Mayor’s notes: Altamont continues its legacy of green

—    Photo by Ron Ginsburg 
Honoring Arbor Day: Smiling beside a newly planted Katsura tree at Altamont’s Benjamin Crupe Bozenkill Park, are, from left, Trustee William Aylward, Mayor James Gaughan, Bobbi and Joe DeFranco of Black Creek Nursery, volunteer and Park Committee member Keith Lee, Assistant Department of Public Works Superintendent Larry Adams, and Trustee Christine Marshall. “The tree was donated by Black Creek Nursery and adds a beautiful specimen to the many unusual trees that the village has planted in the park over the last several years for the enjoyment of current and future Altamont residents,” said Mayor Gaughan. The Katsura is a flowring tree native to China and Japan.

Spring is upon us.  Although summer is just around the corner, this is the time to relish the beautiful rebirth of a new season.

This past week, you may have noticed many volunteers and Altamont Community Tradition members raking and laying mulch in Orsini Park in the village center.  The village gardeners completed the preparation of Angel Park on the weekend.

As the warmth of the new season returns, the village of Altamont is preparing to welcome one and all to share another summer of arts, music, food, and special events.  Be on the lookout in the June newsletter and in The Enterprise for the events to come.

In the meantime, explore further outside the village center, visit Schilling Park on Maple Avenue.  Meander the labyrinth, introduce the tot playground to the youngest of your family, or just relax on a bench and admire the well landscaped, idyllic setting.  The 1,000 daffodils are beginning to bloom and are a sight to behold, lining the hill rising above the playground.

Stroll down to Benjamin Crupe Bozenkill Park to walk the trails or play a round of tennis.  In honor of Arbor Day and Earth Week, Blackcreek Nursery owners Bobbi and Joe DeFranco joined village staff and volunteers to plant a katsura tree there.  This beautiful species tree, native to China and Japan and donated by the DeFrancos, will grow to 80 feet and its broad span will shade future generations.  The tree adds another unusual tree specimen to the ones that have been added to the park over the last several years.

Public parks are integral to the development of a shared community, providing a place where citizens meet, interact, share experiences, and enjoy recreational, cultural, and other activities found in no other venue.  Frederick Law Olmstead, the father of landscape architecture, did not see parks just as vast meadows, but rather as places of harmony, places where people could go to escape life and regain their sanity.  He envisioned these parks to be available to all people no matter what walk of life a person might follow.

In a small village such as Altamont, where green spaces often exist in the form of backyards, and where there are few tall buildings to suggest impersonality, a park is sought as a gathering place.  In such a gathering space, residents can share in like interests, attracting a diverse cross section of young and old. 

Altamont, although but a square mile in area, has a history of advocacy in creating and maintaining green spaces. Parks are a vital part of Altamont’s heritage.

Although village government should be concerned with the day-to-day infrastructure of the village, we believed there is another element of living in Altamont, which relates to its parks, trees, and general atmosphere, that completes the character of the place we live in and expresses our pride in living here. 

The village trustees and I express our thanks to the ACT community organization for its continued support and selfless dedication to make sure that our community is the best! We acknowledge the generosity of Bobbi and Joe DeFranco, and all the other businesses and individuals that make our village such a special place to live and visit.

Visit the village website, which includes the current and past village newsletters, critical information about upcoming village activities and events, important meetings, and general facts that may be of use to residents, as well as the schedule of Guilderland Public Access Channel 17 for viewings of the Altamont Village Board meetings.

Feel free to call me, the staff, or the village trustees at the village office at 861-8554 if you have questions or need information. 

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