By Melanie Lekocevic
Capital Region Independent Media
EDITOR’S NOTE: Here’s the latest in our ongoing “Good News! Stories” series. Sometimes, it’s the simple things that can make a big difference.
COEYMANS — It’s a simple concept that could reap an aesthetic reward — prettying up our mailboxes to add some curb appeal to the community.
That’s what volunteer Joan Radley and the new organization Seeds of Hope are trying to do with her campaign to clean up and pretty up the neighborhood.
“The main objective is to get people to clean up around their mailboxes,” Radley said. “If you can imagine — if you rode down Route 143 and the mailboxes were all flowery and pretty, it would really make a big impression.”
Seeds of Hope was started in the spring of this year and brought some local homeowners on board, but they are hoping their campaign continues to grow next year.
It’s an easy way to add some visual appeal to the town, she said — clear out the weeds, straighten up the mailbox if it’s crooked and plant some pretty flowers. And it’s cost effective, too.
“We came up with this because we felt it was an inexpensive way to go — just plant a few flowers around your mailbox,” Radley said. “You go to the mailbox every single day, six days a week, so why not make it a pretty destination?”
Radley is hoping the Seeds of Hope message and campaign gets out to more homeowners, particularly as 2023 will mark the town’s 350thanniversary, with plenty of pomp and circumstance to go with it.
“Next year for the 350th anniversary, we are going to push again to see if we can get more people involved,” Radley said. “I really want to get together and talk about getting some bulbs to plant in the fall this year so in the spring they will [bloom] around the mailboxes.”
Moving forward, the group is hoping residents will take more steps to spruce things up around town.
“We’d also like to get people to do something like a container garden — just a couple of containers or a window box, just to dress up the area,” Radley said. “If you drive through town, around the mailboxes it is all weedy and the mailboxes are falling over. We also realized that a lot of people also don’t have their fire numbers on there and that is a very important thing.”
Having the building number posted on the mailbox is important in the event of a fire or other emergency, so first responders can easily identify the home when responding to an emergency call.
Seeds of Hope has also done some tidying up around town in public areas and gardens.
“We also did some of the public gardens — we worked around the soccer field sign, the veterans’ memorial in Coeymans Hollow by the highway garage, and we attempted to do the sign in Joralemon Park,” Radley said.
The park project presented some challenges, such as being too shady for many types of plantings and a couple of large trees that hampered their efforts, Radley said.
With the festivities planned to celebrate the town’s anniversary in 2023, cleaning up the neighborhood will be even more important, she said.
“Next year, with all of the activities that will be going on with the 350th anniversary, there will be lots of people coming into the town,” Radley concluded. “If the town was spruced up, it would be great.”
RAVENA — Non-traditional funding options, SBA loans and Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) are part of the lending opportunities that will be explained at the monthly meeting of the Ravena Coeymans Selkirk Community Business Association on May 19 at 5 p.m. at Rail To River Brewery at 109 Main St., Ravena. To attend, register at https://rcscommunitylibrary.libcal.com/event/9130447
Senior Vice President Kevin Catalano of Advance Albany County Alliance LDC and Wesley R. Slyke, vice president and senior business development officer for Pursuit Lending will offer their expertise on how small businesses can quickly access funding.
“There are a number of non-traditional financing options for businesses located in Albany County,” Catalano said. “We’ll review what’s available — such as the Albany County Business Development Corporation’s $20 million Al Tech Loan Fund and opportunities through Pursuit Lending, one of the top SBA lenders in the country.”
Catalano has over 20 years of commercial lending experience, including administering the Al Tech Loan Fund at the Capital Region Chamber. His relationship with banks and other lending institutions makes him a sought-after resource for businesses, where he serves as a conduit between businesses, not-for-profit organizations, landlords and financial institutions in the region.
Slyke’s mission is to educate partners on programs offered by Pursuit so businesses in the community are aware of all the financing options that can help them grow and succeed. His focus is developing relationships with bankers, nonprofits, economic development agencies and community organizations throughout the Northeast.
Cost for the meeting is $10 for members and $15 for members. Attendees can bring their own dinners or snacks or order food from nearby restaurants.
The RCSCBA is an all-volunteer organization of business and community leaders and interested individuals. The group is a catalyst for growth and prosperity through economic and community development initiatives that foster a strong business climate.
The monthly meetings feature “What’s New?” updates by local businesses and groups, briefs on matters of economic and community importance and include a guest speaker, a spotlight by a specific business and a question-and-answer period.
For more information about meetings, call 518-928-1825 and ask for Joy.