Greenport women seek contributions for maintenance of Fifth Street Park

KATHARINE SCHROEDER PHOTO | Helen Weinstein and Maritza Winkler are seeking contributions so they can hire someone to help maintain Greenport's Fifth Street Park.

Help! That’s the cry from two Greenport women who four years ago “adopted” the Fifth Street Park and began efforts to beautify it with flowers. But after four years of hard work and relatively ineffective efforts to corral volunteers to help with weeding and general maintenance, Helen Weinstein and Maritza Winkler recognize they need some professional help and money to pay for it.

“It’s a never-ending job if you want it to really look pretty,” Ms. Winkler said.

So now they’re looking for contributions to hire a worker to assist with the maintenance.

The two women started the project because they would walk their dogs in the area and, despite the beauty of the greenery and the water, there were no colorful flowers in the park, Ms. Weinstein said. When they first began, people told they them they were being naive and that their plantings would be destroyed by vandals. That hasn’t been the case, although foul weather has sometimes wreaked havoc on the park and trash has at times been difficult to keep up with.

Village workers help by cutting the grass and emptying trash cans. The women also credit local Girl Scouts and the Group for the East End for helping to plant.

“When we first started, we didn’t realize we would create so much,” Ms. Weinstein said. In addition to plantings on the Fifth Street side of the park, they have also planted in a large area to the west, around the flagpole that stands in the park. A small building on the eastern edge of the park has undergone a face lift, as Ms. Weinstein and artist Megan Barron and her mother Judy, have adorned it with pictures of flowers.

Ms. Winkler’s husband, John, was able to secure a sprinkler system contributed by S&L Irrigation, and Chris Mohr and Felix Perennials have provided a lot of the flowers the women and others have planted.

About 14 neighbors have contributed money to the effort, bringing in enough to assure that the two women can count on having a professional to do the end of the season cleanup. They’re hoping others who enjoy the beauty of the park will keep the funds coming to support the ongoing beautification effort.

“It’s a labor of love, but it’s still a lot of labor,” Ms. Weinstein said.

For information on how to make a contribution, you can reach Ms. Weinstein and Ms. Winkler via e-mail.

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