For four months this summer, Downtown Lakewood enjoyed an extra splash of color and greenery thanks to the volunteer-driven Flower Blossoms Program.
Geraniums and impatiens dotted the urban landscape from the start of June through the end of September, creating a more appealing commercial district. The 13th year of LakewoodAlive’s Flower Blossoms Program saw the addition of 54 flower boxes stretching east-to-west along Detroit Avenue from the Westerly Apartments to Sumpter Law.
“The 13th year of the Flower Blossoms Program has been a tremendous success, and we’re extremely grateful to the dedicated group of volunteers who made this initiative possible, as well as thankful to the City of Lakewood for its support,” said Ian Andrews, Executive Director of LakewoodAlive. “This volunteer-driven beautification service offered to Downtown Lakewood merchants is one of many ways we strive to foster and sustain vibrant neighborhoods in Lakewood.”
The Flower Blossoms Program is designed to help merchants make their storefronts more attractive. LakewoodAlive partnered with a local grower to provide an opportunity for merchants to purchase professionally-planted Earth Box planters with flowers appropriate for the sun/shade needs of each location.
Longtime LakewoodAlive volunteer Kathy Haber – a 40-year resident of Lakewood – has coordinated the Flower Blossoms Program since 2007. Haber’s team of volunteers watered the flower boxes three times per week throughout the summer.
Flyers were sent to downtown merchants in January inviting them to participate in the Blossoms Program, which includes the rental of flower boxes and stands, the planting of flowers, consistent watering and the pickup and storage of all items come fall. Haber then spearheaded facilitation of the program shortly after Memorial Day.
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 May 31. There, Haber was joined by fellow volunteers, including a group from PNC Bank’s Lakewood branch, to distribute completed flower boxes to program participants.
Once the summer season ends, Lakewood Garden Center stores the planter boxes for the remainder of the year, and the City of Lakewood assists with storing the water stands. LakewoodAlive thanks the following volunteers for their assistance with this year’s Flower Blossoms Program: Kathy Haber, Paul Bilyk, Randy Bishop, Colleen Sutton Clark, Susan Echols, Judy and Steve Fesko, Susan Krebs, Jane Leschnik, Christine McCallum, Patrick McCallum, Kathleen Miller, Heidi Murray, Paula Reed, Marilyn Rudnick, David Spahr and daughters, Joyce Tabeling and Karen Walsh.