Harpursville woman creates welcoming garden

By Perry Russom

July 7, 2013 Updated Jul 7, 2013 at 10:08 PM EDT

Colesville, NY (WBNG Binghamton) State Route 79 leading into Harpursville is fast and loud.

"Even though we're a little community, we have a lot of cars coming each way," said Gail Hennessey, of Harpursville.

With so many cars and trucks driving through town, Hennessey said there wasn't a welcoming feel when entering the town.

Three years ago, she decided she wanted to turn a vacant lot into a garden to let neighbors and visitors know into which town they were heading.

"Afton, Bainbridge, Windsor ... everybody around has a welcome to their community," said Hennessey. "I wanted one very much for our community, too."

She was inspired by her garden at home. For donations and supplies, she asked Harpursville neighbors, students and businesses to give what they could.

"Residents were very kind," said Hennessey. "They donated money. They donated flowers."

She raised over $1,000 for the project.

The Town of Colesville Highway Department dug up the flower beds and a gas station across the street gives her water when she tends to the flowers.

"It's just a thrill to see how the community came together to make this happen and it looks so pretty," said Hennessey.

This past fall, she contacted the New York State Department of Transportation to ask if she could put up a "Welcome to Harpursville Sign." The sign was erected two weeks ago.

Hennessey said the garden is easy to maintain. It requires a little weeding, but she said she will do whatever is needed to keep the garden growing.