UNION — A program designed to beautify downtown Union took another step toward achieving its goal when hanging baskets of flowers were placed along Main Street Wednesday morning.
Employees of the City of Union hung a total of 16 baskets filled with several different types of flowers on lamp posts beginning at the Union County Courthouse and running east along West Main Street.
Union County Development Board Executive Director Torance Inman said the hanging baskets are part of the beautification program initiated by the Union County Vibrancy Committee. Inman said the plants are the committee’s efforts to beautify downtown Union and other areas of Union County. He said plans are for the hanging baskets to remain along Main Street into November and then be brought back with the return of warm weather in 2017.
“The Community Vibrancy Committee worked with Bill Graham and Barbara Rippy to purchase the plants and pay for the first year’s planting,” Inman said. “We got sixteen plants from Roebuck Greenhouse in Spartanburg. Mr. John Bennett is the gardener at the greenhouse. He’s a Union native and he did a fabulous job with the flowers.
“For the first year the Chamber and Roger Harris will take care of maintaining the plants into November,” he said. “At that time they will be moved back to the greenhouse and nurtured there in the winter until next year.”
Inman said that if the hanging baskets prove successful and the project is approved for continuance by city council, then the city will take responsibility for them next year.
About The Vibrancy Committee
The Union County Community Vibrancy Committee was formed Jan. 1, 2015 with the goal of working with the City of Union, Union County, and other local organizations to improve, enhance and beautify the downtown area, parks and recreation areas. The committee plans to do this through the use of arts and culture, green space development and other creative projects.
At the time of its formation, the committee was composed of community advocates representing a broad segment of the local leadership. The members included Inman, Ola Jean Kelly, Robert Garner, Curtiss Hunter, Graham Williams, Annie Smith, Mary Ann Miller, and Brad Greer.
To begin the process of beautifying the downtown area, the parks, and recreation areas, the committee proposed a three-phase program of removing and replacing thee trees that were on Main Street at the time. The phases of the program included:
• Removal the existing trees
• Remove stumps and roots manually with care to be taken as to not damage sidewalks and electrical systems while removing as much of the wood as possible.
• Reestablish the top soil in each planting square with topsoil and nutrient based solutions to stabilize and sustain growth.
• Replace trees at appropriate locations though the replacement tree species could possibly vary somewhat depending on the location such as intersections versus sidewalk areas.
• Add public art, fountains, floral islands or planters where tree replacement is not feasible.
Inman said that the first two phases have been completed and that the committee is working on the third. He said the hanging baskets are not part of that plan, but is designed to complement it and other beautification efforts.
This hanging basket is one of 16 placed along Main Street as part of a beautification program initiated by the Union County Community Vibrancy Committee.
Charles Warner can be reached at 864-762-4090.