Stolen Beauty

Several flower pots on Liberty Street in downtown Warren that were planted and are maintained by two anonymous volunteers had their plants ripped out and strewn on the sidewalk Monday evening.

One of the volunteers said it is a shame that some people think they can take away nice things from others.

Several store owners commented on how nice the flowers and plants make the downtown look nice.

Lynn Cole, a secretary at Mark Phillip’s State Farm Insurance agency, said the flowers had been planted in the ground last year, but this year, small concrete bases support large plastic pots. “They make the street look gorgeous,” she said.

She added that the east and west sides of Liberty Street have different plants; the east-side plants are sun loving, and the west-side types do well in the shade.

Another business owner farther south added his own planter to the mix in a spot that didn’t have already have one.

Mike Holtz, public works director for the city, said, “For the last two or three years, the city hired a contractor to spruce things up.”

He said the flowers had been planted at ground level, and between the hard past winter and shoveling, “they didn’t survive well.”

“The two volunteers came to us; they wanted to take on a project to give back to the community,” he said, adding that they came up with the idea for planters.

Holtz said a small portion of the savings from the cost of the contractor were used to purchase the materials for the project.

Holtz said city workers put several 55-gallon drums of water at the Sill House, and keep them filled so that the Public Works crews and the volunteers can keep the plants watered.

He explained that a police officer found five pots tipped over at around 6 a.m. Tuesday, righted the pots, and a Public Works crew did a 10-minute clean-up later in the day.

“It’s disappointing that these things happen. The resources could be used for other things,” Holtz said.