This year, the Middle Highland Block Club was the recipient of the Marvin Lunenfeld Beautification Grant. The community group is thrilled to have the opportunity to once again take an active role in making our city more beautiful. Funding from the grant enabled the block club to add flower barrels to each street corner and improve the greeneries planed in the strips along the sidewalks.
We recently met up with Mitch Flynn, a member of the Block Club, about the impact that the Lunenfeld Grant has had on the Middle Highland neighborhood. Mitch said that it is a litmus of a good neighborhood to be filled with green. Moreover, it has been proven that green neighborhoods spark community involvement and have reduced crime rates. Mitch told me that Block Club members volunteer to take care of the flower barrels and that it hasn’t been necessary to assign anybody to do the work because everybody wants to help improve their community.
I can vouch for the work they’ve done. Highland Avenue has become quite spectacular. As I walked down that street recently, I was overwhelmed by just how green everything is. It didn’t feel like I was walking through a city or suburbia. Instead, it felt as if I was in an alternate, green dimension. I had such a peaceful feeling while I was there. There are also many very tall sunflowers in the neighborhood just waiting to bloom. Given the heat of the recent weeks, it is possible they’ll bloom in time to create a beautiful entryway into this little corner of Garden Walk.
When it comes down to it, the Middle Highland Block Club embodies the most important values of the Lunenfeld Grant. This grant has brought community members together in order to work toward a shared goal. Not only are the streets in the area greener, but their community has genuinely been improved. A great thing about this grant is that everyone is able to benefit from it. It may have been specifically be for the Middle Highland area, but passersby and the rest of the community get to enjoy the beautification that has been done and each neighborhood that creates improvements like this can serve as a model for other neighborhoods.
Garden Walk Buffalo is this weekend on July 28th and 29th from 10am-4pm. Be sure to visit this and other Lunenfeld grant recipients to see their amazing commitment!
The Marvin Lunenfeld Beautification Grants are named for Garden Walk Buffalo founder Marvin Lunenfeld. The grants have distributed nearly $100,000 in micro grants to more than 100 projects in the city of Buffalo. You can help us build a more beautiful Buffalo by donating here: Build a More Beautiful Buffalo with Gardens Buffalo Niagara (click to view).