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Sponsors sought for beautification project

Mike, Tom and Darin Hafner hope to beautify Highway 34 this summer with hanging flower baskets. They aspire to gain 20-plus more sponsors before summer. (Jean Ruzicka / Enterprise)

Hafner's Greenhouse is hoping to create a splendid first - and lasting - impression for motorists heading through the city this summer.

The recently completed Highway 34 project didn't include garden areas, Darin Hafner noted. "Just steel poles and concrete, no flowerbeds."

Thousands head through the city every summer; he reasoned the time had come to add some color to their journey. The Hafners, who've been in the greenhouse business in Park Rapids for more than 50 years, are spearheading the project.

The idea for a beautification initiative sprouted at a floral show where a fertilizer supplier was touting his product via hanging baskets.

Darin Hafner set out to determine the logistics - and find sponsors for the 49 poles he hopes will be splendiferous, come summer.

Four varieties of baskets - resilient petunias the predominant plant - will hang from poles from Fair Avenue to Lori Lea Lanes, early June the target date.

The 23-inch diameter baskets will be "overflowing" with flowers when they debut. By summer's end they will cascade down four to five feet.

Hafners will be responsible for all labor involved, including watering. Each of the weather resistant baskets has a 2.5-gallon reservoir.

Minimum sponsorship is one light pole, sporting two baskets. Cost per light pole the first year is $214 and $134 in subsequent years.

Darin Hafner is hoping for a three-year sponsorship commitment.

For more information on the Highway 34 beautification project, contact

"As long as the community supports this, it will continue," he said.