By Michael Sellitti
The Sidney Center Improvement Group (SCIG) is a 501(c)(3) registered non-profit organization formed over ten years ago with one basic idea – getting people together to clean up Sidney Center. We’ve come a long way since then. As volunteers working together, our mission is to improve the quality of life for those living in and around the hamlet of Sidney Center. To further this mission, SCIG focuses on three areas: free community events, clean water education and outreach, and beautification and improvement projects. All these share the common goal of promoting a healthy Upstate NY lifestyle and helping to change local attitudes about realizing the renewed potential of our area when it’s supported by meaningful progress.
Over the next few issues of The New Franklin Register, I will outline each focus area with fewer words and more pictures, in order to show the results of our work to the community and to the next generation, who we hope will either stay or return to this area.
Because beautification and general improvement was the Group’s founding motivation, it seems like a natural place to start. For many years, SCIG has maintained over thirty flower barrels and several large planters, one of which holds the community announcement sign. These were initially purchased with a grant the Group received. Every year, flowers are planted and maintained by volunteers. One can drive through the hamlet and not only see the beautiful flowers but also the lively insects that inhabit these barrels. These cheerful bugs were constructed and hand-painted by volunteers, adding a unique piece of art to each barrel.
Another project, years in the making, has been to restore and improve the hamlet entrance signs. At the start of last winter, the signs were taken down and reconstructed, with care taken to help the signs withstand the elements for years to come. This will not only the enhance the curb appeal of Sidney Center, but also remind motorists that they’re entering a small hamlet, so please drive slowly.
Finally, as has been written about in previous issues, the Sidney Center Park & Playground is in the process of being restored. This is a larger effort with multiple parties involved. The success of SCIG over the years can be attributed to the partnerships created to accomplish these tasks. This spring, SCIG received a donation of approximately 200 trees from NYSEG’s Vegetation Management Department. These were given out to the public for free, and a couple dozen were planted in the park.
SCIG is an all-volunteer organization, therefore the success of these projects is contingent on support from members, friends, local leaders, town & county departments, and folks from the community. We are funded entirely through donations, grants acquired for specific projects, and fundraising events. With any volunteer organization, it takes time to accomplish tasks. SCIG appreciates everyone’s patience and understanding while we make progress in Sidney Center. SCIG is always looking for new, fresh ideas and perspectives. Volunteers are always appreciated so if you’d like to help in our effort to make Sidney Center a nicer place to live, please consider attending a meeting, which are always open to the public. SCIG meets the 2nd Tuesday of every month at 6:30pm at the Sidney Center Fire Hall, unless our facebook page states otherwise.