Magazine article Sunset

Students Help Dress Up Everett's Streets with Baskets and Boxes

Magazine article Sunset

Students Help Dress Up Everett's Streets with Baskets and Boxes

Article excerpt

Students help dress up Everett's streets with baskets and boxes

Growing flowering plants in hanging baskets and storefront beds is a charming way to dress up downtown streets. But the cost of plant material and labor makes this a luxury that many tightly budgeted Western cities can't afford. Here's one solution: in Everett, Washington, high school students grow annual flowers for their city's parks and downtown streets-- for school credit.

In 1984, Everett's parks and recreation department could no longer afford to staff its greenhouses in Forest Park. At the same time, Everett High School was attempting to establish a horticultural program but had no greenhouses. In 1986, the city funded renovation of the greenhouses and purchased a new boiler to heat them. Then the school district authorized Everett High to set up the program it wanted, with access to the city's greenhouses. One goal of the program: to provide annuals for the city--which before had contracted out flower growing at a cost of $6,000 a year.

Seed sowing in the greenhouses begins in January, starting annuals such as calceolaria, geraniums, impatiens, lobelia, nemesia, petunias, and verbena. …

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