Back to Article List
Hartsdale Beautification Committee keeps E Hartsdale Ave blooming
Release Date: July 10, 2019

Keeping East Hartsdale Avenue Green


The Hartsdale Beautification Committee (HBC) in partnership with the Town of Greenburgh, and local sponsors will launch a new initiative to keep our central business district on East Hartsdale Ave. (EHA) blooming. 


We are introducing a green and sustainable alternative in Hartsdale by setting up “self-watering” containers.


In the past, watering the containers that display Spring and Summer plants, has been our greatest challenge. Watering by hand has become unsustainable. Barbara Brennan, President of the HBC, and her team came up with the idea of “self-watering” containers to manage this challenge. This would enable us to provide the green and sustainable alternative in Hartsdale. 


We asked local businesses and civic organizations to support this endeavor. With financial contributions from Dunkin Donut, Mary Jane Pastor Reality, Trustco Bank, Hartsdale Neighbor Association, Rotary Club, Kiwanis Club, the Greenburgh Uniformed Fire Fighters Association and contributions from local residents such as Susan Stanton who sponsored a Hartsdale Beautification container, we were able to purchase the planters, as a way to support the community and keep EHA in full bloom.   We are so thankful for the local support.


Chris Duffelmeyer, Vice President of the Greenburgh Uniformed Fire Fighters Association commented that the Hartsdale community has always been supportive of the Fire Fighters and they were honored to give back to the community. 


When presented with the idea, Town Supervisor Paul Feiner, and Gerry Byrne, Commissioner of Parks and Recreation were highly supportive.  With the sponsorship money, the Town ordered 8 high quality, commercial grade self-watering containers that will hold up to 25 gallons of water and will be filled by the town watering truck.


As this is our first year employing a sustainable green effort, we have plans to expand this in the future.


John Haas: Town Arborist, has been instrumental in providing assistance throughout the whole process, from ordering and delivering containers, to contributing flowers from the Town Nursery.  We thank him for his attention to so many details and for his great support.


The positive community response generated by this project is greatly appreciated.  People walking on the street stop to thank us.  As Merchants become engaged and supportive, this ensures that the plants on the Avenue will remain looking beautiful.  There are many smiling faces on East Hartsdale Avenue.


Over the years many volunteers have contributed to the planting and maintaining of the flower containers, principally. Joan Driscoll, Judie Meisels and Louanne Figliola - Master Gardeners on the HBC committee.  We owe so much to these women. 



Contact the Hartsdale Beautification Committee at hbcgreen@gmail.com



Why is tonight’s Greenburgh Town Board meeting so important?

The Greenburgh Town Board will meet tonight at 7 PM at the Odell House on Ridge Road in Hartsdale. The Town Board will vote to approve an agreement between the Sons of the American Revolution to turn over the historic Odell House to the town. Immediately after the vote Town Supervisor Paul Feiner and  Robert Stackpole will sign an agreement.  The town will apply for a consolidated funding application grant for $600,000 from the state for a $1,200,000 rehabilitation project. We will be partnering with others to raise funds to supplement grant funding. It’s our hope that the home will be open to the public once the house is renovated.



Brief History of the Odell House:



The Odell House Rochambeau Headquarters, built in 1732 by John Tompkins, is a part of the Washington Rochambeau Revolutionary Route.  Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the house is best known for serving as the headquarters of Count de Rochambeau and his French expeditionary forces from July 6 to August 18 in 1781. During this time, General Rochambeau met with George Washington to plan the military strategy for the final year of the Revolution.  While Washington had always intended to confront the British in Manhattan, after reconnoitering Westchester, the Bronx and Manhattan he was persuaded by Rochambeau that they would most likely succeed by engaging British General Cornwallis in Virginia. And we all know the Continental and French forces defeated The British in Yorktown VA! Because Washington's Headquarters, the Appleby Farm, burned down in the early 20th century, this house is the best reminder of the international effort that made the Revolutionary War a success.


The Odell House's historic value extends past the soldiers encamped there during the summer of 1781. The Odell family has a long history in the United States. Members of the Odell family arrived in Colonial America from England in the 1630’s and through the years produced many illustrious citizens including a Governor of NY and a US Senator. William Odell Jr. was one of the original proprietors of Rye, New York. Colonial John Odell, one of his descendants, purchased the house from Sarah Bates in 1785 with the military bonus awarded to him for his service as one of Washington’s Scouts. The house encompasses Colonial history with its many illustrious residents through the centuries.  Notable residents of the house include soldiers who served in the War of 1812, the Civil War, the Spanish-American Campaign of 1898 to Edna Odell, one of the final owners of the house, who served in France as a nurse during World War I. Otis Odell is said to have maintained family records of many of these historic events, including the Revolutionary War, and some of these files remain in the house today.




Currently, the Odell House is at risk of deteriorating beyond repair. Absent strong financial support, the house and its historical artifacts will be lost, including furniture passed down in the Odell family (with antique pieces over 200 years old) and the records mentioned above. As such, its restoration is a priority, and the Town of Greenburgh is in the process of receiving ownership the house. The Friends of Odell House Rochambeau Headquarters, a non-profit started by local resident Susan Seal will assist the Town through raising money for the restoration which will enable matching funds to be available, notably with the grant opportunity through the New York State Consolidated Funding Application. Ultimately, the town hopes to use this money to restore the house, maintain its artifacts, and make the house open to visitors for educational tours. Support during this application process would be greatly appreciated.


©2024 Town of Greenburgh
View Full Website