Middleburgh's wildflower project began as a silver lining after the devastating flooding of 2011. Faced with large portions of the residential and business districts being heavily damaged, the community went into action. Swift work of volunteers and dedicated efforts allowed Middleburgh to rebound. By 2012, programs that were meant to be closed out years earlier were reactivated and the community celebrated its 300th anniversary that July.
One of the programs that was meant to be completed in 2008 was used as a funding mechanism for several of Trustee William Morton's park projects. His efforts with the Village opened Middleburgh's community garden, a pavilion at the Creekside Park, and most visibly-- the wildflower project.
The Middleburgh Wildflower project was the brainchild of Trustee Morton with help from those around him. Mayor Matthew Avitabile found the funding, horticulturists William and Laura Milak assisted in planting the wildflowers, and several residents allowed their lawns to be test cases. Trustee Morton himself rototilled and planted the seeds.
Overall, the first year of 2013 saw four locations for wildflower plantings. The mix of flowers was not a sure bet-- in fact Trustee Morton wasn't sure they would grow much at all. Come July, bright fields of color emerged from the fertile soil and the wildflower project became the most popular one in Middleburgh's recent past.
Now in 2014, the project will be expanded. The Milaks are volunteering to build a rose garden in one of the plots and several homes along Main and River Street will now host wildflower plots of their own. Catholic Charities has assisted in maintaining the plots. Further expansion may be possible if there are donations of time and money to help the project grow!
A silver lining has grown into the Wildflower Capital of New York State!