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Center for Engagement and Community Development

News Features

Improving the Quality of Life: One Color at a Time

K-State Engagement E-News, October 2009 (PDF)

by Alexa Hodes

Flowers surrounding a store-front in Lawrence, KS

The "Our Community . . . A More Colorful Place" program seeks to develop a sense of pride in our hometowns through the planting of bright, colorful annual flowers.

"Think of any community in Kansas during the December holiday season. They are all decorated with bright colorful holiday decorations - downtown, businesses and front yards. Our quality of life is better when we decorate for the December holidays. Why not also decorate with displays of bright annual flowers through the spring, summer and fall seasons?" asks director of the program, Alan Stevens, associate professor of ornamental crops.

Planters indowntown Newton, KS

Displaying colorful flowers downtown, in front of businesses and in people's front yards becomes a source of pride and improves the appearance of the community. Planting flowers is a great way for people to take part in community development.

"It is a community program designed to improve the quality of life in the community. We don't put holiday decorations in our backyard - we place them in the front for the neighbors and community at large to enjoy. So why not spots of bright colorful flowers for everyone to enjoy?" asks Stevens.

The main sponsor of the "Our Community...A More Colorful Place," program is the Kansas PRIDE Program. "A large number of communities across the state are planting flowers in their downtown areas. Businesses are increasingly planting flowers in pots and planters near their front entrances.

Homeowners are beginning to realize that their front yards are 'public gardens' and are beginning to plant spots of colorful flowers in the yard and placing pots of flowers on their front porches," says Professor Stevens.