Grand Prize $25,000 “Golden Feather” Awarded to Livingston Manor


Renaissance Honors Community’s Hard Work and Pride Toward a More Beautiful Town

[LOCH SHELDRAKE] – Hundreds of people attended the 100-minute Sullivan Renaissance Awards Ceremony on Monday, August 12, as over $100,000 in grants and scholarships were awarded to winning communities throughout Sullivan County.  For the second consecutive year, the ceremony was held at the Seelig Theater of SUNY Sullivan in Loch Sheldrake.


Livingston Manor Renaissance received the Golden Feather, a $25,000 grant presented by NYS Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther.  It was given to one of four large community projects that exhibited the highest level of excellence by incorporating beautification as part of a long-term strategy.  The Callicoon Business Association received the second place Silver Feather Award of $10,000.  Callicoon also got a $2500 award for the community’s planning efforts, while the Rock Hill Business and Community Association was given a special $2500 award in recognition of its environmental efforts.


The winner of the new $10,000 Community Mitzvah Award went to Skolya Bungalows on Route 42 in South Fallsburg for best maintaining and beautifying its facility.  This new contest included five camps and bungalow colonies in Sullivan County.  The three judges from outside the county were: Rabbi Moshe Frank of Ellenville, Mary Lewis of Cornwall and Country Yossi Toiv of Brooklyn.


Flower awards went to eight communities this year.  Narrowsburg Beautification Group was recognized with the “Best Overall Showing of Flowers Award” of $5000.  Judges were impressed by the overall number of gardens, planters and displays; an abundance of color, texture, unique combinations and liberal use of Sullivan Renaissance 2013 collection; a creative use of plant material that complimented the color palette of the numerous benches and storefronts; a repetition of colors and textures that entice the visitor to explore the community; innovative designs, including vertical plantings, that soften the stark backgrounds of buildings and walls; the cohesive use of perennials, annuals, shrubs and trees; and gardens and planters that are meticulously maintained.


Other communities receiving $1000 Judges’ Choice Awards for flowers included: Sullivan County Visitors Association for the “Best Established Small Garden;” Monticello United Methodist Church for the “Best New Garden in an Urban Setting;” Roscoe-Rockland Chamber of Commerce for “Best Business/Municipal Display” and Callicoon Business Association for the “Best New Display of Annuals.”


A special “Best Showing of Flowers Award – Maintenance” of $5000 was given to Our Lady of the Assumption Church for its Meditation Garden – for “wowing the judges.”  Judging criteria was based on an abundance and variety of colorful flowers, number of gardens, complexity of design and the variety of plants used.  A $2500 Judges’ Choice Awards also went to Neversink Renaissance for its beautiful multiple gardens and the complexity of the projects.  A $1000 Judges’ Choice Award was given to Lumberland Parks & Recreation for the “wow gardens” of Circle Park.


Grants – ranging from $1000 to $25,000 – were awarded to projects in Categories A, B and C.  Some projects were also recognized with Special Awards for history and youth engagement.  All of the communities that completed projects received a grant based on the size of their category, as well as certificates of recognition from Sullivan Renaissance and area legislators.



Category A projects are made up of single elements such as a new sign or hanging baskets.  This category was made possible, in part, through the sponsorship of WVOS/WSUL.

First place ($3000)

·         Friends of Liberty Library – Building Landscaping

Second place ($2000)

·         Smallwood Mongaup Valley Fire Department – 911 Memorial Park (Phase II)

Third place ($1000)

·         Sullivan County Childcare Council – Rebuild Forgotten Gardens


SPECIAL AWARDS – Sponsored by Sullivan County Democrat

Best Youth Engagement ($1000)

·         Sullivan County Dramatic Workshop – Garden Enhancements



Category B projects are made up of multiple elements such as park enhancements.  This category was made possible, in part, through the sponsorship of Thunder 102/Bold Gold Media.


First place ($10,000) :

·         Seed of Hope (Monticello Rotary – Memorial Garden at Town of Thompson Park

Second place ($7000) :

·         Cornell Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners – Herb Garden Extraordinaire

Third place ($5000) :

·         Kenoza Lake Fire Department – Firehouse and Church Beautification


SPECIAL AWARDS – Sponsored by The River Reporter

Historic Preservation ($1000)

·         Town of Fremont – Veteran’s Park and Landscaping

Best Youth Engagement ($1000)

·         Roscoe-Rockland Chamber of Commerce – Riverside Park Improvements



Category C projects are at multiple locations that incorporate beautification as part of a long-term community wide strategy.  Awards in the category were presented by Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther.


Golden Feather ($25,000 grant)

·         Livingston Manor Renaissance

Silver Feather ($10,000)

·         Callicoon Business Association

Planning Award ($2500)

·         Callicoon Business Association


SPECIAL AWARDS – Sponsored by Kristt Company

Environmental ($2500)

·         Rock Hill Business & Community Association

Historic Preservation ($1000)

·         Livingston Manor Renaissance

Best Youth Engagement ($1000)

·         Hurleyville-Sullivan First


Livingston Manor will be on display during a “Golden Feather Celebration” on Saturday, August 24 from 12:00 noon to 2:00 p.m.  Contact Sullivan Renaissance for more details.


