Marilyn Norden, volunteer for the flower basket fundraising campaign, and Pat LaPorte, right, DRI Design Committee chair, stand among the 100 planters at Forth Floral greenhouse that will soon be ready to hang in downtown Rhinelander.
5/23/2019 7:28:00 AM Downtown flower basket project continues
If life is about balance, then the beautiful flower baskets seen all summer in Downtown Rhinelander are to balance the challenging snowbanks of winter. Soon it will be warm enough for city workers to hang 100 of these vibrant baskets throughout the downtown district, project organizers said in a press release.
"To fully appreciate these baskets, one must step back to realize how much work goes into this collaborative project," the release states. "For about 10 years, the Master Gardeners Club of Rhinelander has met at Forth Floral greenhouse in late March or early April to plant the flowers that Henning and Ruth Hempel from Forth Floral have chosen for the year. Henning waters and nurtures them until the final frost warning has past. City workers hang the baskets and then the challenge of daily watering is needed. This year, the City has agreed to do the daily watering task. In past years, a private contractor was hired for this early morning project, with Forth Floral donating the use of their watering truck and often their water. Downtown Rhinelander Inc. (DRI) initialed the project and funded the purchase of the baskets and hangers that have been used for the past 10 years."
A public fundraising campaign is done each year as it is estimated that each basket costs $100 a year for the flowers, fertilizer, and labor to water them. In past years, if more money was needed, Howard Backe from Apothecary, a downtown pharmacy, would make a large donation.
This year's fundraising campaign is underway. Each year DRI keeps the beautification of our downtown area alive, ensuring our downtown is attractive for visitors as well as community members, the release states.
Donations in any amount can be sent to: Downtown Rhinelander Inc. PO Box 1638 Rhinelander WI 54501.
For more information, call Pat LaPorte at 715-362-5394.
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