TRR photo by Fritz Mayer

Josh Potosek, Sullivan County manager, left; Jane Hyman, former Sullivan Renaissance inter; Patrice Chester, deputy administrator of the Town of Thompson; and Linda Hazen, volunteer from the Town of Lumberland Parks and Recreation, were the panelists at the Sullivan Renaissance Winter Symposium.

Sullivan Renaissance kicks off year 19

FERNDALE, NY — Hundreds of volunteers turned out to the CVI Building in Ferndale on January 9 to learn about grant opportunities and related information, as Sullivan Renaissance kicked off its 19th season.

Executive director Denise Frangipane told the volunteers that because of them the organization has expanded its scope.

“All of you have challenged us with new ideas and inspired us to redefine our mission and adapt to address other community issues. So we’ve moved into different areas,” she said. “We’re no longer only about flowers, although flowers will always remain the core of who we are and what we do. But now, we are farm-to-school; we’re expanding access to trails and parks; we’re assisting in code enforcement, creating a sense of place and purpose for our residents and our neighbors.”

Nancy Proyect, president of the Orange County Citizens Foundation, who will also serve as a judge for this year’s competition, told the volunteers about the importance of open spaces.

 “Studies show that better public places build stronger communities,” she said. Proyect’s organization created the Orange County Heritage trail, a 12-mile trail from Goshen to Monroe that will soon reach Middletown. The trail was created for recreational purposes, but new businesses have opened along the trial that wouldn’t have otherwise been there.

 “Communities with greater public places are more cohesive and more engaged,” Proyect said. “Residents of those communities are able to make changes in their communities more effectively and with greater collaboration than communities that don’t have a lot of public places.”

The Sullivan Renaissance volunteers will soon be active again in many public spaces throughout the county.


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