The Westcott Bulb Project Beautifies the City
One of the best parts of living in in Central New York is experiencing the changing colors of the seasons. After the intense colors of the fall foliage, and the varying shades of winter white, everyone is primed for Spring’s first blooms. In Syracuse’s Westcott neighborhood, the community has turned the arrival of Spring into a community project.
Since 2003, the Westcott Bulb Project has organized neighborhood residents to plant over 142,000 flower bulbs.
The Spring event actually starts on the first Saturday of every October. That’s when the Westcott Bulb Giveaway, is held at the Westcott Community Center. Residents can get a free bag of daffodil bulbs with instructions. The only requirement is that people must plant the bulbs in a public area or in a part of their yard that’s visible to the public.
While the project was born in the Westcott neighborhood, in 2010, it went city wide. Outside the Westcott area, the project sells bulbs and provides technical assistance to individual residents and organizations. The bulbs are purchased from Syracuse Farm Supply.
Peter Wirth, the founder of the project, got the idea on a hike in an Ohio park. He thought that planting fields of flowers in his neighborhood would make the community more beautiful and benefit everyone.
Wesley Dryden and his grandson, Lauden, put 100 bulbs in front of their yard last fall hoping to create a spectacular Spring show. Dryden really appreciated Wirth’s vision and says he wants to plant again, as it is very important for the children to understand the importance of beauty and supporting the neighborhood.
Schools have also organized students to participate in the planting. The Southside Academic Charter School received 300 daffodil bulbs in 2014, and student planter said the project helped students learn about plant science and learn the benefits of delayed gratification while also improving the community.
The 12th Annual Westcott Bulb Give Away is on October 4th at Westcott Community Center. Come and join the project. Give yourself and your neighbors a gift next Spring. It’s all part of making a livable Syracuse.