Sullivan Renaissance core projects were judged for aesthetic improvement, collaboration, youth involvement, permanence and an ability to be maintained.  The team of eleven judges from outside Sullivan County included: Nicole Franzese, Donna Harrison, Michael Newhard, Linda Onofry, Peter Patel, Odette Sabourin-Dumais, Claudette Savaria, Karen Schneller-McDonald, Ann Smith, Deborah Sweeton and Michael Sweeton.


Memorial tributes were held for two long-time judges who died during the previous year: Ted Blowes and Tim Stoddard.


Before introducing the communities in the Maintenance Support Program, horticultural coordinator Diana Weiner introduced members of the design panel that reviewed gardens during the application process.  This year’s panelists were: Cindy Barber, Marietta Beanland, Helene Chappell, Maureen Charde, Caroline DeWilde, Susan Dollard, Kathy Fielding, Janet Gula, Susie Hull, Laurie McFadden, Danuta Skorulska, AnnaLise Vogel and Robin Wagner.


Diana Weiner also recognized the garden centers and nurseries that sold the Renaissance Collection of plants.  They were: Butterfly Botanicals in Bloomingburg, Catskill Harvest Market in Liberty, Delaware Valley Farm Home & Garden in Callicoon, Everlasting Springs in Liberty, Hillside Greenhouses in Liberty, Liberty Home Garden & Pet, L & M Greenhouses in Bethel, Monticello Farm Home & Garden, Monticello Greenhouses, Inc., The Cutting Garden in Youngsville, The General’s Garden in Warwick and Vita’s Farm & Garden in Jeffersonville.



The Maintenance Support Program provided financial support and technical assistance to established groups with a history of Sullivan Renaissance projects.  Participants received up to $1000, a Merchant Discount Card, $250 in Flower Dollars, assistance in organizing a volunteer work day, additional funding for infrastructure improvements, and other technical and gardening help.

The fifteen participants were: the Bethel Business Association; Our Lady of the Assumption Church; Town of Mamakating Park in Bloomingburg; Lumberland Parks & Recreation/Circle Park in Glen Spey; Jeffersonville JEMS; Cochecton Volunteer Ambulance Corps in Lake Huntington; Livingston Manor Rotary Park; Ethelbert B. Crawford Public Library in Monticello; Neversink Renaissance; Phillipsport Community Center; Swan Lake Renaissance; Woodbourne Action Committee; Woodridge Housing Authority; Kiwanis Club of Woodridge and Wurtsboro Renaissance.



The Sullivan County Community College Foundation awarded two full time scholarships of $1000 to volunteers involved in Sullivan Renaissance projects who are attending SUNY Sullivan.

·         Billie Joe Gardner, Jr. of Hurleyville – SUNY Sullivan

·         Kaitlin Slater of Kenoza Lake – SUNY Sullivan



The Community Foundation of Orange and Sullivan Counties awarded eight Sullivan Renaissance scholarships to volunteers who made a significant contribution to a Sullivan Renaissance project.  These scholarships to the college of one’s choice are of various amounts up to $2000.

·         Luis Arango of Spring Glen – Phillipsport – New York University

·         Mathew Bisland of Glen Spey – Circle Park – SUNY Orange

·         Jesse Corcoran of Glen Spey – Circle Park – Johnson & Wales

·         Jordan Fredell of Wurtsboro – Mamakating – Keuka College

·         Olivia Grady of Narrowsburg – Narrowsburg – Northeastern University

·         Virginia O’Rourke of Wurtsboro – Mamakating – Salisbury University

·         Ethan Porter of Swan Lake – Swan Lake – SUNY Orange

·         Kane Sauchuk of Swan Lake  – Swan Lake – Binghamton University



Volunteer coordinator Cara Kowalski talked about the new Sullivan Renaissance Volunteer Corps and introduced its members: Michelle Albrecht, Rachelle Carmack, Melinda Cormier, Marjorie Evans, Michelle Guidera, Mary Mancuso, Daniel McCormack, Meaghan McCormack, Diane Moss, Margaret Rubin and Eric Schramm.



The 2013 interns are: Luis Arango, Celina Castellano, Andrew David, Jordan Fredell, Brittany Fuller, Olivia Grady, Lauren Hazen, Dylan Jones, Jenna Lambrigger, Joshua Mace, Madison McCormack, Desmond Oxford McDaniel, Ethan Porter, John Schmidt, Nina Seehausen and Kyle Wallach.



