Helping Rutland Bloom

Continuing to build upon its investment in the Rutland region, Castleton University recently joined Green Mountain Power as lead partners of Rutland Blooms, which will kick off its most ambitious effort yet this spring.

The multi-organization effort, started by Green Mountain Power and Mayor Chris Louras, looks to highlight the Rutland community’s spirit and beauty by growing flowers anywhere and everywhere throughout the city.

“Thanks to the partnership with Castleton and support from businesses large and small, Rutland Blooms will sponsor three significant projects and more than double its financial contribution to Rutland’s rebirth,” GMP Vice President Steve Costello said.  “Like the flowers and flowering trees we have already planted, Rutland Blooms is growing well beyond our initial expectations.”

Rutland Blooms’ 2016 budget, which comes completely from donations from organizers and sponsors, will be just over $42,000, compared to $20,000 in 2015.

“That growth is possible thanks to tremendous support from a host of businesses and organizations who have stepped forward,” Costello said. “Most notable is our new partnership with Castleton University.”

Castleton President Dave Wolk, who has made a substantial commitment to Rutland and is quickly growing the university’s footprint in the city, said Rutland Blooms was a natural fit.

“This is a city filled with beauty, in its architecture, people and natural landscape,” Wolk said.  “Rutland Blooms is helping to highlight that, and build on that beauty in meaningful ways.”

Besides Castleton and GMP, major 2016 donors include Asplundh Tree Experts, Casella’s, General Electric Aviation, New England Trees, Rutland Regional Medical Center, VELCO, and Mary Powell and Mark Brooks. 

The first 2016 Blooms project will include the installation of eight substantial trees in the new Baxter Street Park.  The second project, which includes mostly flowering crabapples, includes 54 trees on Stratton Road, 12 trees on Woodstock Avenue, and six trees on West Street. The third project includes numerous trees and dozens of shrubs and other plants that will be installed as part of a major city-led improvement project on Strongs Avenue this fall.

Rutland blooms joins Castleton’s ever-growing list of expansion and community building efforts in Rutland. Currently, Rutland is home to Castleton Downtown, the Castleton Polling Institute, the Castleton Center for Community Engagement, Spartan Arena and several downtown art spaces including the Castleton Downtown Gallery, as well as the University’s latest venture of adding efficient student housing in the heart of downtown. A recent partnership with the Rutland Economics Development Corporation has also further solidified Castleton’s commitment to being an economic and intellectual driver in the region.