City Council Work Session


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  6.       
Meeting Date: 09/08/2020  
From: Eliza Kretzmann, Beautification, Arts & Sciences Manager

TITLE

Downtown Flowers and Planters Update

STAFF RECOMMENDED ACTION:

For discussion only. This is an opportunity to share information on the downtown flower program, allow for questions, and to provide input for the future of the program.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY:
Beautification, Arts and Sciences staff brought a pilot flower project to downtown Flagstaff in 2020. Much as Holiday lights mark the winter season and draw the community and visitors to Flagstaff, flowers provide beautification to important community and commercial places in our downtown during the summer. We are now considering lessons learned, scope and focus for future years.

Elements of the project include:
  • A pollinator-focused garden in Heritage Square and more fully planted permanent planters
  • Hanging baskets on the ornamental lamp posts on streets near Heritage Square (24 total)
  • Expanded Use of Right-of-Way Plantings on Aspen Avenue and the perpendicular alley that runs south from Aspen toward Route 66: wine barrel plantings (11), whiskey barrel plantings (3)
Key findings from the pilot project include:
  • Technical findings such as the lamp posts downtown have the capacity for hanging baskets
  • The community response was very positive to the project
  • The pilot provided a good blueprint to build on in future years
  • Cost for a high-quality flower program in our environment is higher than staff expected. The flower vendor cost for our initial scope of hanging baskets and the Heritage Square planters was $38,900, and this was increased by about $8,000 to include additional elements for Expanded Use of Right-of-Way (the wine and whiskey barrel plantings). However, the project provided local jobs, supports local landscaping and nursery businesses and organizations, enhanced the vibrancy of the downtown, and beautification projects attract more income to cities.
  • In future years we may consolidate focus on Heritage Square and entry points for downtown, the Southside, etc. and consider a business buy-in program for streetscapes.

Community groups, internal stakeholders, and Commissions were informed or consulted about this project, including the Downtown Business Alliance, the Beautification and Public Arts Commission, the Southside Community Association, the Historic Preservation Commission, Sirius Structures (to assess capacity of the ornamental lampposts), and City of Flagstaff divisions including Public Works, Risk Management, and Community Development.
INFORMATION:

Goal CC.5: Support and promote art, science, and education resources for all to experience.

Goal LU.11: Prioritize the continual reinvigoration of downtown Flagstaff, whose strategic location, walkable blocks, and historic buildings will continue to be a vibrant destination for all.

Policy NH.2: Look to downtown Flagstaff as the primary focal point of the community character.

Council Goal: Economic Development: Grow and strengthen a more equitable and resilient economy.

Pollinator Planter: Council Goal: Environmental & Natural Resources: Actively manage and protect all environmental and natural resources.


Attachments
Flowers PowerPoint


    

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