In our continuing efforts to make the Green Visions self-sustaining, the workforce preparation program is tackling more than growing flowers in the JOSANA neighborhood and selling them in bouquets. The High Falls Business Association has hired the group to plant and water more than 30 planters in the immediate area. And, Green Visions workers will also maintain the recently opened Flour Garden on Brown’s Race.

“It’s the first time the program in JOSANA ties in with the program here,” said Michael A. Philipson, Greentopia’s co-founder, as he sat in the office on Brown’s Race.¬†Greentopia’s vision of a series of gardens and amenities surround High Falls includes providing jobs to keep these new features attractive for visitors near and far. The current contract has Green Visions trainees also taking care of Granite Mills Park (at the north end of the FlourGarden) and a pocket park on Main Street next to an Rochester Gas & Electric building.

“It’s a tangible collaboration between Greentopia and the High Falls” Business Improvement District,” said Rachel Walsh, director of Rochester’s first EcoDistrict.

Green Visions workers are also tackling rain gardens at the Rochester Public Market. Because many of the bouquets the group will grow this year are already earmarked to be sold at Wegmans, Green Visions is seeking related work landscaping. The program’s success is getting noticed. Managers Tiani Jennings and Morgan Barry accepted an award from the Rochester Chapter of the Sierra Club in April. And June 9 Jennings was presented with a youth community service award from Monroe County.

We must be doing something right!