Hanging flower baskets like these are adorning Bay Street sidewalks, courtesy of the Port Orchard Bay Street Association and its benefactors. (File photo)

Hanging flower baskets like these are adorning Bay Street sidewalks, courtesy of the Port Orchard Bay Street Association and its benefactors. (File photo)

It’s blooming all over on Bay Street

But nature’s beauty comes at a cost, POBSA says

PORT ORCHARD — The beautiful hanging baskets adorning downtown sidewalks on Bay Street are in full bloom this spring month.

And while they remind shoppers in downtown Port Orchard that spring has sprung, it’s good to know that their beautiful presence is courtesy of the downtown merchants group, the Port Orchard Bay Street Association, which ordered and paid for the flower baskets that line two blocks of Bay Street.

POBSA is also responsible for the concrete sidewalk planters on Bay Street. The organization at one time purchased plants and placed them in the planters; these days, they have recruited individuals, community groups and businesses to take part in the current “Adopt-a-Planter” effort. The program has saved the association from having to expend funds and has engaged the community in planting, watering and caring for the 57 downtown planters.

POBSA president Coreen Haydock said she was inspired to adopt out the planters because of the popularity of the city’s Christmas Tree Adoption project.

Haydock said POBSA is also responsible for the irrigation system on the marquee, which waters the hanging baskets. The system needs periodic repair and maintenance, she said.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, POBSA’s finances have suffered from a downturn of paid dues and event funding, which put the fate of the 2021 hanging baskets in jeopardy. A grant from Kitsap Bank and contributions of $100 each from 11 individuals known as the “Bloomer Sponsors,” however, raised enough money to pay for this year’s baskets and make repairs to at least one block of irrigation.

POBSA repaired two blocks of irrigation last year, Haydock said, but more funds will be needed to repair another block of irrigation — or to have volunteers water the hanging baskets.

May Day Basket Contest

The May Day Basket Contest, the third POBSA beautification project that began in 2019, was canceled last year because of the pandemic. But it’s back in 2021, the POBSA president said. The project is modeled after a similar contest that has taken place for decades in Annapolis, Maryland.

“Restaurants, stores, salons, shops and businesses are encouraged to design and display a May Day basket or display for the enjoyment of customers, residents and walkers,” Haydock said.

The May Day baskets and displays must include some fresh flowers or live plant material and be in place hanging on the door or outside the door or walkway by noon on April 30 for judging, she added.

Winners will be announced on May 1. Members of the public can vote on the People’s Choice until May 5. For more information on the programs or to assist with funds for water irrigation repair, visit pobsa.com or email pobsainfo@gmail.com.

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