Community volunteers gathered at the Westcott Community Center this weekend to continue a special project that's grown to other neighborhoods.
The Westcott Bulb Project provides thousands of the bulbs every year as part of a beautification effort that also builds community between neighbors. This year, the group gave away “thirty-six hundred” bulbs.
Project Founder Peter Wirth says that since its start in 2003, the project has become much more than a way to brighten up gardens at the end of the winter.
“The neighborhood beautification is concrete. In the springtime you see thousands of daffodils blooming throughout the city. The community building, well that’s when you meet people and you realize, ‘you know, my good friend who I’ve known for 20 years was a chance encounter that I met at some event. .’ so that is the intangible part of the project, but we also stress that it’s a way for folks to work with each other. So that’s also one of the ways we encourage building community in Syracuse.”
The Project also sells bulbs at cost to other neighborhoods in the area, including more flower varieties, such as tulips. Wirth says that tulips don’t often survive in East Syracuse because of the deer population, unlike daffodils, which the deer don’t like to eat.
The project went citywide in 2010, after other neighborhood groups heard about it and wanted to participate. A total of 17,600 bulbs were distributed all-told this year, between the Westcott giveaway and the other participants.