City children make streets blossom - Catholic Courier

City children make streets blossom

ROCHESTER — If you’re driving down Genesee Street or Scottsville Road, and you detect a pleasant scent in the air, you might want to thank the children of the neighborhood, including students at St. Monica’s School.

On May 28, 60 to 70 children and adults — including several from St. Monica’s school and parish — planted flowers in 74 curbside planters in various spots along the two streets. “The Great Genesee Youth Flower Planting Project” was chiefly organized by JoAnn DeMott, a parishioner at St. Monica’s Parish. DeMott noted that she and other organizers deliberately courted young people to beautify the streets.

“The whole idea is to develop community pride,” she said. “By getting the kids involved, they develop the ownership of the flowers.”

She added that employees of Broccolo Tree & Lawn Care, the landscaper overseeing the planting, were also teaching the children about the flowers’ root systems and photosynthesis.

“(The children) were given a little bit of education while they were out having fun,” DeMott said.

Along with the St. Monica’s students, members of St. Monica’s Girl Scout Troop; the Boys & Girls Club of Rochester Inc.; Unified Tae Kwon Do; Aenon Baptist Church; and several other organizations and businesses participated.
The effort was sponsored by the Genesee Corridor Business Association, of which Ford Kinney is a board member. Kinney, a local landlord, said that business owners and neighborhood residents will want to keep the neighborhood looking better by picking up litter around the planters.

“It’s more valued by the community if they’ve all had a hand in it,” he said.

Although they had a day off from school, the children seemed to enjoy the fact that, instead of relaxing at home, they were busy working around their neighborhood.

“We enjoy watering the plants,” said Layne Wall, a fourth-grader at St. Monica’s. Wall was one of several children working with Brigitte Eberhart, a St. Monica’s School parent, planting flowers on Genesee Street.

“We want to help out in the community and make it look better,” added Layne’s sister, Morgan, a sixth-grader.

The Walls were helped out by St. Monica’s fourth-graders Theo Ekiyor, Tyler Everett and Xavier Lester, as well as Omar Kinney, son of Ford Kinney.
Meanwhile, on Scottsville Road, DeShawn Wright, a 14-year-old member of Life Changing Church of God, said the flowers would create a peaceful atmosphere.

“It’s a good cause to help out the community because it needs a lot of things to stop the violence,” DeShawn said. “It should inspire people to get more involved with the community needs.”

That notion was seconded by Sasha Ellison, a 16-year-old member of the Boys & Girls Club.

“You don’t see too much positive stuff going on around here,” she said. “We just feel it was something we should do to step up and do something positive on the streets … It gives (the children) some kind of encouragement and faith that the neighborhood they live in now is going to be better in the future.”

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