Residents and visitors to St. Joseph might have noticed something a little different about the city’s downtown lately. Some of the light posts along Minnesota Street and College Avenue have a little bit more color than usual, thanks to the volunteer efforts of St. Joseph resident Margy Hughes, Carol (Muske) Theisen and donations from area businesses.
Thirty hanging flower baskets were installed last month. The plan is for the baskets of pink, yellow, purple and green flowers to continue to flourish through the end of September.
Volunteers solicited donations from area businesses to bring the baskets to the city. Donors had the option to purchase a basket in honor of someone or in memorial of a loved one. Feedback on the addition is already rolling in.
“We’ve had lots of comments,” Theisen said. “People love the project. They are pleased with it.”
Theisen, who grew up in the St. Joseph area, was inspired to bring the flower baskets to St. Joseph after seeing them in Red Wing. She admits those flower baskets are one of the reasons she and her husband even visit that southeast Minnesota city.
“They are so gorgeous,” she said of the flowers in Red Wing. “(St. Joseph) is a cute little town. I think they will bring people to town.”
As hot weather invades the area, its impact is not lost on the plants. St. Joseph Public Works Director Terry Thene told city council members earlier this month that during the Fourth of July holiday, he returned to town to water the baskets, and they were really moist from the heat.
While the heat is taking a toll on the look of the flower baskets, volunteers are reaching out to donors to assure them they are trying to fix the issue, Theisen said.
“We want to keep it going,” she said.
Over time, organizers would like to add baskets to every light post downtown.