Marietta Beautification

It was a great summer in Marietta.

We began the summer of 2019 with our annual maintenance of the cherry trees and grass on Front Street. A hard working group of volunteers rose early on June 15th to trim and mow despite the heat and humidity. Thank you to organizers Bob Heiserman (Donegal Real Estate) and Steve Ulrich (My Digital Conversion), volunteers Thomas Anspach, Steve DeBottis, Kurt Heiserman, Emily Ross, Gary Schatz of the fireworks committee, Raeann Schatz, Mark Snider, Susan Snider (Second Hand’s a Charm). Thank you to Jay Bradley Services for assisting with debris removal. A huge thank you to Marietta resident Sean Roberts who works for Professional Approach Landscape Services (PALS). Sean and PALS helped us to trim the entire row of cherry trees in around 4 hours. The Beautification Committee has never been able to do the annual maintenance in that short of a time. We are very thankful to PALS and Sean for making short work of this large job. And as always, thank you to Bob Heiserman (Donegal Real Estate) for mowing Front Street throughout the summer for the past 20 years. Thank you to Bev Kreider of Premier Linen Company and her husband Bruce for donation of a riding mower. Spring cleanup day next year will be May 16, 2020, starting at 8 am – meet at Shank’s Tavern parking lot.

We also started a new initiative: the Adopt-a-Planter program on Market Street between the S-Bend and the Square. Thank you to our volunteers and financial supporters for helping us make Marietta even more beautiful than it is naturally. Our first year goal was beautify West Market Street with large planters between the S-bend and Square, before we expanded our efforts throughout town. We were able to obtain 8 very high quality planters for a price well below retail (essential for making the planters affordable). We purchased the soil and plants based on location and watering needs, and maintained the planters throughout the summer. Not only do the planters add beauty to downtown, they also allow adopters to present a plaque engraved with a business name, logo and message, or a dedication, icon, and message. Thank you to the adopters that have helped to make Marietta beautiful in year 1: 1st National Coworking, Nancy and Chris Barton in memory of their daughter Emily Mara Barton, Donegal Real Estate, Bob & Joyce Heiserman in memory of their daughter Stacy, Lancaster Recumbent, Mulberry Thrill Outdoor Cafe, Premier Linen Company, and Susquehanna Beneficial Association. If you are interested in adopting a planter, please see the contact info at the bottom of this article.

Planter technique and best-practices were guided by John Enterline and assisted by Ronn Short (both Marietta residents). John was trained at Longwood Gardens and is currently in charge of all of the gorgeous landscaping and planters at the Star Barn, and Ronn cares for several private gardens in our region. Thank you to the Marietta Community House for allowing us to use the building for our Spring Planter Workshop led by John. Beyond John’s guidance, we experimented with some new varieties found at River Road Produce. A big thank you to River Road Produce who assisted in advice on new hybrids, and a helpful discount for our bulk purchases. Next year, we will continue to build on our selections of grasses, vines, and flowers that are easy to maintain without sacrificing beauty. One of the varieties of grass we tried this summer was a little too enthusiastic, and took more maintenance than expected to keep them from taking over. Lesson learned!

If you saw a guy with the rear hatch of his minivan open, watering the planters, that was Steve Ulrich (Mulberry Thrill Outdoor Cafe, First National Escape, 1st National Coworking, My Digital Conversion, Free Little Library). Using a 55-gallon drum, he adapted a pump to run off his vans 12-volt power. About every other day he was able to deliver 15 gallons per planter every 7 minutes. On the hottest days this summer he watered twice per day. While filling drum up, he only managed to (forgetfully) flood the back of his minivan twice all summer. It needed to be cleaned anyway.

If you would like to get involved with the maintenance of Cherry trees on Front Street (May 16, 2020) contact Bob Heiserman (717)426-4350. Want to adopt a planter? Please contact Steve at 100 West Market St from 10 to 5 weekdays, or email him at