From many vantage points, and for much of the year, something’s in bloom everywhere in the Town of Bel Air.
At last count, there are 29 public flower gardens, an impressive inventory for a municipality that measures just 3.05 square miles. Last year, over 9,000 flowers in 15 varieties grew in median strip gardens, at town entry points and inside pocket spaces. Over 60 hanging flower baskets adorned light poles along Bond and Main streets.
For this, we recognize the women of the Appearance and Beautification Committee (ABC). Members collaborate with the Department of Public Works and long-time committee advisor Reg Traband to design and plan this show of flowers that just grows lusher each year.
All together, these volunteers and several alumnae have given more than 125 years of combined service to the ABC. Two retired members, Dot Mauer and Alice Marzicola, are honored with gardens named after them: Alice’s Garden is located on the northwest corner of Hickory and Pennsylvania avenues; Dot’s Garden is on Hickory Avenue across the street from the parking garage entrance.
When temperatures cool, the ABC plans and oversees the annual holiday decorations that dazzle throughout town.
Finally, the ABC sponsors the springtime Flower Mart. They bring together local garden clubs and students from North Harford’s Natural Resources and Agricultural Sciences Magnet program and Bel Air High School’s art department to celebrate the season and the arts. Some proceeds from the flower mart go to local charities and to scholarship funds that support students interested in garden-related careers.
Whether your next trip into Bel Air is by foot or by car, be sure to stop and smell the flowers, brought to you by the women of the Appearance and Beautification Committee.
Pictured: (L to R) Christa Egerland, Ruth Oswald, Mayor Amy Chmielewski (Commissioner liaison), Kathryn Butschky, Sue Niewenhous (Chairperson), Bonnie Bailey and Jennifer Dombeck. Not pictured: Elaine Millard