In her opening welcome, SUNY Sullivan President Dr. Karin Hilgersom praised the work of Sullivan Renaissance and the volunteers.  The ceremony then began with the playing of “With a Little Help from My Friends”by the Hurleyville Ukulele Orchestra.  Sandra Gerry recognized dignitaries and thanked participants for the work they are doing.

Project recipients received framed certificates of excellence from Sullivan Renaissance, as well as individual certificates from U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, U.S. Representative Chris Gibson, NYS Senator John Bonacic, NYS Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther, NYS Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney and the Sullivan County Legislature.  As groups accepted their certificates, photographs of each project were displayed in a power point presentation created in part by Jennifer Avila of Monticello, a summer youth assistant with Sullivan Renaissance.

Before the ceremony, attendees viewed displays of the projects.  Refreshments included desserts supplied by Erin Lipsky and staff at Granite Associates.

Sullivan Renaissance is a beautification and community development program principally funded by the Gerry Foundation.  For information about Sullivan Renaissance, contact 845-295-2445 or

Fly Fishing Hall of Fame to Induct Eight

Stu Apte, right, is among those to be inducted to the Fly Fishing Hall of Fame October 6 in Livingston Manor.

Induction Ceremonies October 6 at Catskill Fly Fishing Center and Museum

See thumbnail biographies of the inductees here

Livingston Manor, NY  — The 17th Fly Fishing Hall of Fame Induction will take place on Saturday October 6th  at the Catskill Fly Fishing Museum. The Fly Fishing Hall of Fame was established to recognize and honor those individuals who have significantly enhanced the culture of fly fishing.

The following individuals have been selected for the 2012 installation:

LIVING: Stu Apte – Saltwater Fly Fishing Pioneer, Innovator, Conservationist & Author; Thomas McGuane – An author who has loved angling always; Ed Shenk Author, Angler, Fly Tyer, Instructor; Larry Solomon – Innovator, Fly Fisher, Author, Conservationist.

DECEASED: Joe Brooks – Dean & Mentor of Outdoors’ Writing, Conservationist, and 20th Century Ambassodor to Fly Fishing Around the World; Carrie Frost – Founder of the Fly Tackle Capital of the World, Stevens Point, WI; Dr. George Parker Holden – Historian and First Mentor to Modern Angling, Rodmaking and Streamcraft; Paul Young Rodmaker, Fly Tackle & Fly Fishing Innovator.

Fly Fishing Hall of Fame Day Schedule  Saturday October 6:
All activities will be held in the Catskill Fly Fishing Museum and are open to the public.

  • pm  –  “Paul H Young, His Legacy and Accomplishments” a special presentation by Historian Robert Golder; “Paul H. Young, His Legacy and Accomplishments” will be held in the museum.  Paul H. Young, rodmaker Bob Summers will bring in several examples of Young rods for display.
  • pm  – Pre Induction Reception.
  • 3 pm  – Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, officiated by MC Tom Woodbury. Immediately following the ceremony,  both new and past inductees will be available for photos, book signings.  All 2012 living inductees will be on hand in addition to family members and representatives of the deceased.  Past Hall of Fame inductees will include: Joan Wulff, Art Lee, Mary Dette, Al Cauuci and others.
  • 5:30 pm  – The 2012 Fly Fishing Hall of Fame Gala Dinner will be catered on the Catskill Fly Fishing Center property.  Reservations are required to attend the dinner; ($50 CFFCM members and guests, non-members $65; call 845-439-4810 to make a reservation.)

Covered Bridge Day in Livingston Manor, NY

Welcome to the Covered Bridge Country! On Saturday, August 4, Livingston Manor celebrates its famous Covered Bridges with a car caravan to the historic Bendo/Willowemoc Covered Bridge, the Beaverkill Bridge and the Vantran Bridge.

Meeting at WaterWheel Junction on Main Street at 10 a.m. the event is free and local historian, Fred Fries, will explain each bridge’s colorful background. Fred Fries, part of the Sullivan County Historical Society and contributor to many online articles, also is a participant in the Johnny Darling Frolic where he relates real life tales from the Manor’s historical storyteller.

The scenic beauty in the Town of Rockland is enhanced by three covered bridges. The Bendo (Willowemoc) Covered Bridge is now the location of the Covered Bridge Campsite located upstream of Old Route 17 and crossing the Willowemoc Creek. Although the bridge was rebuilt and, as a result, is not considered historical, its setting is truly picturesque.

The Beaverkill Covered Bridge built by John Davidson in 1865 is set on a slight curve in the road inviting both hiking, camping and fishing; it is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

The 1860 Mott/Vantran Bridge, also built by John Davidson, has some of the best trout fishing that can be found in the area as the bridge shades the water beneath keeping its the temperatures cooler. The plaque found near the bridge is also a credit to John Mott, Livingston Manor’s founder of the YMCA. The final stop at the Vantran Bridge is our picnic stop… bring your own or we can provide a great box lunch for $10.

For Reservations for the caravan or to order a box lunch: call Shirley Fulton at 845-439-3938.