Flowerscape program

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We appreciate the work Keep Akron Beautiful does in the City, but more importantly to the Soap Box Derby. The flowers that Keep Akron Beautiful provides improves the look for all of our visitors throughout the course of the year. Your team does and great job and we can’t thank you enough.
Mark Gerberich
President & CEO of International Soap Box Derby

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Sponsor a Flowerscape

  • W. Exchange St. and Dart (one corner south at Innerbelt)
  • Bartges and Dart median
  • Lower Lock 3
  • Church St near parking deck
  • Cotter Park
  • Gale and Exchange
  • Glendale Steps
  • Triplett at Rotary in front of Christopher Columbus Memorial
  • Main St. near Huntington Bank
  • Mull Ave

2018 Flowerscape Insights

Throughout the 2018 growing season, we made considerable efforts to use sustainable land management techniques during our beautification process. By adding trees, shrubs, and perennials to our beds, we intend to limit the amount of resources we use to maintain our sites. In addition, adding longevity to our beds through the use of perennials will help with: urban heat reduction, storm water runoff, create habitat for our local wildlife and limit our overall impact on non-target environments.  We have focused on creating beautiful spaces for public observation that serve multiple functions to our community and environment. 

The Flowerscape crew is continuing to experience great success with the reseeding of annuals such as: Rudbeckia, salvia, cleome, and gomphrena in our larger Flowerscapes. 

Beware that the Downy Mildew problem still exists on the common variety of Impatiens. The Flowerscape crew uses New Guinea Impatiens as a substitute, since it is not susceptible to the disease.

History of Flowerscape

Flowerscape began in 1982 when Judy Isroff, KAB’s Executive Coordinator, was confident that Akron could emulate Cuyahoga Falls, its neighbor to the North, and managed to convince the KAB Board of Trustees that a similar beautification program was worth pursuing. 

KAB hired a part-time Flowerscape Director and contracted with the Portage Path Mental Health Center for the labor force.  KAB planted approximately 17,250 flowers  and paid a flower bill of $2,020.12. With the direction and assistance of the City Planning Department, the following were the first seven sites to be planted: 

  • Main Street Planters
  • South Main Street Median: at Goodrich
  • West Market Street & Rand:  corner at Innerbelt
  • Derby Downs
  • Broadway & South:  triangle near Expressway
  • Voris & Broadway:  two exits at Expressway exit
  • Grant Street:  flower beds at Exchange, Wheeler (6 beds) and at Triplett Blvd

Throughout the years, the KAB Flowerscape program has grown from these 7 sites and the annual cost of flowers has grown from $2,000 to over $18,000. Since the start of the program in 1982, over 1 million flowers have been planted to beautify the City of Akron!

In 2012, there were KAB Flowerscapes sites on every traffic island, city corner and expressway ramp downtown. In addition, there were floral displays at Alexander Park, Cotter Park, Lock III Park and Judith Bear Isroff Park! The 39 beautification locations in 2012 had over 36,000 plants installed and the most advanced computerized timers controlling the sprinkling systems. The 2013 Flowerscape budget was $140,000 but as the program has become more efficient and professional over the years, the agency has managed to keep the budget stable.

The degree of pride generated by these oases of color is well worth the continued support of the private sector, from which supplemental monies for this public project needs to be raised annually.

It takes a full-time Flowerscape Director months to do landscape plans and place nursery orders. Then, just about the time of our largest community volunteer effort, Clean Up Akron Month-April, our paid Forewoman and 2-person crew are preparing the beds for another successful season of blooming color!

Thank you to our Flowerscape Sponsors

The Orr Family Foundation sponsors the Howard & Ridge Street corner Flowerscape (Cuyahoga Valley Railway Station) and the new Glendale Cemetery site.

Akron Children’s Hospital sponsors the Flowerscape at E. Exchange and Dart.

The Orr Family Foundation sponsors the  Glendale Cemetery site.

Akron Community Foundation sponsors the Flowerscape at the Corner of Cedar and Maple Streets.

The Mary S. and David C. Corbin Foundation sponsors the Lion Bed by Courthouse.

Dominion sponsors the Flowerscape site located at Civic Mall – Charles Goodyear Park (across from City Hall).

The Lehner Family Foundation sponsors the Flowerscape on Cascade Plaza.

The Charles E. and Mabel M. Ritchie Memorial Foundation sponsors the Flowerscape at Grant Street (Large Median).

Sponsors give $4,000 of support to Keep Akron Beautiful, in order to maintain the Flowerscapes listed. All of the donors are recognized throughout the year on the Flowerscape signs in the respective beds. See more about donors on our Giving Page. Become a Keep Akron Beautiful sponsor today. 

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