Go Green: Project Scion

- The goal of Project Scion is to inspire positive change by transforming vacant city lots into green space.

The project's latest creation, The Gateway, was unveiled last week.

Over the previous two weeks, the once vacant lot at the corner of Dewey and Ravine Avenues in Rochester was transformed into a beautiful garden.  It represents the vision and hard work of Project Scion co-founders Pietro Furgiuele of Waterford Tilling and Sharon Coates and Bruce Zaretsky of Zaretsky Associates.  "We want to give back and we wanted to give back to the areas that we felt needed it the most," said Zaretsky.

Nestled in the urban neighborhood, The Gateway is a green oasis and a place for residents to gather, nurture the land, and foster a sense of community.  "What it means to me is that someone cares," said Lee Clay, a nieghbor and volunteer who helped construct The Gateway.

"It's a big deal because other things will happen as a result of this park and those things are always positive," said City of Rochester Commissioner of Neighborhood and Business Development Carlos Carballada.

The green space features a dozen new trees and hundreds of shrubs and perennials.  It also has boulder seats, a rolling hill for kids, an outdoor chess table and a lending library kiosk built to look like a bird house.  Children from School No. 7 also painted pavers.  "Everyday as we came back, and everybody came out and started hanging out and working with us, you could just see the psyche of the neighborhood change a little bit," said Zaretsky.

This is the second Project Scion location.  Last summer, "The Orchard" was installed at Jay and Child Streets where it continues to thrive.  Clay and other community volunteers have signed on as caretakers for this garden, ensuring that its impact is long lasting and meaningful.  "I just want to say, thanks to these guys for letting me be a part of this project," said Clay.

For more information about Project Scion, click here.

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