WOW, Westfield Tech collaborate to beautify bridges

Westfield Technical Academy’s Horticulture Technology students and instructor Nate Sperry gather with Westfield on Weekends President Bob Plasse May 26 to add American flags to the flower baskets on the twin bridges, (HOPE E. TREMBLAY/THE WESTFIELD NEWS)

WESTFIELD – Westfield on Weekends (WOW) partnered with the Westfield Technical Academy (WTA) horticulture department this year to bring beauty to the city’s twin bridges.Horticulture Technology Instructor Nate Sperry and his students grew, planted and installed the flower boxes on the twin bridges this year.

Funding for the flowers is provided annually by the Beveridge Foundation to WOW to continue the bridge flower tradition. In the past, WOW has purchased and planted the flowers and the school or Parks and Recreation installed the flower boxes.

This year, WTA collaborated more significantly.

“We grew the flowers in our small greenhouse over the winter,” said Sperry. “They were all grown by the students under grow lights.”

Westfield on Weekends President Bob Plasse and Westfield Technical Academy Horticulture Technology student Tim Nacewicz place flags in a flower box on one of the bridges. (HOPE E. TREMBLAY/THE WESTFIELD NEWS)

Students grew and planted elephant ears, marigolds, geraniums, vinca, sweet potato vine and succulents.

“WOW reached out to us and we worked with Scott Hathaway from Parks and Rec.,” said Sperry. “We added new potting mix to the baskets this year that should be more resilient for that location.”

Sperry said the bridges get a lot of wind and sun and the baskets are shallow so they have limited moisture capacity. He said the Parks and Recreation crews water the flowers.

Sperry said it was a nice collaboration that he hopes will expand.

American flags, elephant’s ears, marigolds and more fill the planters on the bridges. (HOPE E. TREMBLAY/THE WESTFIELD NEWS)

“I’d like to work with the city to do more of this in areas such as the Rail Trail,” he said.

WOW President Bob Plasse thanked WTA for partnering with the group.

“Without the collaboration with students and teachers, this would not happen,” he said. “It really enhances the beauty of the bridges and Westfield.”

Plasse added that he and the WOW members “are pleased that the Beveridge Foundation continues to enhance the beauty of the city and support this.”

There were 24 baskets planted – 12 on each bridge.


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