by Cori Hilsgen
Have you been admiring the flowers in downtown St. Joseph? This is the third year St. Joseph has been beautified by the hanging flower baskets along College Avenue and Minnesota Street.
The flowers are put up before Memorial Day and are taken down after the Mill Stream Arts Festival, which this year is Sept. 28.
Organizer Carol Theisen said there are 80 baskets this year. Baskets can be purchased as a memorial and cost $150 for a basket or $75 for a half basket. The cost pays for the flowers, which come from Thomsens Greenhouse and Garden center in St. Joseph, the fertilizer and the daily watering of the plants. Names of memorial donors are published in the paper in September.
Public works director Terry Thene organizes the daily watering of the plants.
“They have come up with a great system and we can depend on the flowers being taken care of,” Theisen said.
The City of St. Joseph and the Economic Development Authority purchased the brackets to hang the baskets. Theisen said they are also covering the maintenance costs to install the brackets and other things. The St. Joseph Chamber of Commerce is now the fiscal agent and all checks are made out to the chamber.
Not all of the baskets are sold, so local businesses and organizations help pay for the remaining costs.
“We have such support from the organizations, businesses, St. Bens, city, chamber and the wonderful people of St. Joseph,” Theisen said. “It’s a project I think makes people smile.”
Many people have helped with the project, but Theisen wants to especially recognize all the work Margy Hughes has done to make this project a success.
“We could not have done this without her,” Theisen said.
Theisen and other organizers brought the flower-basket project to St. Joseph three years ago after seeing similar flowers in Red Wing. She said they have been approached by organizers of the Lake George area who are also considering doing something similar in St. Cloud, as well as others.
Theisen said she is excited when people tell her they have visited St. Joseph to see the flowers and then stay to patronize the local businesses.
She said they are always looking for help with the project. If interested in donating toward the flower project this year or next year, contact Theisen at 320-363-8496 or 320-249-7676 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or Joyce Faber at 320-363-7682.
photo by Cori Hilsgen
Downtown St. Joseph has 80 flower baskets beautifying its streets. This is the third year the flower baskets have been displayed in St. Joseph.
Hilsgen is a contributing reporter for the Newsleaders. The central Minnesota native is a wife, mother and grandmother. She has a Bachelor's degree in Organizational Management and Communication from Concordia University – St. Paul, MN and enjoys learning about and sharing other people's stories through the pages of the Newsleaders.