Flowery day in Old Colorado City as neglected barrels planted

       Old Colorado City added color by the barrel load this week… about 25, in all.

Variously colored flowers sprout in a whisky barrel outside the El Dorado Art Gallery.
Westside Pioneer photo

       That was the rough number of whiskey barrels that were planted with flowers, given dirt too (in cases where they were empty) and possibly even relocated into the bargain.
       “I would say all the merchants were very happy. They thanked us for doing it,” said Bernideen Canfield, a shop owner herself and president of the Historic District Merchants (HDM) of Old Colorado City. The group (which also bought bags of dirt) got help in the colorizing project with volunteer planting help from the Old Colorado City Security & Maintenance District and City Parks (which provided the flowers).
       The barrels were introduced several years ago in a group effort aimed at making the Historic Shopping District more attractive, but over time, with changes in shop owners and Old Town business leadership, as well as a continuing recession, many of the barrels were getting neglected.
       “Once it was clear nobody else was going to pick up the responsibility, we made our minds up to get the job done,” Canfield said.
       The new plan is to find an adopter (typically the owner of the nearest store) to water and otherwise care for each of the barrels. With any luck, such folks might be inspired “to add flowers of their own,” added Judy Kasten, past chair of the Maintenance District's advisory committee.
       That's why some of the barrels were relocated, so they'd be near merchants who'd take care of them, Canfield said.
       Additional landscaping is on its way. Danny Gieck, City Parks liaison to the Maintenance District, said that new sod will be laid in places along the sidewalks where foot traffic over time has worn the grass away. That work was getting started June 30. The sod cost is being covered by the district, which gets its funding from a tax on the property owners in the Historic Shopping District area of Old Colorado City.

Westside Pioneer article