The Town of Middletown, City of Newport and Middletown Rotary Club work together on a daffodil planting project to help beautify the Aquidneck Avenue entrance to the Aquidneck Corporate Park.
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DAFFODIL PLANTING BRINGS ISLAND TOGETHER
MIDDLETOWN, R.I. (NOVEMBER 2, 2021) – A crew with the City of Newport Department of Public Services was planting daffodil bulbs Tuesday by the Aquidneck Avenue entrance to the Aquidneck Corporate Park.
Part of a joint project between the City, the Town of Middletown and the Middletown Rotary Club, the goal was to beautify the area across from Aquidneck Elementary School -- and around the community.
About 9,000 daffodil bulbs were expected to be planted as part of the effort. They bloom and flower in April, showing off their vibrant yellows for all to see. People come from across the region to walk, picnic and take pictures among the flowers.
Jack Haggis, a past president of the Middletown Rotary who now handles programming, scheduling and communications, said the volunteer group was happy to give back to the community. The club donated the 9,000 bulbs to the “Daffodilians” through John Hirschboeck and “Newport in Bloom.”
“This is a continuation of what Middletown Rotary has done for the community,” Haggis said. “Among other things, we donated trees through the Middletown Tree Commission, donated and installed granite benches at the Dunlop-Wheeler Park, we provided dictionaries to all third-grade students in Middletown schools for several years and have supported other projects or programs involving people in need in the Town and community.”
Before the project moved forward, the Rotary secured the necessary permissions and approvals. This included meeting with Middletown Operations & Facility Manager Will Cronin and Newport Superintendent of Parks, Grounds & Forestry Scott Wheeler. The landowners, neighboring businesses and “Dig Safe” were consulted as well.
Cronin said it was a worthwhile team effort, part of the ongoing work between the City and Town. He said daffodils have been previously planted in Dunlap Wheeler Park on lower Aquidneck Avenue along with the old Navy Lodge property at the corner of Coddington Highway and West Main Road.
“It is exciting to see the Newport in Bloom project spread throughout Middletown, and beyond,” Cronin said. “We really appreciate the Middletown’s Rotary Club’s efforts, in particular Jack Haggis, in coordinating this project. Thanks to Newport’s team for planting the bulbs.”
Wheeler agreed, saying it was a pleasure to help lend a hand to such a worthy cause.
“Tourism and beautification are an island-wide endeavor,” Wheeler said. “I’m happy we’re working with Middletown and the Rotary and hopefully this will become another draw for the island.”
Haggis said similar projects could be on the way in the future from the Rotary.
“It is our intention to continue supporting the Town and look forward to the next event, perhaps the planting of trees in memory of past Rotarians who gave their time and resources to the Town,” Haggis said.