Heber City has officially put out its welcome mat for the summer! This past Saturday, the Community Alliance for Main Street (CAMS) organized its Heber City Annual Spring Planting. CAMS has made its mission to “restore and improve our beloved historic Main Street.” The non-profit is required to work with the significant limitations of being on a state highway, but Main Street is still the face of Heber City to visitors, and CAMS is working towards supporting local businesses and Heber’s economy by creating a unique and charming corridor.
Business owners along Main Street have previously had the responsibility of maintaining the planter boxes along the street, but this year Heber City Municipal has taken a larger role by tilling the boxes and adding a new water-wise drip system. Also, the boxes were mostly redone to create a more uniform look, although a couple of them still retain their former unique character. The old boxes had not been officially updated since the Utah Olympics in 2002. The planters are now overseen by Head Gardener, Chris Keeling. She has been working with Dairy Keen for years and has now joined with CAMS and Heber City to prepare and oversee the Main Street boxes throughout the season.
According to CAMS Chairperson, Tom Stone, analysis of other cities has shown that flowers, greenery, and trees on main streets are a major draw for communities. He says that along with creating a better perception of the town, beautifying Main Street helps local businesses by creating an inviting place where people will want to gather and shop. For this reason, the partnership between Heber City and CAMS is mutually beneficial with shared goals to improve the city, visually and economically.
“I’ve been involved with this for about 15 years,” Stone explains, “and never had we had the city leadership, both City Council level, City Manager, and the Mayor be this heavily interested and putting in the time and effort to make sure we succeed together”. Stone says there is much more to come, such as murals around town and a water feature. “We need more people and volunteers,” says Stone. “Main Street is our first impression. . . . There are a few of us doing a lot, and I think if there were a lot of us doing a few things, we would have even greater things coming.”
The local volunteers who planted flowers on Saturday created a beautiful reminder of the good that can come from community involvement and effort.