PR: Brigade Beautifies the Commons for Winter

Once again, the Tompkins County Community Beautification Program has transformed the planters on the Commons—this time with winter decorations.  The 78 moveable planters, scattered throughout the Commons, are now filled with evergreens plus bunches of natural and white birch, curly willow and others.  Festive notes are added with locally grown winterberry holly and sparkly curls.  The newest addition—the six new containers by the fountain, first planted this fall with ornamental kale and pansies—now boast shiny green holly branches, white birch, eucalyptus, cattails, giant pinecones and more.

According to Program Coordinator Martha Gioumousis, this year the containers are even more decorative than ever.  “We were excited to have so many wonderful materials, including many locally grown, to work with and incorporate into the design.”  Her sentiments were echoed by Robert Andrew, a floral designer who works at American Crafts by Robbie Dein: “The planters are just lovely this year.  The bunches of tall woody branches add an especially effective vertical design element.”

The moveable planters, as well as eight inground  plantings, are planted and maintained by the Tompkins County Community Beautification Program and Downtown Ithaca Alliance, with the assistance of dozens of volunteers known as the Beautification Brigade.  The planters are replanted four times a year, following the seasons. The summer plantings, in particular, have been spectacular, featuring tall tropical cannas with colorful sweet potato vines and petunias cascading down the front. The program is administered by Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County and funded by the Tompkins County Tourism Program.

For more information, contact Martha Gioumousis,, 607.351.6982