The A-1 Home Healthcare Center has been named the planter of the month for August.
The initiative, sponsored by the Self-Supported Municipal Improvement District, places flowering plants and foliages in metal planters positioned on the sidewalks in front of businesses.
The planters were given out to businesses for free on a first-come, first-served basis. The businesses are then responsible for filling the planters and taking care of them during the growing season.
-Messenger photo by Peter Kaspari
Connie Lind-Fraher, vice president of A-1 Home Healthcare Center, looks over their pumpkin plant in front of their business at 1105 First Ave. N. with warehouse employee Ronald Poldervaart. A-1 was selected as the August planter of the month by the Self-Supported Municipal Improvement District. Lind-Fraher said the entire office is excited about the designation and believes the initiative improves the appearance of downtown Fort Dodge.
Connie Lind-Fraher, vice president of A-1, said the company has been supportive of the project.
"I think it's made a huge difference in the way our downtown area works," she said. "It adds a little bit of continuity to the downtown area, even though the planters all look a little bit different."
Lind-Fraher said the office is looking forward to taking care of the planter.
How to participate
To reserve a planter for this year or next, a business representative can complete a form and submit it to Stephanie Houk Sheetz, senior planner with Fort Dodge's Business Affairs and Community Growth Department. Forms are available online at www.fortdodgeiowa.org under the Departments menu bar for Business Affairs and Community Growth, where there is a Web page for SSMID, or by calling 576-8191 to request a form by email.
"We plant flowers in our office anyway, so it's a nice complement," she said. "We just enjoy having it out there."
She added the staff is already making plans to decide how they can use the plant in the future.
"We plan to change the flowers according to the seasons," Lind-Fraher said. "Hopefully we'll even be able to put a little Christmas tree out there too."
She said she sees the project as improving downtown Fort Dodge.
"We're excited about the program and we hope more businesses are inspired to put a plant out front," she said. "It's a way to make our downtown more attractive."
The district is conducting a monthly contest to recognize the most creatively maintained planter, with an overall winner to be named in November.
That winner will receive up to $150 worth of plants paid for by the district next year.