Beautification has been central to the mission of the Katonah Village Improvement Society since the day of our founding in 1878. One of the first initiatives of the new Society was to improve the “sightliness” of our hamlet. Following the move to the village’s present location, KVIS was instrumental in designing its street layout, planting 280 trees, and installing benches, receptacles and sidewalks.
The canopy of trees on Katonah’s main roads was a gift of KVIS that planted 280 trees in barren “New Katonah” in 1897. Subsequently, KVIS installed memorial trees and replaced failing trees in the 1960’s and 1970’s.
KVIS continues to beautify our village today. KVIS is active in planting trees in the village for environmental, safety and aesthetic reasons and was awarded the 2013 Green Award from the Town of Bedford Conservation Board. Each spring, KVIS sponsors a town clean up day where residents of all ages have the opportunity to participate in caring for our picturesque village.
Currently, KVIS is spearheading a new beautification project, beginning with “Phase One” on the northern corner of Katonah Avenue, adjacent to the train Station. Here, in partnership with the Town of Bedford, the Project has entailed removal of invasive species and the installation of densely-planted native species, to a dramatic but natural effect patterned after New York City’s famed “High Line”. These transformative plantings will nurture and encourage native songbirds, butterflies, and other species central to a healthy, vibrant, ecosystem.
Phase Two, slated to be completed in the fall of 2017, removes diseased trees and undesirable invasive plants and replaces them with native evergreens and flowering trees, shrubs, grasses and perennials. In a change from the original drawing, Phase Two stretches from the gazebo towards the station. The new plants will continue to screen the train platform from Katonah Avenue while enhancing the appeal of the downtown and supporting birds, butterflies and pollinators.
The final phase connects Phase One and Phase Two, extending down the length of Katonah Avenue adjacent to the train tracks.
Please click here to make a donation and support Katonah’s downtown garden.
archival tree planting photo courtesy of the Katonah Village Library