Flower baskets

Every year, the GFWC Menomonie Woman's Club beautifies downtown Menomonie by hanging 80 baskets of colorful petunias.

We hope everyone is enjoying the beautiful flower baskets that were hung recently on 80 light poles throughout downtown Menomonie. But do most people ever think about how they got there? And what is involved after they are hung?

The hanging baskets have been a major project of the GFWC Menomonie Woman’s Club since the Victorian light poles were installed by the city a number of years ago. The project started out small, but has increased in size over the years, with 160 baskets being purchased by the club for the past several years.

Planning for the project actually begins shortly after the baskets are taken down in the fall. Decisions on a variety of questions, such as the size of the baskets, flower choices and so on, are made with a local greenhouse for the purchase of the baskets the following spring. For the past four years, the baskets have been purchased from Season’s Harvest Greenhouse, located just north of Menomonie.

In the early spring, the club begins work on the mailing sent out to businesses and community residents, asking for donations for the baskets. Not only does the club purchase the baskets, they also cover the expenses for the upkeep of the baskets all summer long. It is estimated that each basket costs the club approximately $55 – multiply that by 160 baskets, and the club needs to raise nearly $9,000 a year.

The club partners with the city of Menomonie which assists by hanging the baskets, but it doesn’t end there. Each morning during the summer, the baskets have to be watered. To accomplish this, the club has invested in a tractor and watering wagon, plus it covers the cost of the watering staff,as well as the insurance, gas and maintenance for the equipment.

It’s no easy feat to maintain this project, and the club couldn’t do it without the support of the community. Those who enjoy the baskets and wish to assist, the club is still accepting donations to cover the costs associated with the project. Tax deductible donations can be sent to the CFDC/GFWC Menomonie Woman’s Club, PO Box 498, Menomonie, WI 54751.

For more information about the Woman’s Club and its other activities can contact me at 715-309-2051 or Judy Fry, co-president, at 715-235-5846.

Linda Rundle is co-president of the GFWC Menomonie Woman’s Club.

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Dunn County News editor

Barbara Lyon is the editor of The Dunn County News in Menomonie, WI.