CityScape Celebrates 25 Years at Annual Planting Event

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Youngstown CityScape celebrated 25 years of beautifying downtown Saturday with its annual Streetscape Day.

Approximately 685 volunteers registered for “Streetscape 25 – the Silver Edition” and planted flowers and other greenery throughout the downtown area.

Companies, nonprofit organizations and families send volunteers downtown the first Saturday after Memorial Day to plant and mulch the greenscape areas in the central city for the annual event.

Maria Lopuchovsky, route and inventory planning manager for Vallourec, said although she has volunteered at other community events downtown, Saturday was her first time participating in Streetscape.

“I’m motivated to see so many people here willing to spend their time and [use] their talents for this purpose,” she said. “Cleaning up and beautifying the area we consider home allows us all to enjoy our surroundings and feel pride for where we live.”

The crew from Vallourec brought along family members.

Sharon Letson, executive director of CityScape, said many Mahoning Valley residents – whether they work downtown or not – really care about how the city looks. She has noticed numerous families volunteer on planting day and later return downtown to patronize local shops and restaurants throughout the summer, while also checking on the growth of the flowers they planted.

“We are setting the stage for business and restaurants downtown to have a welcoming environment,” Letson said.

This year’s Streetscape resulted in the planting of 212 pots of flowers, including some new pots located on the newly renovated Phelps Street, according to Letson.

Laura Mancini, a nurse practitioner at Mercy Health, said she was excited to see so many people beautifying downtown.

Mancini enjoys “making downtown a place where families can come and spend time together and enjoy the scenery,” she said.

The president of St. Elizabeth Hospital Youngstown, Kathy Harley, said she has been participating in the event for the last three years in addition to serving on the Cityscape board of directors.

“[Downtown] is the face of our community. We want to attract businesses [to downtown]. What CityScape has done in the last 25 years has been phenomenal. We want to continue that and bring more businesses into downtown,” Harley said.

The volunteers also delivered mulch to neighborhoods around the city to help beautify gardens and outdoor areas away from downtown.

“Our volunteers will deliver plants to different areas, whether it be ground or pots, then they will plant, mulch and sweep,” Letson said.

Pictured at top: The leaders of Youngstown CityScape finish planting one of the areas. From left: Nikki Posterli, Jaleesa Thomas, Scott Schulick, Shannon Tirone, Julius Oliver and Sharon Letson

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.