The Towson Chamber of Commerce will install 46 flowering planters around downtown Towson this week, director Nancy Hafford said.
The planters, which will each contain two boxwood bushes surrounded by perennial flowers, will bring “greening and flowering” to the downtown business core, Hafford said. They will be placed on major streets such as Pennsylvania, Chesapeake and Allegheny avenues and York Road, she said.
“We don’t want it to look like all sidewalk,” Hafford said, adding that the planters will give Towson “more of a sense of place.”
Hafford said the planters will cost about $30,000 to install and maintain.
One planter currently stands outside the Chamber’s office. Chamber membership coordinator Joan Sellers said they plan to start installing the rest on Thursday.
The planters are being funded in part by a $75,000 Community Legacy grant from the Maryland Office of Housing and Community Development, said the department’s communications director, Sara Luell.
The grant, awarded in fiscal year 2017, supports streetscape improvements in the downtown area.
“Part of the Community Legacy program’s goal is to support revitalization in aging communities,” Luell said. “We decided that this was a good investment for the community.”
“I think it’s a great idea,” said Daniela Troia, owner of the cafe Zia’s on Allegheny Avenue. “It can’t hurt if things look nice and our town looks nice.”
Hafford said the chamber purchased the plants from local business Radebaugh Florist and Greenhouses.
The boxwoods were chosen because they are green year-round — in the winter, Hafford is exploring the possibility of installing Christmas lights on the planters.
In the warmer months, the chamber will swap out seasonal flowers, she said.
Though the grant will help with installation, the chamber will pay for maintenance, watering and replacing the perennials, Hafford said.
The chamber director hopes that the planters are “contagious,” that local business see them and decide to install their own greenery in front of their shops.
“It really just brightens the area up,” Hafford said. “It doesn’t take a lot of money, it just takes a little effort.”