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We need your help to continue with the Hanging Baskets in Downtown Pueblo. 
2017 Hanging Basket Donors
A HUGE and HEARTFELT thank you
goes to the following folks and organizations 
for 
helping KPB raise the 2017 goal: $15,000!!

  • PEDCO Foundation
  • The Pueblo Downtown Association

  • Banner & Bower, P.C.
  • Thatcher Building
  • The Greater Pueblo Chamber of Commerce
  • Monday Night Ladies
  • Ameriprise Financial Services
  • Colorado Lottery
  • Jones-Healy Inc., Realtors
  • Legacy Bank
  • Premier Mortgage
  • pueblo Association of Realtors
  • T.R. Toppers
  • Waterfront, LLC
  • Kevin Barickman
  • Christy Naranjo & Kelly Tucker
  • Barbara Vidmar
  • H.E. & Marty Wilcoxson
  • Tom & Jean Latka
  • Kerrelyn Trent
  • Jay & Lori Winner
  • Eric Bernauer
  • Jacquie Huffaker
  • Minnequa Works Credit Union
  • Blazer Electric Supply co
  • Brues Alehouse
  • Colorado Bluesky Enterprises
  • Rush's Pueblo Lumber
  • Bill & Mona Askwig
  • Don & Helen Banner
  • Jeff & Paula Chostner
  • Eddie & Neta DeRose
  • Sally Lincoln
  • Rob Redwine
  • Mary & Jay Tonne
  • PEO Sisterhood: Chapter GO
  • Razmataz
  • Spangler's Home Fashions, Inc
  • Valerie Giglio

Downtown Pueblo Hanging Basket History

By Diane Patterson

 

Early in the spring of 2011 Gary Trujillo, of the Urban Renewal Authority, approached me about hanging baskets of flowers on Main Street between First and Fourth Streets.  I was doubtful that flowers in hanging baskets would be able to survive our brutally hot summers on streets surrounded with pavement and concrete. 

 

I did some research on-line and found the firm of Bloommaster in Vernal, Utah. They provide made-in-the U.S.A. products of durable plastic that can be used year after year.  Their 6-gallon hanging basket was advertised to provide more plantable surface area and to have greater soil volume than typical hanging baskets. The greater volume would retain moisture longer and perhaps give our plants a shot at survival. I got a price break if I ordered a case of fourteen.

 

I realized that daily and sometimes twice-daily watering would be necessary. And there are no water taps available on Main Street. That meant a water tank would be needed, and a pump to get the water up to the plants. I bought a tank, battery operated pump and a hose with a long wand at the local farming supply store.  To move the tank I bought a 2-wheeled dolly. Gary knew of a retired man that wanted a part-time job and was willing to water the baskets 7 days per week.

 

I knew planting out the baskets would be no problem. I volunteered the wonderful group of ladies who make up the Wednesday Weeders. That first year 14 baskets were planted in my backyard in late April and early May. I kept my fingers crossed that we would have no late frosts.

 

When it came time to hang the baskets, Eileen Boughton, head gardener with the Parks Department, volunteered Park’s staff and a flat-bed truck to put the baskets in place. Without them, I don’t know how the Wednesday Weeders would have gotten the baskets hung.

 

Through a lot of cooperation with volunteers and city staff, Main Street benefitted from beautiful hanging flower baskets the summer of 2011.  It was proven that it could be done in hot, dry Pueblo, CO.

 

In 2012, the Wednesday Weeders planted 24 baskets for Main Street .The program expanded a bit and in 2013, 51 baskets were planted for Main Street and City Center Drive. In 2014, 51 baskets again were hung and in 2015, 48 were hung.  

 

Each year since 2011, it has been a struggle to put together the resources to make the hanging baskets possible.  Funding has changed from year to year with fewer funds available from governmental sources.  As of 2015, all funds were from private citizen and merchant donations and Keep Pueblo Beautiful Association assumed the responsibility of organization and fund-raising.  We still have help from the City of Pueblo Park employees in allowing Wednesday Weeders to plant the baskets in the Mineral Palace Greenhouse and the staff waters the baskets until they are hung. Each year Eileen rounds up a crew to hang the baskets for us in the spring and takes them down and stores them in the fall.

 

Watering has proven to be a significant piece of the budget. Let’s figure that watering occurs once daily from May 13th to October 13th:  22 weeks or 154 days. At one dollar per basket with 51 baskets that adds to $7,854 (154 * 51 = 7,854). Bids actually came in higher per pot:  from $1.31 to $2.50. Don’t forget to add weekly fertilization and additional watering if temperatures go above 100 degrees. If the City contracts the watering, union prices must apply and the cost is 2.5 to 3 times higher.  When the City was paying for the watering, each basket cost around $350 to keep watered.

 

In 2013 the two-armed brackets that the baskets hang on cost $130 installed. One-armed brackets placed on a building in 2015 cost $161.25 each installed. Baskets themselves cost $20 each bought in bulk. The majority of the baskets can be used many times, but each year a few are stolen or destroyed by vandalism and must be replaced.

 

Plants, soil and tie-downs each year run from $ 58 to $106 per basket. The difference is determined by the type of plants purchased.  Flowers grown from seedlings are less expensive. Plants grown from vegetative starts are 3 to 4 times more expensive.

 

I would like to see the program not only continued from year to year, but expanded further down Main Street.  Please consider making a contribution for this very worthwhile program of bringing color and life to our downtown.


Hanging Baskets of Pueblo