By LINDA LOBECK
IRON MOUNTAIN - The Iron Mountain Beautification Project, coordinated through the Downtown Development Authority, has been a success with the enhancements making the city more inviting, pedestrian friendly and enjoyable.
Theresa Proudfit/Daily News Photo
Pat Nicometo, left, assists Iron Mountain city workers Pete LaPointe, top, and Jason Gustafson, as a flower basket is placed on East Ludington Street in Iron Mountain. Volunteers continue to make an impact on the beautification of the Iron Mountain downtown area. The efforts are organized through the Iron Mountain Downtown Development Authority. Sponsorship donations are being sought to continue the program and expand it to other areas in the city.
The efforts to beautify the city of Iron Mountain through flowers started three years ago with just a couple of people, noted volunteer Pat Nicometo. "It is strictly volunteer driven," she added.
But to maintain what has been developed, and expand the efforts to more of the business district and corridors, the DDA and the volunteers need help through fund-raising donations.
A donation can be made to sponsor planters each year, purchase new planters or hanging baskets, or by just making a general donation for needed items.
The first efforts at beautification were centered along Stephenson Avenue and in some of the main parking lot areas as well as side streets on the eastside of downtown Iron Mountain.
"The vision is to expand the beautification throughout the downtown districts, which is a large area," Nicometo said. "Our objective is to triple beautification in the coming years."
Currently, the project includes 35 sidewalk planters, 22 light pole hanging baskets, five parking lot island areas and plantings at the Out to Lunch park across from the Dickinson County Library.
This year, the beautification group will be adding sidewalk planters along Carpenter Avenue as well as sponsored planters in other areas. This planting and preparation work is done by unpaid volunteers and new volunteers are always welcome to join the group in its efforts to beautify Iron Mountain. This work started over the Memorial Day weekend.
At a cost of approximately $10,500, the 2013 effort includes flower materials, gas, maintenance of equipment, fertilizer and contracted part-time watering labor.
"Increased private donations allows us to increase beautification efforts," noted MIke Nicometo, chairman of the Downtown Development Authority.
He added that in order to keep the flowers each year, a plan needs to be in place. That is why they have come up with four different ways people can make contributions to the project.
Sponsor and donation forms for beautification efforts are available through the city hall office. Donations can be made out to the City of Iron Mountain Downtown Development Authority and mailed to 501 S. Stephenson Ave., Iron Mountain, MI 49801.
The Nicometos are also available to meet with sponsors and answers any questions they might have about the project. They can be reached by calling city hall at 774-8530.
The four types of donations include $100 for an annual maintenance sponsorship; $275 for the purchase of a sidewalk planter; $225 for a hanging basket planter purchase and sponsorship; or a general donation of any amount.
Sponsorship donations to the beautification efforts can be made anonymously or names can be placed on a list of donors that will be recognized and displayed at city hall.
Linda Lobeck's email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.