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Ridgewood Project Pride Beautifies Central Business District in Time for Reopening

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photos courtesy of the Village of Ridgewood

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ,  Project Pride put in the hard work over the weekend beautifying our downtown just in time for the reopening . Project Pride Committee is responsible for the summertime floral hanging baskets, the winter’s illuminated kissing balls, presentation of the HomeScape Awards, and maintenance of local pocket parks and seasonal garden plantings.

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3 thoughts on “Ridgewood Project Pride Beautifies Central Business District in Time for Reopening

  1. The project pride, they always did a great job. And it’s amazing how in the past they would get harassed by a certain department.

  2. These fine citizens were out well before 8 Am today Thursday June 18 th

    Along with the towns irrigation suv
    driver by a very professional young
    Lady . We are a lucky Town .Thank You
    Hard work gardeners

  3. Tracy and A.J. Miceli owners of the Mole Hole of Ridgewood were the impetus for Project Pride. When they purchased the business in 1981 the small dirt area entrance to the Village parking lot adjacent to their store front was an unattractive barren area littered with cigarette butts, broken glass, and rocks. The Miceli’s felt that while this lot was not part of the property they leased from the Gilsenan family it was an eyesore that detracted from the façade of their business.

    In response to the Miceli’s inquiries the Village sent DPW workers who raked and cleaned the lot, however, no additional improvements were made. In the spring of 1982 the Miceli’s decided the East Ridgewood Ave eyesore had to go. They tended the neglected earth and planted shrubs and flowers to beautify the space. To finish the look they planted additional flowers in the dirt patches around the trees in front of the Mole Hole and their landlords entrance next door. In subsequent years the Miceli’s installed a brick path that lead from the front sidewalk to the walkway in the Village lot so pedestrians did not have to walk through the mulch which could be messy on rainy days. The brick walk remained for decades and was only replaced a short-time ago when the Village updated this lot.

    At the time they planted there was no easy access to water the area. Every morning Tracy would drag 200′ of garden hose from a storage area faucet located behind their store to water and tend the new landscape. Dick Gilsenan saw her struggle each day with this and had a spigot installed in the front of his building to ease the daily task. This single act of beautification was the start of Project Pride and cooperation between tenant, landlord, and Village. There was a short article and photo of Tracy Miceli watering the area in the Ridgewood News at the time.

    Pedestrians and shoppers were pleased with the improvement. As they learnt how the improvement came to be they pressured the owner of Nassau’s Curtains whose store was located on the other side of the entrance to the Village’s parking lot to clean-up his side. Mr. Nassau too, made improvements and so the movement spread.

    Mac Hugh’s Clothing Store was owned by Ed Macksoud. Anyone who remembers Mac Hugh’s remembers the pride Ed took in his establishment. Ed loved Ridgewood. One day, Ed stopped into the Mole Hole, introduced himself to A.J. Miceli and the two went on a quick expedition to what would be the next step in Project Pride. Ed wanted A.J.’s opinion on what to plant in the flag circle at the bus stop across from the park. Within a week of their historic meeting beautiful red flowers encircled the flag pole. It is from these humble beginnings that the formal committee known as Project Pride rose.

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