Summer flower baskets to return with community and city support

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How to help

Those who would like to contribute $25 or more to help fund the summer flower baskets are asked to call Mainstreet Steamboat Springs Manager Tracy Barnett at 970-846-1800.

— The downtown flower basket program just won’t wilt. Deep purple and fuchsia petunias will line the streets of Steamboat Springs once again this year with support from individual donors and renewed funding from the city of Steamboat Springs.

With about $400 left to raise to purchase the summer flower baskets for downtown, Mainstreet Steamboat Springs Manager Tracy Barnett said the community has stepped up and raised about $640 during the past week, bringing the total raised to $1,840 of a $2,200 goal.

Because the city this year offered $8,000 to fund watering costs, Lincoln Avenue should be blooming by mid-June.

“It really softens the edges,” Barnett said about the flower baskets. “In the summer, things should be lush and beautiful. They absorb sound. They make walking up and down the street more pleasant. It shows we care.”

This year, Mainstreet’s task is a little easier than in 2012.

One year ago, the city cut funding for the flower baskets from the drained Parks, Open Space and Recreational Services Department budget.

The cost of the baskets is more than $10,000, with a little more than $2,000 going toward the purchase of the baskets from a Fort Collins nursery and the rest going to a landscaping company to keep the flowers watered daily throughout the summer.

Last year, Mainstreet raised about $13,000 from individual donors, but this year, the group's goal is $2,200 because Interim City Manager Deb Hinsvark found a way to support the program once again.

“The city has indicated to Tracy that we’d be willing to pay $8,000 for watering,” Hinsvark said. “We’re willing to help out with that. It’s early enough in year that I think from my discretionary contingency fund, I think I can fund it.”

Both women said that it’s important to secure long-term funding for the flower baskets and that a plan is in the works. But in the meantime, it’s important to keep downtown in bloom.

Those who would like to contribute $25 or more to help fund the summer flower baskets are asked to call Barnett at 970-846-1800.

“They’re part of the community character, and they’re beautiful,” Hinsvark said.

To reach Nicole Inglis, call 970-871-4204 or email ninglis@ExploreSteamboat.com

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