Boy, 8, inspires floral display in Kiski Township
By Brian C. Rittmeyer
Published: Tuesday, June 25, 2013, 12:26 a.m.
An idea that sprouted in the mind of 8-year-old Tyler Jaworskyj is now blooming up and down Edmon Road in Kiski Township.
As his summer project, Tyler this spring asked neighbors to plant flowers at their mailboxes. He drew up a flier and put it in 76 mailboxes along Edmon Road between Old State and Beulah Church roads.
“Please plant some flowers around your mailbox. It will look beautiful,” his flier said. “In the summer I will count again. It will be fun to see how many people helped with my project. I will report to you again. Thank you, Tyler.”
Tyler and his family's most recent count found nearly half of the 76 mailboxes had flowers around them.
The widespread response has Tyler delighted.
“There was some really not good mailboxes they don't take care of,” Tyler said. “I was surprised to see flowers turn up.”
A budding outdoorsman, Tyler likes to hunt, fish and walk trails.
“He cares about the environment,” said his grandmother, Sharon Jaworskyj.
His project was born from dismay at the litter he saw along the Route 56 Bypass in Allegheny Township near Vandergrift.
“There's always people trying to clean it up every month,” Tyler said. Despite those efforts, the litter comes back.
Litter isn't a problem on Edmon Road, but Tyler wanted to do something to beautify the area. His first idea was planting trees, but trees are one thing the rural area has in abundance.
“Flowers are better. They're beautiful,” he said. And, “They don't cost as much.”
Tyler's parents, Sam and Kalene Jaworskyj, were on board with Tyler from the start and encouraged him, his mom said.
“I think it's great,” she said. “It's something people will remember every spring when they put out their flowers.”
“I think it's really neat,” Sam Jaworskyj said. “It's really interesting to see how many people put flowers in.”
There are flowers big and small. Some are in the ground, others in planters and baskets.
Some residents put out artificial flowers, but they look just as nice, Sharon Jaworskyj said.
“They made the effort,” she said. “They look really pretty.”
Tyler got a thank-you card from Howard and Sue Ott, who put flowers in a long wooden planter in front of a bank of six mailboxes at Ross Road. Sue Ott said she knows Tyler's older brother, Sam, 13, who is the same age as two of her boys.
Ott said her father, Russ Fry, a woodworker, built the planter; her son, Joseph, 17, brought the flowers home from the greenhouse at Lenape Tech.
“I got the note in the mail,” Ott said. “I called my dad and said I really think we should do this.”
In 20 years on Edmon Road, Bob Watt said he's never planted flowers at the mailbox.
He doesn't know Tyler. But after they got Tyler's flier, Watt said his wife, Bonnie, planted a bunch of pink and white flowers at their mailbox.
“I thought it was sort of cute,” he said, adding that he now counts the flowers up and down the road. “It's sort of neat an 8-year-old kid would take an interest in that.”
Michelle Peace didn't remember the type of flowers her family planted; they went by color — red, white and pink.
“We thought it was cute. It's a neat idea,” Peace said. “We've been watching the mailboxes as well to see who puts them up.”
Sue Ott said Tyler's project is bringing a sense of neighborhood to Edmon Road, where homes are spread out.
“It kind of got everyone together,” she said. “I'd like to know what the mail lady's reaction is when she drives along. She has to have noticed it. They're so pretty.”
Tyler hopes his neighbors will put flowers out every year.
And he has a message for his neighbors who haven't planted flowers: “It's not too late.”
Brian C. Rittmeyer is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-226-4701 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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