Stroll along Detroit Avenue through Downtown Lakewood these days and you can’t help but notice an additional splash of color and greenery enhancing the district’s vibrancy.
Now in its 11th year, LakewoodAlive’s Blossoms Program has resulted in the addition of 54 flower boxes for 2017 – the most boxes yet – stretching east-to-west along Detroit Avenue from the Westerly Apartments to Cerny Shoes. Geraniums and impatiens dot this urban landscape, creating a more appealing commercial district.
The Blossoms Program is designed to help Downtown Lakewood merchants make their storefronts more inviting and attractive. LakewoodAlive partners annually with Lakewood Garden Center to provide an opportunity for merchants to purchase professionally-planted Earth Box planters with flowers appropriate for the sun/shade needs of each location.
“We’re thrilled to have the Blossoms Program return for an 11th consecutive year,” said Ian Andrews, Executive Director for LakewoodAlive. “This volunteer-driven beautification service offered to Downtown Lakewood merchants is consistent with LakewoodAlive’s mission to foster and sustain vibrant neighborhoods in Lakewood. And we can’t say enough about the team of volunteers who make this program possible.”
Longtime LakewoodAlive volunteer Kathy Haber – a 38-year resident of Lakewood – has coordinated the Blossoms Program since 2007. What started as hanging baskets that proved difficult to water has evolved into flower boxes featuring built-in water reservoirs significantly reducing watering requirements.
Haber’s team of 15 volunteers waters the flower boxes three times per week throughout the summer. Each volunteer is responsible for watering a section of flower boxes and bringing water from home in jugs.
With assistance from Lakewood Garden Center owner Paul Bilyk, who coordinates the Blossoms Program with a grower, the materials were dropped off at the Lakewood City Center Plaza on July 2. There, Haber was joined by fellow volunteers to distribute completed flower boxes to program participants.
“We have a wonderful community, and I love being a part of making it the best it can be,” Haber said. “I feel that we are a community of neighbors helping others, great schools and strongly woven group of very diverse folks who all just want the best for our families. That is why I volunteer as much as I do…and of course, if I stay home I would have to clean my house!”
The success of the Blossoms Program has enticed several merchants outside the downtown district to purchase flower boxes on their own. Meanwhile, many longtime anchor businesses in Downtown Lakewood have faithfully participated in the program for many years.
For more information regarding the Blossoms Program, visit LakewoodAlive.org or contact the LakewoodAlive office at 216-521-0655.