art of the mission of the Gig Harbor Downtown Waterfront Alliance is to preserve and enhance the existing character of the waterfront district. In pursuit of that goal, over the last nine summers the Alliance has purchased and maintained the beautiful hanging baskets that grace our downtown waterfront from May to September. The effort involves procuring the baskets and recruiting, training, and managing the daily watering crews. Over the past several years we have been able to field an impressive core of volunteers that includes property owners, local businesses, and private citizens.
Each year the Alliance recruits volunteers to join this hardworking, dedicated team. Watering takes place bright and early (5:00am start) before parking spaces near the baskets become filled. This is only a twice a month obligation – and requires a team of two. The baskets hang from late May to early September. Interested? Contact the Alliance office for more information.
Special thanks to our 2017 volunteers who faithfully watered every morning at 5:00am, and to our wonderful sponsors, Columbia Bank and the Rotary Club of Gig Harbor. Additional basket sponsorships came from Joanie Mitton, Green Cottage Pets, Richard & Judith Russell, and Lisa Hystek Photographyt. Thank you for your support!
Gig Harbor Downtown Waterfront Alliance Received 2013 Excellence on Main Award for
Summer Flower Basket Program
The Gig Harbor Downtown Waterfront Alliance was honored with the “Green Community” award for their summer flower basket program at Washington Main Street’s Excellence on Main Awards on May 16, 2013 in Vancouver, WA. The ceremony was held in conjunction with RevitalizeWA, Washington State’s Preservation and Main Street Conference.
By successfully working together, the Alliance, the City of Gig Harbor, and an increasing number of sponsors and volunteers are helping add even more color to Gig Harbor’s beautiful downtown waterfront.
Each year since 2009, the Alliance has funded the purchase of 80 to 100 flower baskets that grace the historic downtown waterfront district throughout the summer. The Alliance has been able to procure financial sponsorship to help cover a portion of the cost of the baskets, and in 2012 they took the project to a new level of success with the first corporate sponsor. Money raised from the sale of goodie bags at the popular “Girls Night Out” event each November also was earmarked to provide support to this important beautification project.
In addition to the financial support of the project, the Alliance now recruits and mobilizes a crew of over 30 volunteers who faithfully water the baskets in teams of two every morning beginning at 5am from May through September. This is a volunteer crew that has seen growth in numbers every year with volunteers donating over 500 hours in 2013 alone.
“The partnership shared with the City of Gig Harbor on the flower baskets is what makes this project possible,” said Mary DesMarais, Executive Director of the Alliance. “The City provides the watering truck and water and all truck maintenance. They City’s Public Works Department receives the baskets in the spring, hangs them throughout the district, and removes them in the fall.”
“Gig Harbor’s flower baskets are not only beautiful, but the project emphasizes the importance of the partnerships between the Alliance, the City of Gig Harbor and the countless sponsors and volunteers,” said Sarah Hansen, Washington State Main Street Coordinator. “The baskets enhance the already stunning setting of the bay and create an unbeatable ambiance for all to enjoy.”
The Excellence on Main Awards, organized by the Washington State Main Street Program, recognizes communities, organizations, and individuals who are helping to achieve economic vitality and build sustainable communities through downtown revitalization and preservation. Washington’s Main Street Program is housed in the Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation and administered, under contract, by the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation.