Fall Front Garden Recognition Program Begins in September

A front yard garden that was recognized in Spring 2019

Jamestown Renaissance Corporation’s GROW Jamestown Front Garden Recognition Program, returns this fall as a way to acknowledge city gardeners who contribute to the curb appeal of Jamestown’s neighborhoods. It is a project designed to encourage everyone to take part in making Jamestown a more beautiful place.

The program began in 2011 with the distribution of 250 garden signs given to gardeners who were nominated by the public. In the summer of 2018, 12,000 Jamestown front yards were canvassed by a team of volunteers that recognized over 839 front gardens.

With growth comes change. The program will be run similarly to years past, but this year the yards will now be assessed in two separate seasons. Here’s how the program will work.

The city has been divided into 37 sections, with each section encompasses approximately 325 to 350 front yards each.

Each section is assigned to a volunteer team comprised of a navigator, a photographer, and a data entry person. The navigator is the driver, the photographer takes photos of the selected front yards, and data entry is assigned as the scribe to document the process and list placement locations of the signs. Volunteers DO NOT canvass their own neighborhoods. Volunteers DO NOT canvass the same area they surveyed in the previous years.

This year, the city was divided from north to south using an imaginary line, beginning at the city’s northern boundary. The imaginary line continues down Lakeview Avenue through downtown and continues to South Main Street reaching the city’s southern boundary.

The survey map divided by season for 2019 Front Yard Garden Recognition

The fall season canvassing begins September 9th and ends September 30th. Of the total 37 sections, 19 sections, those located to the east of the imaginary line, will be surveyed. The volunteers will determine what an “average front yard” looks like for that area. Yard signs are given to acknowledge and to encourage. Each team is provided a limited number of signs to distribute – making decisions difficult.

The spring season canvassing began June 3rd and ended June 24th. Eighteen sections, located west of the imaginary line, were surveyed. Three hundred and thirty six signs were delivered.

In 2020, properties surveyed in the spring of 2019 will be surveyed in the fall and those surveyed in the fall of 2019 will be surveyed in the spring.

At a minimum, volunteers look for front yard gardens with healthy plants that are well maintained and actively managed. Is the lawn healthy lawn, neatly mowed? Are the shrubs and trees pruned and trimmed? Edging is a plus, along with a balanced garden that is appropriate to house and lot size. House numbers need to be clearly displayed.

“As a project of the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation’s Neighborhood Revitalization efforts, the goal is to encourage everyone to contribute to a more beautiful Jamestown. The increase in yearly front yard garden acknowledgements demonstrates how well the program is working.” says Mary Maxwell, the JRC’s Neighborhood Project Manager.

Would you like to volunteer for this project? It is an excellent way to see the city as you have never seen it before, meet some old friends and make some new ones, and have a chance to make some front yard gardeners very happy. Volunteer workshops will be held the last week of August. For more information, contact Mary Maxwell at mary@jamestownrenaissance.org or (716) 489-3493.

The Jamestown Renaissance Corporation is a public-private partnership supporting downtown and neighborhood revitalization through inspiration, action, and celebration in the greater Jamestown, New York, area.