Community center to bloom with ‘patriotic plantings’

Mar 27, 2023

MARION — An updated exterior is in store for the Benjamin D. Cushing Community Center in Marion. According to Council on Aging Chair Henry Norweb, stage one of the four-stage plan is already in the works. 

Stage one of the plan includes planting a hedge, referred to as a “living wall,” alongside  Route 6 at the front of the property.

“We're trying to create a little park that in conjunction with the community center building is inviting for people of all ages and all interests around town to use as they see fit,” Norweb said.

The hedges are planned to be four-feet tall to reduce the amount of traffic noise heard from inside the building, explained Norweb. 

The Marion Select Board approved stage one of the project on Tuesday, March 7.  

Council on Aging board member Dianne Cosman said the living wall will cost $20,000 to build, which will be fully covered by the Friends of the Marion Council on Aging.

According to Norweb, landscaping for the living wall project will begin in early April and will be completed by the end of the month.

The next phases of the project include planting flower beds and trees along the walking path that stretches from the building to the road, and updating the Veteran’s Memorial with “patriotic plantings” of red, white and blue flowers.

Norweb said that the new plantings will add variety and color to the property which was gifted to the town by the now disbanded VFW post 2425 in 2016.

He hopes local veterans will voice their opinion on the project.

“We're trying to honor that in the property as well as the building by making it a place that is more attractive to the entire population,” Norweb said.

In addition to bringing new life to the memorial, Norweb hopes the additional trees along the walkway will provide shade for park enjoyers. 

Norweb previously oversaw other aesthetic projects for the property, such as adding a walking path and a pavilion.

Norweb said that although these projects were privately funded through donations, the town has helped to revamp the property. 

“The town has, in fact, done a good deal to help carry its share of the burden of the property,” he said.

According to Norweb, the projects will be completely largely by volunteers. 

“The idea is to try and not make the park an additional burden on the town in terms of labor [and] maintaining its appearance,” Norweb said.