Local Group Spruces Up Rochester Neighborhood

Rochester, NY--Project Scion, now in its second year, was created by local award-winning landscape designers Coates, Furgiuele and Zaretsky as an initiative to take vacant lots in Rochester's inner-city and turn them into resident-inclusive green spaces to serve as "town squares." The inaugural 2012 Project Scion called "The Orchard," was installed at Jay and Child Streets has been a great success in that neighborhood.

The 2013 Project Scion endeavor is called "The Gateway," and creates an entrance of sorts to the Dewey-Lexington neighborhood, bolstering the vitality of the area. The green space features boulder seats, a rolling hill for children to play on, an outdoor chess table and a "Take a book-leave a book" lending library kiosk built to look like a bird house. Above all, this is a garden planted with hundreds of shrubs and perennials and a dozen new trees. The "Do We" Art Walk was made with paintings created by the kids from School #7 and neighborhood residents.

"It has been so inspiring and heartwarming to see the level of response and hard work from the residents and volunteers who came out to build this garden," says Bruce Zaretsky. "And a special shout-out to the local RFD firemen who came out and worked alongside the neighbors."

"By including the residents in the construction of the garden, we hope this will create a positive ripple effect throughout Rochester," said Pietro Furgiuele. "The Gateway creates an inspirational place for the community to unite through gardens and art which is part of the Project Scion mission."

"As landscape designers and artists, we want to give back to our community, and improve the lives of the residents of Rochester's inner-city," said Sharon Coates. "During the two week construction time, it was really moving to see the immediate positive impact the building of this garden has had on the neighborhood's psyche."

Project Scion also helps to facilitate programs for its inner-city spaces such as art and gardening classes, cooking classes and sessions on responsible pet ownership.

Project Scion is made possible through a collaborative effort between local landscape design-build firms Waterford Tilling and Zaretsky and Associates, in partnership with The City of Rochester, Mary's Place, the Dewey-Driving Park Neighborhood Association, the Northwest Neighborhood Outreach Center, Flower City Habitat for Humanity and many local businesses including: Miller Brick, ALPCO Recycling Inc., Mathews & Fields Lumber, The Garden Factory, Edgewood Nursery and Batavia Turf.

The newest green space located at the corner of Dewey and Ravine Streets will be officially unveiled Wednesday, at 1030a.

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