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Indian Orchard Blooms With Flower Baskets For Another Spring

A beautification campaign is spreading in one neighborhood in Springfield, Massachusetts and catching attention elsewhere in the city.

It started in the winter of 2018 with plans by a business group to hang 50 baskets of flowering plants from light poles in the Indian Orchard neighborhood. By springtime the demand for flower baskets had grown to 75.

" And throughout the season it gave us such pride to drive by or walk by and see the baskets in bloom," remarked Zaida Govan, president of the Indian Orchard Citizens Council.

" It was amazing," said Govan.

Now in its second year, the Indian Orchard Blooms Campaign will have 125 flower baskets, according to Govan.

Businesses can sponsor a basket for $130.  The city provided a list of locations where the baskets can be hanged.

"If a business purchases a basket, we try has much as possible to have it in front of that business, and we place them strategically," said Govan.

Paul Caron, chair of the Indian Orchard Business Connections Committee, said the flowers were grown at a greenhouse in North Carolina.

" They are Nicaraguan geraniums with vinca vines," said Caron. " They'll be in bloom from now until mid-October."

The flowers will be watered every three days, according to Caron.

"Residents from around the city are driving through Indian Orchard because they have heard about this flower campaign and we are clearly becoming the neighborhood known as ' The Hanging Gardens of Babylon' in Springfield," said Caron.

Other neighborhoods have taken notice.  Caron was contacted by the Sixteen Acres Civic Association and will launch a beautification campaign in that neighborhood next year.

" Like I tell people I feel like the Johnny Appleseed of flowers," Caron said, adding he would love to see the beutification campaign spread throughout the city.

Several city councilors joined with neighborhood business owners Thursday for a ceremony to hang the first basket of flowers from a light pole in front of the Indian Orchard Library on Oak Street.

"It seems that flowers raise everyone's spirits," said Caron.

The record-setting tenure of Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno. The 2011 tornado and its recovery that remade the largest city in Western Massachusetts. The fallout from the deadly COVID outbreak at the Holyoke Soldiers Home. Those are just a few of the thousands and thousands of stories WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill has covered for WAMC in his nearly 17 years with the station.
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