Westfield Village Volunteer Gardeners Dig in to Revitalize Downtown Moore Park

Community volunteers from left to right: Bertil Peterson, Kathy Richmond, Kathryn Bronstein, Rachel Willow, Hayden Willow, Marilyn Hemmer, John Hemmer, Martha Bills, Diana Holt, Valentina Lee, Pete Bills, Donald McCord.

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Westfield Village Volunteer Gardeners

On a drizzly late fall day, residents of the Village of Westfield shared shovels and a renewed streetscape vision for downtown Moore Park as they set some 250 plants in and around the newly installed black iron fence along Main Street.

“Moore Park has always represented the heart of our downtown,” said Westfield Mayor Michael VandeVelde, “and thanks to our dedicated village employees and community volunteers we can all look forward to a blossoming spring in our restored park.”

Plantings were installed by volunteers from the Westfield Development Corporation, the Westfield-Mayville Rotary Club, the Westfield Beautification Committee, local merchants and officials, along with community volunteers assisted by staff from the Village of Westfield Street Department.

“I couldn’t be more pleased with the results and the volunteers who gave their time and muscle to make it happen,” said Kathryn Bronstein, Chautauqua County Historical Society “The plants and new fencing are just one step in restoring Moore Park to its original magnificence.”

Among the 250 plants set out were Russian sage, daylilies, flash spirea, boxwood, coneflowers, oriental lilies, fountain grasses, and catmint.

And perhaps more significantly, drift roses. Was it mere coincidence—or inspiration—that led the gardeners to include roses?

Consider that diagonally across the street from Moore Park is yet another park, the Lincoln-Bedell Statue Park. Here in bronze, local sculptor Don Sottile depicted young Grace Bedell offering a bouquet of roses to the newly inaugurated President Abraham Lincoln, who had stopped in Westfield to thank young Grace for suggesting in a letter that he grow his signature beard.

Perhaps, just perhaps, the bronze bouquet of roses held by young Grace inspired the drift roses in the newly planted Moore Park.

“Westfield is a special place,” said Martha Bills, Westfield Town Supervisor, “and the Moore Park improvements are a testament to what can be accomplished with the collaborative efforts of community members.”

Park improvements were funded in part by grants from the Northern Chautauqua County Community Foundation, the Chautauqua County Partnership for Economic Growth, the Westfield Fund, and the Westfield Development Corporation.

Two special parks at the intersections of routes 394 and 20, both of which embody community commitment and pride.

Author-columnist Anne Raver observed that, “Gardeners, scholars say, are the first sign of commitment to a community.” This sentiment is certainly exemplified in the recent enhancements to Westfield’s Moore Park.

Yet another reason to make this western New York village, heralded for its award-winning farmers market, pies, vineyards, and small-town charm, a destination stop.
For more information on Westfield, visit: www.westfieldny.com