Susan Vanderpoel Clark first donated the first four hanging baskets on Main Street in the
1950’s, and created the Village Beautification Contest in 1955. In addition, because of her
deep affection for each of the village’s five churches, she began sending poinsettias at
Christmas and lilies at Easter for the altars. She also had her gardeners plant tulip bulbs on the
churches’ walkways to bloom for the spring; geraniums and petunias to bloom for the summer.
Susan Vanderpoel Clark’s horticultural legacy to Cooperstown may still be seen in the year-
round beauty of the village, a legacy that has been continued and furthered by The Clark
Foundation and its President, Jane Forbes Clark.
The Annual Beautification Contest has contributed significantly to Cooperstown residents
maintaining their properties at a very high standard. Each year a varying panel of judges makes
the award selections, which are presented jointly by the Village of Cooperstown and The Clark
Foundation. As in years past, the awards will be given in the following three categories:
- Most Attractive Floral Display in a Business Setting
- Most Effective Overall Planting which Enhances a Residential Property, as Seen from
- Most Appropriate Residential or Business Window Box or Boxes and/or Hanging
Basket or Baskets.
Significant increases to the awards were established in 2019:
First Place All Categories $ 1,000.00
Second Place All categories $ 750.00
Third Place All Categories $ 500.00
Honorable Mention All Categories $ 400.00