Missoula’s beloved Downtown Flower Baskets are scheduled to go up on Tuesday, May 20 beginning at 5:30 pm. Ninety-four baskets planted and maintained for the last three months by Pink Grizzly will be moved to the Central Park Parking Structure in the morning. Commencing after work, several community volunteers and Missoula Downtown Association (MDA) staff members will hang each basket on the street lights in Downtown Missoula.
The Downtown Flower Baskets is one of many programs created and managed by the Missoula Downtown Association in its effort to make Downtown Missoula the best and most beautiful place it can be. Other street décor programs managed by the MDA include the boulevard banner program, the American flags and the holiday décor.
The MDA purchases 94 flower baskets each year and waters them seven days per week. When temperatures are above 80 degrees Fahrenheit, MDA staff members water the baskets twice a day.
Seventy flower baskets are inserted into the black metal baskets that hang year-round. Designed by artist Russell Smith, son of Russell Smith, Sr., after whom the Federal Courthouse is named, the metal barrels were fabricated in 1981 and 1985. Each of those 70 baskets was individually-designed and crafted with a theme of their own. The remaining baskets of flowers are hung directly from new brackets that were fabricated and installed in a major expansion project in 2010.
“The Downtown Flower Baskets are one of Missoula’s most distinguishing characteristics,” said Brent Campbell, President of the Missoula Downtown Association Board of Directors. “The flowers are grown locally and maintained every single day by the dedicated staff of the MDA. The flower baskets are one of many things the MDA does to make Downtown Missoula the best it can be and to help our community and our visitors have a great experience Downtown.”
The MDA spends $11,400.00 on the Downtown Flower Baskets each year and uses membership dues to pay for those improvements.
For more information on the Downtown Flower Baskets, call 543-4238.