It started small. A gathering of DLE volunteers armed with gardening tools and gloves, ready to attack two overgrown flower beds outside of Dottie’s Coffee Lounge, the popular downtown Pittsfield cafe that hosts the DLE Coffee, Conversation and Connections on Fridays.
The pop-up community service project was coordinated by DLE Alum Kate Lauzon. She contacted Dottie’s owner Jessica Rufo and a representative of Pittsfield Beautiful, a non-profit organization dedicated to beautification projects in Pittsfield, to inquire if DLE volunteers could lend a hand in sprucing up the downtrodden area.
“The treasurer of Pittsfield Beautiful met on July 31 with our DLE crew to give a history and background of gardening in the downtown area,” notes Kate, who was joined by Marcus Coleman, Krystle Blake, Danielle Sanders and Linda Dulye.
Within a few hours, multiple bags of weeds, cigarette butts and debris had been cleared. The weeding crew high-fived their efforts. And so did others.
Just a few days later, during an impromptu meet-up outside of the DLE’s HQ, Pittsfield Mayor Linda Tyer and DLE Founder Linda Dulye talked about the weeding project and the DLE’s commitment to community service. (The DLE has participated for several years in the annual Downtown Pittsfield Inc.’s Cleanup Program.)
The mayor commended the DLE volunteers’ spirit and mentioned that more beautification opportunities exist. She agreed to notify the city’s Commissioner of Public Services & Utilities Ricardo Morales to discuss the DLE’s involvement.
On Aug. 5, Ricardo met with Kate, Marcus and Linda at the DLE HQ to talk about other streetscape beautification projects. A follow-up meeting was held Aug. 9–at the same location–but with a wider sphere of participants. Representatives from Downtown Pittsfield Inc., Pittsfield Beautiful and the Park Square Financial Advisor of Raymond James attended and expressed interest in joining the volunteer project.
A downtown location has been identified for new plantings. An order is in the works for colorful mums to be purchased. More details are forthcoming!
GET INVOLVED AS A DLE VOLUNTEER!
Grab your gardening gloves and join the DLE community service project. Indicate your interest by contacting Kate Lauzon at email@example.com or Linda Dulye at firstname.lastname@example.org. Dates and times for beautification projects will appear in the HUB and DLE social media posts.
MORE HIGH-FIVES FOR DLE COMMUNITY SERVICE
In a July 31 Facebook post that attracted many positive comments, Dottie’s Coffee Lounge owner Jess Rufo aired sincere appreciation for the DLE cleanup crew.
“You guys did an excellent job….it’s so satisfying as well as heartwarming to be the beneficiary of such kindness. Although we all benefit, I feel extra loved, seen and supported.”
Thank you volunteer crew for sharing your time and showing that you care to help North Street sparkle. Shown left to right in photo, Linda Dulye, Danielle Sanders, Krystle Blake, Kate Lauzon and Marcus Coleman.