Last Tuesday morning, Parks and Community Service’s staff hoisted two sets of hanging baskets on First Street, following earlier bracket installation by City Public Works crews.

The two sets of four baskets located at 370 First Street and adjacent 828 First Street are part of a pilot program designed to measure the longevity and compatibility of the basket’s plant material with the climate on First Street.

“Water and wind. Those are the variables for which staff is evaluating. We want to observe how the plant material sustains against the wind that we experience on First Street.” Said Parks and Community Services Supervisor Theron Jones.

The pilot program will run for a period of six months, concluding in October. After which time City staff will evaluate the results and at that time be able to definitively state if hanging baskets are a feasible option to beautify First Street.

The brackets for the two sets of lamp posts were fabricated by Benicia company C.E. Toland & Son. The Rotary Club of Benicia has sponsored this project and will fund the costs for the brackets and baskets. Business owners Maryellen Hayes and Christina Strawbridge have volunteered to water the baskets adjacent their businessess, the Camellia Tea Room and Christina S, respectively.

This is another example of the Benicia community coming together to improve our quality of life. This is City government, two nonprofit organizations and Benicia businesses working together for the common good. The pilot program itself is modest, but it symbolizes Benicia’s potential and is a reminder of possibilities of people working together.