There’s a fresh new look to the hamlet of Gardiner these days. The old-fashioned-style lampposts that line the main thoroughfare, installed along with the sidewalks a few years back, are sporting festive forest-green banners, each announcing “Welcome” and the name of a local business.
The project to hang the banners all started with Nicole Lane, manager of the Gardiner Library. From the time the new library opened in 2008, she says, people have been saying they had trouble finding the building. Lane looked into having a sign installed on Route 44/55, but learned that it wouldn’t be allowed on a state-maintained road. The Friends of the Library paid for a sign on Farmers’ Turnpike at the end of one-way Arch Street leading to the library — and that has helped the situation, says Lane — but she still felt like she wanted some type of sign marking the library’s location on the main street where everybody would see it.
So when she noticed that the new lampposts already had poles to hang banners from, she got an idea. A banner hanging on one of the lampposts would be a way to get a sign for the library on 44/55, she thought, and wouldn’t it be great to promote some of the local businesses in town, as well.
“So many of them have done so many things for us,” says Lane. “Whether it’s volunteering to shelve books or putting on a presentation or running a film series… Jodi from Uptown Attic even gives us jewelry that we sell at the Friends’ jewelry sale every year. Everyone is always doing so many things for the library, and we’re all in it together; we all want to support Gardiner.”
So with the idea of a group discount in mind, she ran the idea by a number of local proprietors and found that everyone she spoke with was interested. To keep the look upscale and unified, the banners were made in a color and style to coordinate with the ones sponsored by the Gardiner Association of Businesses (GAB) already hanging from telephone poles in the hamlet.
There was a minor glitch in the initial installation, Lane says, when the banners came and she and town supervisor Carl Zatz went to hang them up. The banners were too short. So Lane contacted the Royal King dry cleaners in New Paltz and for a minor charge, their tailor let out the extra fabric to make them long enough to hang.
Now the Gardiner Library and local businesses are collaborating again to celebrate National Library Week, April 12-18. Library card holders in Gardiner patronizing local businesses need only show their library card to receive a bonus or discount from participating merchants. So far, the list includes Hudson Valley Wine Market (a free wine bottle tote bag with purchase of a bottle of wine); Café Mio (ten percent off entire bill); Main Street Barber Shop (ten percent off the price of a haircut); Majestic’s Hardware (ten percent off entire purchase, excluding power equipment); Meadowscent Flowers (ten percent off purchase of fresh flowers); The Natural Pet Center (a free Pet Center Frisbee with purchase); Uptown Attic (20 percent off one regularly priced item); The Village Market and Eatery (free cup of coffee or cookie); and White Barn Sheep and Wool (20 percent off one regularly priced item).