Downtown Tonganoxie gets splash of color thanks to EAST group, local businesses
Flowers are brightening up downtown Tonganoxie thanks to a local organization and Fourth Street business owners.
Monica Gee, with Entrepreneurs Achieving Success Together, said fellow EAST members Charlie and Debbie Conrad of Flashbacks restaurant had noticed flower pots that can wrap around poles.
Gee said they thought the pots would be a good idea for complementing the green ornamental light poles throughout downtown Tonganoxie.
After getting approval from city officials, Gee was on a mission to acquire the pots. But the adventure took her to a few different places.
She headed to Lawrence, Topeka and even St. Joseph, Mo., to find enough pots. The pots originally were terra-cotta, but were painted green to match the poles.
EAST provided all the soil and flowers for the pots, while businesses paid $20 to have the pots placed in front of their storefronts.
Some business owners planted their own flours, but roughly 30 flower pots now dot Fourth Street from Main Street to Shawnee Street.
EAST has asked business owners to water their plants as part of the partnership.
Flowers were planted Wednesday, May 4, and Thursday. Vining petunias, vinca, pansies, bloody cranesbill and creeping zinnias.
Gee said the flower drive serves as EAST’s latest community service project.
It’s the organization’s vision that the pots can be used to plant different things seasonally.
“That’s our hope and wish,” Gee said.
She also hopes the city can contribute with the pots for the larger light poles that adorn the four corners of intersections along Fourth Street.
"I have to find more pots before we can do that because i am out of the pots," Gee said.
The partnership between EAST and downtown business owners also comes a month before the Tonganoxie Sesquicentennial celebration. The downtown also is expected to be enhanced with resurfacing of Fourth Street in the downtown district.
“I think the color and the flowers are adding some vibrancy to our town,” Gee said.