Downtown businesses adopt planters, beautify area

WESTFIELD—Two downtown companies have decided to take beautifying the city as part of their responsibility, opting to “adopt” several large planters outside of their businesses.

Skyline Trading Company and RE/MAX COMPASS, both on Elm Street, have started to care for several planters that are located at the rear of their businesses in a portion of the Gaslight District. The planters were put there by the city according to Westfield Mayor Brian Sullivan, and the city could not properly care for them due to lack of people available.

An overgrown planter near the rear entrance of Skyline Trading Company

“Sometimes there’s so much to take care of, so much land and so much to take care of without having enough people,” Sullivan said.

So, according to Lisa Pac, co-owner for Skyline Trading Company, they decided to take the care of the planters behind their building into their own hands and to help to continue the beautifying efforts in the city.

“Making the city look better was the plan and I think we’re just picking up where they left off,” Pac said. “We’ve seen Westfield at its worst and hope to see it continue to improve.”

Lisa Pac of Skyline Trading Company waters the planter her company adopted.

Now, Pac said that Skyline Trading Company has weeded one large planter and also placed a variety of edible herbs within it, such as fennel, sage, chives and varieties of mint. And in order to keep with the green idea, Pac said that they utilize condensation collected from the air conditioning unit at the business to water the plants daily.

This inspired Bill Miner and his wife, Cindy Miner, to do something similar, and they adopted four planters of their own to care for. However, instead of herbs, they planted a variety of flowers and plants for beautification purposes.

“Skyline started off and asked the city to adopt them,” Bill Miner said of the planters. “Seeing that and seeing our weeds we took four planters. I think it looks 100 percent better.”

Bill Miner and Pac both said that they hope this gets other businesses to consider adopting planters in their area as well, which will help to further beautify the area.

“With the number of businesses on Elm Street, if they could just adopt one behind them it could make this Gaslight District 100 percent better,” Bill Miner said.

The adopted planters behind RE/MAX COMPASS.

“I’m sure the stores wouldn’t mind,” Pac said about the idea. She added that the city could also put the planters up for adoption if a business decides they do not want to care for them.

Pac said that the plan could bloom into something more, like perhaps vegetables, depending on the outcome.

“Depending on how we do this we could do more,” she said. “This is a test to see if anyone would deface or damage them.”

Cindy Miner also suggested that vegetables may be planted next year, when there is more time in the growing season.

One suggestion that Pac made about this was that recognition be made for the efforts. She suggested that a sign from the city could be one possibility, denoting which company had adopted what planter. And according to Sullivan, the city is attempting to do just that.

“We’re working on giving some credit back to the businesses,” Sullivan said. “We are trying to figure out how to manufacture a sign or at least an identification to thank those companies for reaching out and assisting.”

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