Streetscape Kicks Off with ‘Greenery and Good Vibes’

March 15, 2024 | by

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Youngstown CityScape’s 2024 Streetscape program promises a planting and beautification season filled with “Greenery and Good Vibes,” its organizers say.

Streetscape kicked off its annual fundraising and volunteer effort during a Friday morning breakfast at CityScape’s new offices at 250 E. Federal St. downtown, the former IBM building.  Earlier this year, the Mahoning Valley Historical Society purchased the building from Ohio One Corp. and welcomed CityScape as a tenant.

For 27 years, the organization has led beautification efforts across the city. Initially, the program focused on planting areas in the central business district but has since expanded to other portions of the city.

“We’ve gone from 12,000 square feet of area to 70,000 square feet,” said Sharon Letson, CityScape’s executive director.

She said this year, new infrastructure downtown as a result of the ongoing Smart2 project has also increased the amount of beds and planting space. “I hope we have more volunteers,” she noted. “We hope the community sticks with us.”

Planting day is scheduled for June 1, Letson said. Last year, more than 700 volunteers participated in the effort, in which teams fanned out across downtown and into nearby parks, city gateways and neighborhoods, planting decorative flowers and plants.

“Streetscape day has always been about community members, local government and businesses coming together for the same goal – to make our city better,”

Scott Schulick, CityScape board president, told supporters during the breakfast.

He said individual, corporate and public financial support is vital to the success of these programs, and he urged the city to allocate additional funding for the initiative.

“I’d like to plead with Mayor [Jamael Tito] Brown and the city administration to provide us with additional financial support and partnerships to maintain all these extensive new beds,” he said. “We won’t be able to do it with our current budget or our current group.”

Brown said the city is working to do its part to support the organization and prepare future generations to do the same.

“I’m looking forward to seeing those hats, bandanas and shovels on planting day,” the mayor said.

Also during the breakfast, Letson presented the People’s Choice Award to Sarah Schuler, a Youngstown State University student who designed a mural, “Marshall Street Nature,” that is now displayed along Marshall Street.

“We support this kind of work because this is beautifying our community every bit as much as our flowers,” she said, emphasizing the organization’s partnership with the university and its students.

“CityScape supporters will tell you that beautifying downtown is more than just plants,” Letson said. “It’s about aesthetics, art, amenities and, most of all, working with community partnerships.”

Pictured at top: Scott Schulick, CityScape board president, and Sharon Letson, executive director.

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.


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