Flowerscape program


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


Sponsor a Flowerscape

  • W. Exchange St. and Dart (one corner south at Innerbelt)
  • Gale and Exchange
  • Glendale Steps
  • Triplett at Rotary in front of Christopher Columbus Memorial

Add a new Flowerscape

Do you know an area around Akron that could use a beautiful garden? If you are interested in sponsoring a new Flowerscape site, contact our Flowerscape Director, Leah Heiser, at [email protected] or at 330.375.2116, option 7. 

2023 Flowerscape Insights

2023 was a great season for the Flowerscape Program! We were fully staffed all season long and we got a ton accomplished! Along with the twenty gardens that we install and maintain each season, we installed a brand-new garden on the corner of Thornton and Dart which is a partnership with the Ohio & Erie Canalway Coalition and funded by The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Filled with boulders, trees, and many native plants, this new garden is a site for sore eyes for any who use the Ohio Erie Canal and drive past this site. Our Flowerscape Program places a concerted effort on using Ohio native plants to support our local ecosystems- come check it out next spring! We also re-designed and installed a garden on the left side of the Police Station downtown, thanks to the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #7. This challenging site is under two Norway Maples which required a well-thought-out design. The root systems of Norway Maples make understory plantings difficult, but KAB chose shallow rooted perennials that will thrive under these thought growing conditions. An experimental wildflower garden was planted on Broadway St. in front of the Metro RTA building. The Flowerscape crew spread thousands of wildflower seeds in hopes to create a beautiful wildlife habitat for 2024. Major renovation plans started to take place this season at Alexander Park. KAB has a five-phase plan to get this historical park looking well-maintained and more manageable. We have partnered with Akron Park’s Collaborative to gain funding to re-plant this park with low-lying perennials which will hopefully deter criminal behavior that often takes place in the park. For the fourth year in a row, KAB has partnered with Great Streets Akron to design and plant 70 large floral containers in the 13 business districts throughout Akron. With the help of Akron’s Finest Mulch, the Flowerscape crew was able to re-plant the front of our office building with beautiful native trees and plants. As always, KAB plants hundreds of daffodil bulbs each fall to add to our Daffodil tour in the spring.

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 (Cuyahoga Valley Railway Station).

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 Alexander Park.

Downtown Akron Partnership sponsors the Lion Bed on High St.

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

The Downtown Akron Partnership sponsors the Flowerscape at the Harold J. Stubbs Justice Center.

The Lehner Family Foundation sponsors the Flowerscape on Main Street from West Market to Exchange.

The Ohio & Erie Canalway Coalition sponsors the planter boxes on Pedestrian Bridge.

The Downtown Akron Partnership sponsors the Flowerscape at Hotel Matthews.

The Downtown Akron Partnership sponsors the Flowerscape at the greenspace between Main St. and Cascade Plaza, left of the Huntington building. 

The Downtown Akron Partnership sponsors the south side of Church Street, off of High Street near the Municipal Building. 

FirstEnergy sponsors the Flowerscape on top of Cascade Plaza.

The Downtown Akron Partnership sponsors the Flowerscape at High Street, next to the Akron Art Museum and John S. Knight Center. 

The Ohio & Erie Canalway Coalition sponsors Lock 4. 

Sponsors give $5,000 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.