

Local volunteers Ira Grassgreen and Meredith Carmen artfully chose the plants and pairings in a way that is beautiful, long-lived and resilient, McCrone said.

The colorful dragon-wing begonia is good in the sun or shade, and a new variety of annual vinca called “Cora Cascade” is very heat and sun tolerant; as is coleus, a hybrid with a variety of colors, and lantana which adds color to the summer garden, McCrone said.

“It is wonderful to see the riot of color and growth these seedlings become. Each of these and all the other varieties add color, texture and bloom throughout the growing season,” he said. “We also plant grasses, which add the upright texture to the container.”

There are 115 planters.

Andrea Baay with the borough’s Department of Recreation, is hoping the event draws a big turnout.

“It is a fun way to spend a little time with your family and friends in the community,” she said. “It is very rewarding. Whenever you walk, cycle, or drive by your planter, you can see how your plants are growing and your planter is developing throughout the season.”

Volunteers can choose or they will be assigned a planter(s), be provided with plants and will be given a drawing to indicate where each plant should be planted. Volunteers will be planting along Raritan and Woodbridge Avenues and in “Doughboy Park.” They should meet at Main Street Highland Park, 421 Raritan Ave. Organizers have a limited amount of gloves and trowels, so, if volunteers have their own, they are asked to bring them.

Main Street Highland Park is a non-profit community development organization that manages the downtown Business District for the benefit of the merchants, business owners and residents of Highland Park, as a place to live, work and do business. MSHP is an officially designated program of Main Street New Jersey, a program of the NJ Department of Community Affairs.

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