City cultivates beautification effort |

City cultivates beautification effort

Downtown merchants who boast a green thumb, and even those who don’t, can seek a little green from the city to fund their floral fantasies.

Mayor Helen Klanderud’s recent suggestion that the city sponsor a contest to entice businesses to make their storefronts a thing of botanical beauty has evolved into actual seed money to cultivate creativity. The flower fund is flush.

The City Council is offering Color the Core grants for the beautification of the downtown core. Ten grants of $200 each are available to help businesses spruce up their storefronts with flowers. The deadline to apply is Friday, June 11.

The grants will help lay the groundwork for a summer contest that promises cash prizes for businesses that boast the best blossoms.

A citizen committee will be enlisted to judge the displays.

The contest will feature separate categories for retail establishments, restaurants and other commercial properties. First prize in each category is worth $300, second place fetches $200, and $100 goes to third-place finishers.

In addition, there will be $50 awards for the most colorful displays, the most original efforts and the plantings with the most personality in each category.

Anyone interested in applying for a grant to assist in the purchase of flowers can pick up an application at the City Hall information counter, ACRA offices, Wheeler Opera House, Sashae Floral Arts & Gifts and the Parks Department. They are also available online at

Janet Urquhart’s e-mail address is

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