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GIG HARBOR, WA – The Gig Harbor Downtown Waterfront Alliance (GHDWA) was honored with the “Green Community” award for their summer flower basket program at Washington Main Street’s Excellence on Main Awards Ceremony on May 16 in Vancouver, Washington. The ceremony was held in conjunction with RevitalizeWA, Washington State’s Preservation and Main Street Conference.

By successfully working together, the GHDWA, the City of Gig Harbor, and an increasing number of sponsors and volunteers are helping add even more color to Gig Harbor’s beautiful downtown district.

Each year since 2009, the GHDWA has funded the purchase of 80 to 100 flower baskets that grace the historic downtown waterfront district throughout the summer. The Alliance has been able to procure financial sponsorship to help cover a portion of the cost of the baskets, and in 2012, they took the project to a new level of success with the first corporate sponsor. Money raised from the sale of goodie bags at the popular "Girls Night Out" event in November also was earmarked to provide support to this important beautification project.

In addition to the financial support of the project, GHDWA now recruits and mobilizes a crew of nearly 40 volunteers who faithfully water the baskets in teams of two every morning beginning at 5:00am from May through September. This is a volunteer crew that has seen growth in numbers every year with volunteers donating nearly 600 hours in 2012 alone.

“The partnership shared with the City of Gig Harbor on the flower baskets is what makes this project possible,” said Mary DesMarais, Executive Director of the GHDWA. “The City provides the watering truck, water for the truck, and all truck maintenance. The City's Public Works Department receives the baskets in the spring, hangs them throughout the district, and removes them in the fall.”

“Gig Harbors flower baskets are not only beautiful, but the project emphasizes the importance of the partnerships between the Alliance, the City of Gig Harbor and the countless sponsors and volunteers,” said Sarah Hansen, Washington State Main Street Coordinator. “The baskets enhance the already stunning setting of the bay and create an unbeatable ambiance for all to enjoy.”

The Excellence on Main Awards, organized by the Washington State Main Street Program, recognizes communities, organizations, and individuals who are helping to achieve economic vitality and build sustainable communities through downtown revitalization and preservation. Washington’s Main Street Program is housed in the Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation and administered, under contract, by the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation.