If you’ve driven down Main Street lately, you’ve probably seen our local version of what is now a popular TV show theme, a business makeover. Heritage Bank (at the corner of Wood and Main) won a free outdoor landscape makeover from Windmill Gardens at our May Sumner Downtown Association meeting which focused on façade improvements with flowers. The winning makeover also came with a year’s maintenance as well. So congratulations to Heritage Bank as it really makes the front entrance, which was great to begin with, look even more inviting.
And if you look across the intersection to Main Street Dairy Freeze, you’ll see some new additions there as well. Dairy Freeze owner, Paul Qualey, recently told me he wanted some flowers and landscaping done but was concerned about putting up low-hanging baskets. Kudos to the creative staff at Windmill Gardens for coming up with another creative solution. They put flower boxes on top of the roof front and a large galvanized planter by the picnic table outside. It looks great and I love that a local business owner utilized local talents and resources. From my perspective, that’s as good as it gets.
These aren’t the only downtown businesses that utilize outdoor flowers for façade enhancements during the summer months. I know this firsthand, because I was fortunate enough to be a tour guide this week for Nancy Lenihan’s third- and fourth-grade class at Daffodil Valley Elementary School. I set off on foot from City Hall with my tour guide partner, Ryan Windish, senior planner for the city, and about 25 students with chaperones as we walked the streets of downtown explaining the history and mechanics of walkable communities.
I handed out wooden train whistles to each of the students, (compliments of the Old Cannery Furniture Warehouse) at our first stop, the commuter train station. Each time we stopped on the tour or a train went by, we all blew the whistles to celebrate the amount of trains that rumble through our downtown on a daily basis. It was fun to stop and blow the whistles at Whistle Stop Antique Mall, but we also stopped to admire the beautiful flowers planted outside Simple Tidings and Kitchen.
Another fun stop was at the Ryan House Museum where curator Vicki Connors and her husband Mike showed the students though the great local history displayed inside.
So whether it’s flowering façade improvements or downtown tours, I am constantly amazed at how many of our community resources are more than willing to come together to help or enhance. The student tour, which has now been dubbed the “Windish Whistle Stop Tour” was a hoot and the students loved seeing all the business owners who stepped outside to say hi as we walked along. So to all the businesses and community leaders who contribute to the downtown image that is uniquely Sumner, a simple thanks for all you do.
It’s why students, parents, their family and friends, all look forwarding to spending some time in Sumner.