Reading garden dedicated at the Albert Wisner Library

| 15 Feb 2012 | 09:29

The efforts of the Warwick Beautification Committee recognized and honored Warwick — Mayor Michael Newhard and Library Trustee Donna Applegate officiated at a brief ceremony honoring the founders of the Warwick Beautification Committee, whose gift in 2004 resulted in the reading garden at the library. The founders were David Brandt, Frances Sanford Bradner, Barbara King, Dorothy “Deeps” Sanford and Elizabeth Sanford Lewis VanLeer. Only committee founders Barbara King, who made the trip up from South Carolina for the dedication, and Brandt, who now lives in Europe, remain. Relatives of the founders were in attendance at the dedication. The garden is a gift to the library made after the Warwick Beautification Committee disbanded in 2004. Birth of an idea The 1976 U.S. Bicentennial was fast approaching and the residents of Warwick were excited. But the village was looking a bit drab - run down and vacant storefronts - lackluster signage and no flowers. Designer David Brandt and village resident Barbara King sought the help of sisters Elizabeth Sanford Lewis VanLeer and Frances Sanford Bradner and their sister-in-law Dorothy “Deeps” Sanford to develop a plan to make the Village of Warwick a more attractive place to live and do business. The Warwick Beautification Committee was born. The group reached out to interested members of the Warwick community to contribute time and money. Brandt designed plans for the creation of the South Street Parking lot that included a pedestrian bridge/Carriage Path connection to the businesses on Main Street. The Warwick Beautification Committee executed the landscape plan for the parking lot that included flowering Bradford Pear trees. Thereafter they planted flower beds at the Railroad Green and raised funds for other beautification projects throughout the village. Their efforts were hugely successful. Buildings throughout the village were spruced up and flowers were appearing everywhere. Create a 'Reading Garden’ By 2003 the Warwick Beautification Committee was approaching 30 years old. Many of its founding and early members had passed on or were enjoying a well-deserved retirement. A few remaining members wanted the legacy of the committee to live on. The funds left in the treasury were donated to the Albert Wisner Library, especially earmarked to create a “Reading Garden” at the new library in honor of the founding members. In keeping with the overall design of the new library, the garden was designed as a low maintenance, deer resistant planting. The Warwick Beautification Committee’s legacy of community gardening in Warwick continues today. Warwick is blessed with two very active garden clubs, the Warwick Valley Gardeners and the Garden Club of Orange and Dutchess. Community groups like Warwick in Bloom have been astoundingly successful in showing off Warwick’s beauty. The “Reading Garden” is now a reality. Grab a book and have a seat under one of the Amelanchier trees in the garden that are destined to grow into lovely shade trees. Enjoy a quiet view of Warwick and celebrate a legacy that keeps Warwick special. Special thanks Special thanks are due to Marilyn Mandell for designing the planting plan for the garden, to Christopher Fischer, a high school student, who hauled the prefect boulder out of the woods and installed the plaque, and also to Susie Hull, Maureen Charde, Regina Wittosch, Donna Applegate and Rosemary Cooper for their advice and help along the way. This are article was submitted by Maureen Charde.