Cape Gazette

Lookin’ good and still delivering at milepost 100

Community pitches in to renew bedraggled landscaping
By Henry J. Evans Jr. | Nov 06, 2013
Photo by: Henry J. Evans Jr. Lewes area residents and business owners joined in a successful volunteer program to improve landscaping around Lewes’ 100-year-old US Postal Service building. Landscape architect Kevin McBride, center, donated his landscape design services, and Bruce Chandler, right, organized the project. Area businesses contributed more than $16,000 in kind services, and community residents contributed more than $18,000 cash. This is the building's Bank Street side, Neils Alley is on the other side, and it faces Front Street.

Lewes — The US Post Office Building in Lewes turned 100 years old in October, and a group of Lewes volunteers decided that was a landmark worth celebrating.

Starting in mid-September, area residents and businesses joined to remove scraggly, out-of-control landscaping and re-landscaped with new plantings. New stone edging and an automatic watering system and new lights have also been installed.

Lewes resident Bruce Chandler started the volunteer renewal project, known as  Preserve Our Post Office – POP – after noticing ugly trees and shrubbery prevented people from seeing the building's architecture.

Chandler asked Lewes postmaster Bill Osienski if the building could be re-landscaped. With Osienski's approval, Chandler asked local business owners if they would make in-kind donations – and they did.

He also asked the public to make cash donations. Project patrons were generous; businesses donated services valued at more than $16,000, and the public contributed more than $18,000.

Lewes in Bloom volunteers set many of the plantings and agreed to maintain the landscaping.

Volunteers have planted young trees, shrubbery and perennials around the Lewes Post Office building, replacing old greenery that hid the building and was no longer attractive. New plantings include river birch, dogwood, American holly, hosta, Oriental magnolia, crepe myrtle, Knock Out roses, camellias, butterfly bush, iris, phlox, hibernum and others. (Photo by: Henry J. Evans Jr.)
Tom Nobile, left, a Lewes resident and philatelist – commonly called stamp collector – uses a special rubber stamp to postmark a limited-edition, commemorative envelope printed for the Lewes Post Office building’s 100th anniversary celebration. Lewes postmaster Bill Osienski watches as Nobile does a bit of government work. (Photo by: Henry J. Evans Jr.)
Lewes Post Office 100th anniversary celebrants are in back (l-r) Rep. Steve Smyk, R-Milton; Sen. Ernie Lopez, R-Lewes; and Mark Anderson, district manager, US Postal Service South Jersey District. In fron are  Lewes Mayor Jim Ford; Rep. Ed Osienski, D-Newark, and his brother, Bill Osienski, Lewes postmaster; and Bruce Chandler, chairman, Preserve Our Post Office project. (Photo by: Henry J. Evans Jr.)
Lewes postmaster Bill Osienski speaks to people attending the post office building's 100th anniversary. The Preserve Our Post Office group volunteered to renew landscaping around the building, and would like to restore several interior features. (Photo by: Henry J. Evans Jr.)
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