ArticleID: 68
Date: 3/14/2001
Written By: Captain Jackson

by Captain Jackson

With spring just around the corner, so is the annual Downtown flower planting season. Once again, the forty plus planters along the main streets of Emerald City will be overflowing with color! While this is a city sponsored project, the majority of the planting, weeding and maintenance is actually performed by volunteers.

This year the project began March 5th with a meeting at City Hall. Those who wished to volunteer met with DDA Executive Director Kathleen Eriksen and City Forester Tom Steiger. The purpose of this meeting was to discuss problems encountered in the previous year and to determine which types of foliage should be planted in the different planters.

As this is the second year that the CRIMEFIGHTER CORPS have participated, I had a great amount to contribute. Last year our planter had Yellow Marigolds and Verbena (our planter is #47, located at the corner of Blackstone and Washington). The Marigolds did very well though the Verbena seemed to die out very quickly. This season we decided to plant Mixed Marigolds, not only in our planter but in all those along Blackstone as well.

To become involved in the program, different people "adopt" a planter, usually at the March meeting. Once the type of foliage is decided upon, Tom Steiger orders enough flats of plants to fill all the planters. The real fun begins Saturday, May 19th. That`s when everyone meets at Bucky Harris Park for coffee and donuts. We are given planting instructions and it`s off to our respective planters. Last year it took us about an hour to plant our Marigolds and Verbena. The city usually takes care of the watering throughout the year, but on those hot summer days it`s also a good idea to take a five gallon bottle of water---just in case. For us, it was a weekly visit to remove weeds, dead flowers and a bit of replanting (squirrels, it seems, liked to steal our Marigolds).

For those of you who are interested in participating, unfortunately all the planters have been spoken for. They go fast, and past year adopters have first dibs. However, any help you could provide would be appreciated. For more information, you may call Kathleen Eriksen at the DDA at (517) 788-4355.

Happy Planting!

Copyright 2001, CFC

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