If you feel a sense of pride as you drive through town and notice the flowers in the spring, the attractive street signs or tasteful holiday decorations, you can thank the Armonk Beautification Committee. This committee is made up of dedicated volunteers appointed by the North Castle Town Board. They meet once a month to propose ideas and facilitate projects in partnership with town authorities regarding landscaping and the beautification of Armonk, Banksville and North White Plains. Carol Bidjarano, the committee chairwoman, says “We are a great cast of characters. We do everything as one. Everyone brings something else to the table and we have a lot of fun.”
A Multitude of Projects
Typical annual projects undertaken by the committee include the hanging flowering baskets adorning Main Street, the barrels of flowers at various traffic islands, and the flags that fly from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Every year, the town is spruced up for the holidays with wreaths on the light poles, snowflakes suspended over Wampus Brook Park and the North White Plains Community Center, and the holiday tree in the gazebo. The committee works with a budget allotted to them by the town board. Once the routine annual projects are paid for, any remaining money is put towards more extensive projects that are phased in over time.
The new street signs in town with an eagle atop them were one of those projects. “It took a while to get the street signs up and the town supervisor got positive feedback from people…It’s a good feeling when you work on something behind the scenes and people compliment it without even knowing you worked on it. I feel proud when I go through town and see those signs,” reflects Ms. Bidjarano.
A Town Clock Tops the Wish List
The committee’s current wish list of projects includes erecting a town clock similar to those in neighboring towns, more “Welcome to the Hamlet of…” signs at all points of ingress into the towns, more flowering trees on the traffic island by Route 120 heading towards Chappaqua, and updating the trash containers in town. The town clock would be one of the more expensive items, costing anywhere from $12,000 and up. Funding and support from the community could make such an endeavor a reality. Donor names could be memorialized on a plaque located on the clock.
A Dire Need for Volunteers
The committee would also love to attract new members as the group could benefit from some fresh ideas. It currently has six voting members. Ideally, they prefer to have an odd number of members so that they can avoid a tie. Nancy Battistelli, the North White Plains subcommittee chairwoman says, “The town needs more people taking an interest. No one seems to have any time with their hectic schedules.”
The North White Plains committee did not have their annual holiday party and tree lighting ceremony this year due to the hardship involved for the few older committee members who did not have enough personnel. They quickly learned that their past efforts were appreciated when many young families expressed their disappointment since they had been looking forward to this family event. Upon discovering that the beautification committee needed help organizing the event, several young community members pledged to get involved and help organize the holiday festivities next year.
Despite the various challenges, these devoted volunteers get the job done and manage to make Armonk, Banksville and North White Plains look beautiful. The one thing that is clear is that it takes a village. The committee welcomes anyone that would like to attend a monthly meeting and get involved. Additional information about the committee including wish lists and donations can be found at www.northcastleny/beautification-committee.