BC honors "the best" plantings and more
Posted on 08/26/2020
Adorn Flowers was one of the award winners.Summer 2020 is nothing like summers past. Rather than being carefree, it’s calculated. Free range of our actions has given way to planning every move like a pawn in a chess game. From staying six feet apart to wearing a mask. From using hand sanitizer to frequent hand washing. From limiting trips and gatherings to not being able to hug, kiss, shake hands or even fist-bump an extended family member or friend. Where’s the joy from this invisible virus that has struck such a low blow to our collective and individual health and our economy?

One way to experience joy during the pandemic is through simple pleasures. Flowers and plants, with their astonishing ability to flourish and transform an ordinary space into one of immense beauty, is one such simple pleasure. That’s why it was so important for the Beautification Commission to continue its 31st year of awarding local businesses for their displays of flowers and plants. (See list of winners below.)

When the pandemic lockdown began in mid-March, it impacted nurseries. Would they be able to open in time for the gardeners caring for big and small plots to purchase plants and flowers and nurture them to vibrancy? Would local businesses, hobbled by closures and limited transactions, be able to afford their usual flower and plant purchases to dress up their businesses?

Just in time for growing season, nurseries reopened after the governor’s imposed lockdown. Local businesses decided this was an expense they wouldn’t cut. They proceeded to create, plant and wait for the results.

The Beautification Commission took delivery of their load of flowers and plants on June 2 at the DPW Yards, as they do each year. They planted them in containers for distribution throughout the downtown, and also planted at key sites. They worked as a group but at a safe distance and wore masks. The worked in collaboration with services provided by the Downtown Development Authority (DDA) for design and purchasing, and with the Dept. of Public Works (DPW) for watering and supplies.

This dedicated group of 11 volunteers led by Beautification Commission Chairperson Diane Pittaway put in extra effort to revitalize the downtown area with bursts of colors on every block. This year, it’s doubly important with two main streets (portions of Center and Main) closed to vehicles yet wide open for pedestrians, shoppers and diners. It may not be the Champs Elysees but the downtown main streets look lovely on a summer day and evening, and the plantings should last into September.

In addition to their hands-on work of planting and regular weeding, the commission holds monthly meetings (in season). At their July 6 meeting, the commissioners considered whether they should proceed with the awards this year with the pandemic swirling around. (At the time, Northville Twp. had cancelled their awards but later reactivated the program.) After discussing the pros and cons, the commissioners decided that the annual awards were a special event that the City really needed. So, the commissioners established a judging schedule, visited the locales and carefully ranked the attributes of the gardens and outdoor space to determine the winners. No “Best in Town” or “Pride of Northville” awards were bestowed this year, keeping judging more in line with: We’re all in this together – let’s celebrate all we’ve got.

“We had waited to see how the businesses would recover from the coronavirus shut-down. If you've walked through downtown, you can see that we never should have doubted the resilience of our business community,” said Pittaway. “We awarded 32 business and civic organizations and the City never looked more beautiful.”

The coronavirus did force the commission to cancel the annual luncheon hosted at a Rotary meeting in September, at which winners would have been recognized. Instead, the winners now know who they are thanks to mailed certificates, as do the passers-by who notice the signs indicating the awards. If you are able to congratulate the winners of the 2020 BC Awards, don’t forget to also thank members of the Beautification Commission for realizing that it’s the little things that make life so beautiful, especially during a pandemic.

2020 City of Northville Beautification Commission Award Winners

160 Main Restaurant
Adorn Florist
Allen Terrace Senior Housing
Angela Carson Photography
Casterline Funeral Home
Center Street Grille
Corriveau Law
First Presbyterian Church
First United Methodist Church
Garage Grill & Fuel Bar
Genitti’s Hole-in-the-Wall
Good Time Party Store
Kelly & Kelly Law
Los Tres Amigos Restaurant
Main-Seven LLC / Cross Fit
Marathon Judeh Corporation
Northville Academy
Northville Car Wash
Northville City Hall
Northville Fraternal Order of Eagles
Northville Garden Club Park
Northville Gardener LLC/ 540 S. Main Shopping Center
Northville Town Square
Our Lady of Victory Church
Poole’s Tavern
Red Dot Coffee Company
Stampeddler Plus
The Northville Gallery
Tipping Point Theatre
Tirami Su Ristorante
Yerkes House Garden @ Mill Race Village