The Chamber’s Bowling Green Downtown Revitalization Committee has been working on numerous large projects over the years but the latest is what I will spotlight in this blog post.
After acquiring the vacant lots (shown above) where buildings were recently demolished we noticed how bare it looked and knew that if we wanted to start bringing our downtown back to life we needed to do something. Of course, the problem always lies within our limitations to funding, but our imagination has NO limitations and that is how we got where we are today.
Through many many emails, phone calls and help from the community we where able to get our plan into action: we are going to build some large concrete planters to border the lots, fill them with flowers and add a tall custom metal post in each so that we can hang banners, hanging flower baskets, lights; whatever we can think of in order to give some beauty to the area.
So here we are, nearly a year after the idea arose with large (3′ x 3′ x 3′) concrete planters being built, only a few away from our goal of 12. (Photo above shows them upside down). We can not thank Bleigh Ready Mix & 3B Machine and weld enough for their collaboration and volunteerism with this project as it has not cost us a penny so far (which is great when you work off of donations!). 3B Machine & Weld built the form needed for Bleigh to fill, using extra concrete from other jobs. They have been so easy to work with and we are so extremely grateful for their willingness to help us on this project.
Now, our next step will be a doozie. We need to get these big guys across town to our lots and moved into place. If you can imagine, they are extremely heavy so we had asked the community through facebook if anyone had the machinery needed to make this happen. Soon after Brennen Perkins with Perkins Electrical Service sends a message “I just bought a new kubota skid loader that we could use to help you out if need be.” UM, HECK YES! When asked, he also mentioned they may have a trailer to assist with the hauling. EVEN BETTER! Thanks Brennen! Alright, so it sounds like we have that step almost ready to go!
Once we get these big beauties into place it will be time to add in the custom metal posts. Guess who is helping with that project? Yup: 3B! We sent them our budget & plans, and they are going to start laying beads soon and hope to have them complete by mid June! Once we have these, we will need to get them bolted down to the inside bases of the planters then it’s onto the next step!
When we made our facebook post searching for help and volunteers we had another local gentlemen come to our rescue by the name of George Graver. He seen that we needed gravel hauled to use for filler and these planters and he was excited to offer to take care of this portion of the project for us – YES!!!!!!!! Can you hear my excitement?! Thank you George! Now we will just need to work on getting some help to fill the planters once we get the gravel!
Once we get the gravel filler in, then it’s time to get ready for the pretty part; the flowers! Tonya with Prairie’s Edge Garden Center has already been in touch and is getting us taken care of with soil and good choices of flowers. If you haven’t been to her store you need to go. Now. She has the prettiest of everything and a pumpkin patch & corn maze in the fall! So once we get these goodies picked up we need them planted; guess what, already have volunteers for that too! The local Heir Study Club as well as some Girl Scouts have offered to help plant all the flowers!
5/13/2020 Update: Eolia Landscape and Supply has offered to donate the top soil needed! YAY!!! Thank You!!
One of the last steps will be the icing on the cake; putting up banners/hanging baskets on the poles. Since we aren’t sure if it will be within our budget this year to do the hanging baskets, we thought we would start with the banners, and offer sponsorship opportunities to help fund this and potentially future projects. We are currently working with Deters Sign Co. here in town to create some large 17” x 36” banners that will boast sponsor logos on the bottom. If you are interested in being a sponsor let us know and we will put you on the list ($450 for 4 years) and we already have 5 of 12 sponsored! *Design shown above is not final, just using it to get the idea out there!*
Once all of these steps are complete, our final step will be to add color to the planters! We are thinking of getting local artists to paint murals on them that boast our local history on them; maybe we turn it into a contest? Who knows?!
In the hopefully not TOO far future, we think it would be an awesome idea to get these planters added throughout the entire town. We know there may be restrictions to where some of these may not be able to be placed, so once we get these first 12 in place, we will work on that next phase. I hope the community can share the excitement of this project with me. It may have been a difficult one to get going but nothing great ever came easy, right?
Help us “Beautify Bowling Green”; if you or someone you know would be able to help us out with this project or any other projects we have going on, please let us know! Find out more on the downtowns page right here >>>
Stay up to date with our committee’s work by visiting the webpage linked above or follow us on our facebook page. Our committee meets on the first Thursday of each month at 5pm at the BG Community Center (obviously not during the pandemic!) and we are always looking for fresh faces and ideas to help us bring life back to our downtown area!