The power of Facebook helped bring a splash of color to a small southeastern Jackson County community.
Driving along U.S. 31 through the heart of Crothersville, you will see more than 50 flower pots with roses, petunias and Spanish heather sitting just off the road.
On March 30, Mark Adams, who operates Adams Family Funeral Home and Crematory with his wife, Leslie, decided to post something on his Facebook page to see if people would be interested in sponsoring flower pots.
“My goal was 20, and I thought that was huge,” Mark Adams said.
The responses kept rolling in, and he bumped his goal up to 30 and thought that’s where he was going to stop.
“Then, it got to the point where people kept asking me, and I said, ‘OK, I’ll do some more.’ I said, ‘Fifty was going to be it,’” he said.
Within a month, they had 51 sponsors.
It had been around 15 years since the Adamses last coordinated a flower pot project in town. At that time, they put their own money into it, placed flowers in pots around town and took care of them.
This time, people paid $85 to cover the cost of a pot, dirt and flowers. The town donated gravel to place in the pots to allow drainage, and the sponsors are responsible for maintaining their pots.
The Adamses and their four boys made several trips to purchase the pots, flowers and dirt.
“Our van was loaded down several times,” Mark Adams said. “Our kids, whenever we said we were going to go somewhere, said, ‘Are we doing stuff for the flower pots?’”
Once they had all of the supplies they needed and filled the flower pots, they took a couple of days to place them along the highway.
“We were out at 1 in the morning putting them out with our kids,” Leslie Adams said.
Some of the sponsors covered the cost but are having someone else take care of their flower pots. A former resident who lives in Indianapolis sponsored one and is having his parents in Crothersville take care of it. Then, when they shared information about the project, that led to other people getting involved.
Most of the sponsors are community residents, but a few businesses got involved, too.
Brenda and Brad Barron operate Crothersville Heating and Air. Brenda Barron also works at Live, Laugh and Learn Child Care with her daughter-in-law, Amber Jones, and mother, Gernetta Land.
Brenda Barron said they decided to sponsor two pots after seeing the Facebook post.
“It was just amazing how many people just wanted to get in there to take care of them and the community coming together to make it look nice,” she said. “We always need to do something for our community. We just need to make it look a little bit better.”
Barron said she likes what she sees when she drives down U.S. 31, also known as Armstrong Street through town.
“It just makes it look a little prettier, brings some color to the town and makes it look nice,” she said.
Barb Hall and two of her friends, Brenda Farmer and Diana Hill, sponsor a pot together.
“I just wanted to be involved,” Hall said. “I’ve always lived in Crothersville, and the two girls that helped me sponsor, we’re all three widows, and we split it.”
Hall said she also helps take care of two other pots in town. That involves watering them daily, unless it rains, and feeding them Miracle-Gro once a month.
“I just take care of it like I do my own flowers,” she said.
Hall said she has been friends with the Adamses for a long time, and she appreciates them taking the effort to make this project happen.
“Mark and Leslie are awesome about doing things for the community. We’re very thankful to have them,” she said. “I thought it was an awesome, awesome thing for our town to do that. I think it really puts life into our community.”
The project not only has brought pride among town residents, but people driving through the area have taken notice, too.
“We even had other people, not just in Crothersville but other towns, say stuff like, ‘I drove through there and saw them,’” Leslie Adams said. “I think it’s an added feature for the town, and it looks like everybody in town cares what the town looks like.”
Mark Adams said it was neat to see people in town come together.
“All of the sponsors have been great. They are the ones that need to be thanked for this and giving up their $85,” he said. “It was just a great thing to start seeing my Facebook explode, ‘I want to sponsor a pot.’ That was really rewarding.”
He said he just wanted to do something positive for the community.
“We’re just community-oriented,” Mark Adams said. “I just wanted something good to happen, so that’s one thing that I could do that people would be proud of in Crothersville. It’s always nice when you make an investment for something and you see the final product.”
He hopes it inspires other people in town to start some type of project.
“Maybe it will help people understand that they don’t have to wait for the town to do something,” he said. “If they want to do a project on their own, if they have the community support, I think that’s something we should all try to do, just to be good citizens.”
In the fall, Mark Adams said the sponsors can take their rose bush and plant it somewhere. If they don’t want it, he said he will find a spot for it.
He also is thinking of placing fall foliage in those pots and having the sponsors decorate them as part of a contest.
Then next spring, he hopes to keep the project going, possibly with people picking different types of flowers. The sponsorships may not cost as much since they already have the pots and soil.
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“We’re just community-oriented. I just wanted something good to happen, so that’s one thing that I could do that people would be proud of in Crothersville. It’s always nice when you make an investment for something and you see the final product.”
Mark Adams, on the beautification project he started