Destination Clarion Downtown Striving to Make ‘Clarion Bloom’
Jim Crooks, of FL Crooks and Co., told exploreClarion.com the committee is currently preparing to make Main Street bloom with flower planters – old and new.
“We’ve been working on this for some time, looking at different options,” Crooks explained.
According to Crooks, the committee has ordered two new five-foot steel planters, finished in black powdered metal to prevent rusting.
“We’re looking for community support to fund the project, asking the public for donations.”
The planters cost $1,950.00 each, and anyone who wishes to sponsor the entire price of a planter can have a plaque added in honor or in memory of an individual. The planters can also be sponsored by organizations.
“We think it could be a great opportunity for anyone who wants to honor someone,” Crooks added.
The committee specifically chose planters that will match well with the benches and new light fixtures downtown.
“And this won’t only be for flowers. In the fall, we can do arrangements of pine. We could even leave them out into the winter, but I think we’ll probably take them in and store them.”
Destination Clarion Downtown will also be accepting smaller donations, both in support of the purchase of the planters and to help with the purchase of flowers.
Along with the two new large planters, the organization is also “adopting” a dozen smaller planters that were originally organized, purchased, and cared for by Jean Mills and Joanne Vavrek.
“They planted those on their own for quite a few years, and they offered them to our committee in addition to some money to help buy plants for them this year.”
Crooks noted that anyone who makes a donation of $100.00 or more to the project will also be honored for their donation in future advertising and press releases.
“Every donation is greatly appreciated. It’s going to be expensive to buy all of the plants for these planters.”
The committee will also be seeking volunteers to help care for the flowers.
“Right now, we’re hoping to get businesses to adopt and take care of them until we can get a volunteer group organized.”
According to Crooks, they plan to organize the volunteers the way he has seen in other towns, with people getting together twice per week to “deadhead” or remove any spent flowers and water the plants.
“This has the potential to really help Clarion and make it beautiful.”
Crooks noted that he has spoken to officials in other towns have that have seen great success with attracting more visitors through beautification programs.
“It can absolutely make a difference.”
Along with the flower planters project, Destination Clarion Downtown is also involved in the organization of the Pick Up Clarion project and Facebook page.
The project started with a conversation between Crooks and Sam Atwell, who works at FL Crooks and Co.
According to Crooks, Atwell mentioned going out and picking up garbage around town, and Crooks told him the Destination Clarion Downtown committee had been considering the organization of some kind of pick-up program.
The two then put their heads together, and Atwell created a Facebook page for the effort, with sponsorship from FL Crooks and Co., Michelle’s Cafe, Clarion River Brewing Company, Mechanistic Brewing Co., and The Fulmer House.
Anyone who wishes to participate in the effort can go out and pick up trash around town, take a photo of themself with the bag of trash they collected, and put it on Facebook, and tag the Pick Up Clarion Facebook page to win prizes from downtown businesses.
“I think a beautiful downtown will help the university and all of the businesses, and those of us who live in the borough here, it will help our property values, too.”
Donations to Destination Clarion Downtown can be mailed to:
Destination Clarion Downtown
c/o FL Crooks and Co.
P.O. Box 487
Clarion, Pa. 16214
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