Smithfield takes top prize in KBVB contest

Smithfield takes top prize in KBVB contest

The town of Smithfield picked a barren area in front of Anna McCabe School on Pleasant View Avenue and turned it into a display of trees, perennials and flowers, as part of Keep Blackstone Valley Beautiful’s Blackstone in Bloom contest.

PAWTUCKET – Five Rhode Island Blackstone Valley communities participated in the first Blackstone in Bloom contest hosted by Keep Blackstone Valley Beautiful, a program of the Blackstone Valley Tourism Council. This friendly competition was an opportunity between cities and towns to pick a spot, beautify it, enter to win bragging rights and possible cash prizes, while making a new beautified location in their municipality.

Sites were judged by Don Leighton from BETA Engineering, sponsor of the event; Jeff Studley from Lowe’s Home Improvement, supplying sponsor; and Katherine Reed, a URI Master Gardener. After very tough consideration, the team announced the town of Smithfield was awarded first place, town of Burrillville second place, town of Cumberland earned third place, and the city of Pawtucket and town of Glocester received honorable mention.

The town of Smithfield picked a barren area in front of Anna McCabe School on Pleasant View Avenue, and turned it into a beautiful display of trees, perennials and flowers. Now this garden along the new basketball court, designed for proper storm water flow, brings color, interest and wildlife to an area that was once dirt. Paul Pasquariello drew a planting design with Parks & Recreation, Public Works, the Rotary Club, Rotary Interactive Group and Smithfield Public Schools who all worked together to complete this project.

The town of Burrillville redesigned Bleiweis Park on Sherman Farm Road, and turned this park into a peaceful area. Burrillville Parks and Recreation, Lions Club and the Conservation Commission planted many new shrubs, trees and perennials, improved the stone marker and park sign, and designed storm water runoff to recreate this area.

The town of Cumberland picked a town treasure and replanted the entrance at the Cumberland Monastery on Diamond Hill Road. This area has become overgrown, hiding both the stonewall and the memorial centerpiece. Reusing some plants from the old police station, planting many new shrubs and perennials and refurbishing the signs, this new garden design compliments the feeling of the park. This plan was completed with town administration, a council member, the Highway Department and town volunteers.

The city of Pawtucket enhanced the Festival Pier entrance on Tim Healey Way. The sign was overgrown with trees and weeds. Their project has turned this into a nautical-themed welcome at the popular spot along the Blackstone River. Parks and Recreation and Public Works Department worked together chipping the brush, improving the sign, planting sea grasses and perennials, mulching, and seeding the area to make these improvements.

The town of Glocester tackled a very large garden at its Senior Center on Putnam Pike. This garden was overgrown and hidden with old debris, but now it is a multi-flowering location that displays many different types of perennials with a well thought out color palette. The Conservation Commission organized this project.

To see pictures of each project, visit KeepBlackstoneValleyBeautiful.com .