Did You Know There Are 100 Cherry Blossom Trees at the Peekskill Riverfront?
Every Spring, the Peekskill Riverfront blossoms in color thanks to the gift of 100 Cherry Trees planted at the Riverfront in honor of the Club’s 100th Anniversary. There are pink, white, weeping, double blossom varieties showing their colors over the mid-April to early May timeframe for all to see. Planted so as not to block the views of the river, and for train commuters to see, you can find them starting behind the Lincoln Depot, along the train line, on the trail toward China Pier where the last of the 100 can be seen.
The 4th Annual Cherry Blossom Festival and Plant Sale will be held on Saturday, May 1st this year, the first date available for an outdoor event at the Peekskill Riverfront since the pandemic began. While many of the Cherry Trees may have bloomed by then, the Festival will offer a Plant Sale, Food Trucks, Craft Vendors, Raffles, Children’s Activities such as Flower Pot Painting, Seed Planting, Face Painting, and more. Held from 10 am – 5 pm, rain or shine, the event is free. Sponsored by the Peekskill Rotary, all proceeds go back to the local community and to international projects through Rotary International.
More Gifts of Nature from the Rotary Club of Peekskill Can Be Seen All Over
“Rotary Knolls” in Depew Park in Peekskill – Built in 1945 by the Club, it still stands today as a beautiful picnic area open to all. Consisting of a covered shelter, picnic tables, paved walkway, and other facilities on a picturesque knoll, it has been restored over the years by the Club
9/11 Memorial at the Peekskill Riverfront – On July 4, 2002, the Peekskill Rotary dedicated a monument in memory of the four area residents who perished in the 9/11 attacks, planting a tree and small garden at the Riverfront. Every year, the Club holds a 9/11 Memorial service at the tree and monument ensuring the day in not forgotten.
“Rotary Walk” at the Hudson Valley Hospital Center – In 2008, Rotarians envisioned this nature trail as a place of solace for those visiting a loved one at the hospital, as well as for those working at the hospital who could use a stress releasing stroll or simply just exercise. The donation allowed for the 4-year project restoration of McGregory Brook, cleanup of the wetlands, a 550’ boardwalk, wood chip trail, benches and native plantings. Visitors are welcome to walk there today.
“Healing Garden” at the Montrose Campus of the VA Hudson Valley Health Care System – This gift was completed in 2011, to thank the Veterans for their service, and to allow them to enjoy nature’s beauty. The outdoor stone walking paths and sitting areas, as well as views from inside the building were funded, designed, and constructed by the Peekskill and Cortlandt Manor Rotary Clubs.
Peekskill Schools – Recent gifts of a greenhouse to Woodside Elementary and cherry trees to Peekskill High School continue the “gift of nature” theme.
What Else Does Peekskill Rotary Grant?
Since the Club’s founding in 1919, raising funds to grant worthy causes has been job one. Over 70 grants were given this past year alone. This is a partial list of causes.
For more information on the Cherry Blossom Festival or about the Rotary Club of Peekskill, please see www.peekskillrotary.com.
Contributed by Marie A. Green.