Even though the Covid-19 pandemic has brought many activities to a near standstill, the Hamlet of Milton Association [HMA] carries on with their mission to bring flowers to beautify their small part of the world. From their inception seven years ago, the Association’s founding trio of Vivian Lanzarone, Stephanie Calabrese and C.J. Hartwell-Kelly have inspired many others who have lent their time and money every year to help them bring a splash of color and joy to the hamlet.
Calabrese said last year a new self-watering flower pot design was created by Jimmy Affinito, Jerry Murtagh, Crystal Murtagh and Ray Tabasco that can keep a plant watered for up to 45 days.
“There is wicking rope inside the planters and they put a reservoir in the bottom,” she said. “They redesigned every single pot that we have.”
Lanzarone gets her flowers from Wallkill View Farms.
“We get the hanging baskets and this year we got a new grass that’s called the Luna Ornamental grass that is placed in the center of the pots,” she said. “I try to do something a little bit different every year but this year we scaled back because we didn’t have our Spring Fling fundraiser.” They are hoping to be able to host a Fall Fling in either September or October.
Hartwell-Kelly said they did not want to ask people to donate because of the economic hardships that most people are facing.
“We didn’t think it was the right time to ask and we had some money in reserves, so we were able to dip into that,” she said.
Lanzarone said it is important for people to see flowers sprinkled around town, “because it’s sad enough with what’s going on. Flowers do bring life and enjoyment into the town and people actually look forward to it. I am glad we could pull it together and at least keep the tradition going, even though it wasn’t the community event that we really love and enjoy.”
Milton resident Tim Lawton has long been involved with the HMA through the Milton Library. He made a donation to cover the plantings around the library.
“It’s a collaborative thing and I like those three women very much and they’re good friends of mine. Anything we can do to be supportive of them and they of us at the library, we’re ready to jump in and help.”
Lawton said what the HMA does for Milton, “really pays off. I think it makes downtown much more attractive, much more pleasant to be around. I think it’s inviting for people who come through town to see how beautiful it looks.”
Donations can be made to the association by either dropping off or mailing a check made out to the HMA to Vivian’s Photography at 46 Main Street in Milton.