Flowers in Hoquiam meant for all

I am writing in response to Jim Blake’s concerns about placement of the flower boxes (planters) attached on the fence along Central play park in Hoquiam. Upon learning of his complaint, we immediately checked and found that the boxes do hang over the sidewalk about 6 inches. However, we also found that two people could walk side by side without touching the boxes. There seems to be adequate room.

Here’s a little background information. The Hoquiam Beautification Committee (HBC) is an advisory group to the city of Hoquiam. It is a group of volunteers who wish to show the pride we have for our community by helping to weed, prune, trim, and plant in established gardens throughout the city. Last year, through much fundraising effort and donations from private citizens, HBC was able to purchase the flower pots placed mostly along Simpson Avenue. I was present at the meetings when decisions were made about placement of these pots. One major concern we had was NOT to block passage along the sidewalks. As Mr. Blake noted in his letter of May 21, and as we discussed and acknowledged at our meetings, mobility on sidewalks can be challenging for the elderly or handicapped. There are guidelines with specific measurements regarding required sidewalk width for clearance of pedestrians and wheelchairs, etc. on sidewalks. The flower pots are placed following those guidelines. In no way, do we wish to impede anyone walking past the flower boxes or flower pots.

We, the people living here, get to enjoy the blooms every day. It is for our pleasure and pride that the gardens at the library, city hall, Welcome to Hoquiam signs, and along the streets are filled with flowers. Yes, it does look nice for anyone from outside the area driving through Hoquiam. Yes, it does make a good impression on tourists from across the country. However, it is for us and our daily enjoyment that the volunteers for HBC, in partnership with the city of Hoquiam, have worked so hard to beautify Hoquiam. In the dark, wet winter, HBC, local businesses, and the city kept the lights shining on the lampposts and buildings of downtown Hoquiam. Like the flower pots, that was for us.

We are always looking for funds to help us continue our projects. In the coming weeks, we will be adding to our work at Chevron Park. Anyone reading this who would like to get involved, please check out the Hoquiam Beautification Committee Facebook page for information. If you wish to donate to our projects, please make the check payable to City of Hoquiam, 609 8th Street, and write “HBC” on the memo line.

Susan Varland