Everything's coming up petunias

REED CITY – With trowels in their hands and dirt on their clothes, about 85 community members came together last Saturday to plant 14,000 petunias along Chestnut Street in Reed City.

Volunteers began as early as 7 a.m. setting up cones, digging holes and planting the colorful flowers during the annual project which was organized by Juanita Ripley, Julia Stellini and Suzie Williams this year.

Members from organizations such as Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Eagle Villiage, Women of the Moose, General Federation of Women’s Clubs, local Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts along with many others helped with the planting.

“Some people come as families or individuals too,” Stellini said.

John Calabrese, executive director of Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Mecosta and Osceola Counties said after his organization helped out with the planting for the first time last year, they decided to repeat the effort this year.

“When I drove by and saw the flowers and they were so bright, I thought, It’s kind of cool that we had a hand in doing this,” Calabrese said. “It looks good when it’s done and when everybody shows up, it goes quite quickly.”

Each organization is assigned an area to plant, Stellini said. Some want to plant in the area they have planted for years and others want a change from last year or are new to the annual planting project.

All the flowers were paid for by donations and volunteers were done planting around 1 p.m.