MORRISVILLE – With a little help from Mother Nature over the coming months, visitors entering the village of Morrisville from the west will be greeted by a display of spring flowers that have been planted in Jones Park, just off Route 20. The park, owned by the state but maintained by the village, is named after Clifford Jones, who was superintendent of the village’s Public Works Department for many years.
The project began over a year ago when an anonymous village resident approached Aida Khalil, professor of landscape and architectural studies at Morrisville State College, about the possibility. Once the final design was approved, the area was prepared by Khalil and her students and in mid-October the planting began.
During the afternoon of Oct. 17, a student in Khalil’s landscape class used a used a portable auger to dig one of the holes for a bulb. A second student then did the planting before mulch was added to the top of each plant by a third to finish up the process. It took several days and several MSC classes to finalize the project, all under the guidance of Khalil. Also volunteering their time for the project were the granddaughter of Jones, her two daughters - both MSC students as well as another Morrisville student.
When complete, a total of 1,824 bulbs had been planted including 1,200 daffodils, 600 hyacinths and 24 foxtail lilies. Khalil said that daffodils were chosen because they naturalize, spread, and are deer resistant which is important in this area. The daffodils and hyacinths will be the first plants next spring and will be followed by the lilies that will blossom in May and June.
“That will extend the season of color. I would love Morrisville to have something unusual for all to enjoy,” said Khalil. “We hope this is seen as a beginning and can look prettier and prettier as the years go by - something that can be built on in the years to come.”
The village provided $600 of the $800 needed for this year’s project with the additional funding coming from a MOVE grant from Student Government Office at MSC. Khalil was also able to purchase the bulbs at a discounted price due to the fact she was ordering so many.
Donations to help continue the project in the future can be made from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the village office, 23 Cedar St. or sent to PO Box 955, Morrisville, NY 13408.
Mayor Mark Shepard expressed the village’s appreciation for what Khalil and her students have done.
“This is going to be just wonderful. I have a brown thumb. I’ll just let someone plant it and I’ll enjoy it,” he joked.