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Make a date with mom!

Basket building set at Blaine Bridge

May 8, 2010
Times Leader

BLAINE - Area residents are being encouraged to make a date with their mothers on May 16 to take part in a special basket building program.

Held at the historic Blaine Bridge from 2 to 4 p.m., the Building Baskets event is part of the Pease Township Park District's "Building Bridges" program. Bringing people together at the site of the historic Blaine Bridge to reconnect with their community and take one step closer to their environment. Join local craftsmen and artisans, farmers and historians as we come together to build bridges.

Participants will be making hanging flower baskets at a cost of only $10 per basket which includes basket, topsoil and flowers. Families are encouraged to participate to make something for mom will love.

Article Photos

Photo provided
Angela Feenerty, clerk Pease Township Park District, Bailee McNamara, second grader at Saint Mary’s School and Robin Rhodes, Rhodes Florist, prepare for the Basket Building event set for May 16. Bailee hopes to build a beautiful hanging flower for her mother at the second annual Basket Building at the historic Blaine Bridge.

All materials provided by Rhodes Florist. Refreshments will be provided Building Baskets started as a way to attract local families to the historic Blaine Bridge in Blaine.

Angela Feenerty, clerk Pease Township Park District, stated, "Billed as an alternative to the traditional flowers for mom on Mother's Day, this event was designed to bring moms, dads, children and grandparents together for a common cause. Realizing that most moms pretty much expect and love flowers on Mother's Day, we wanted to put a twist in the mix that would give moms their flowers, and also let them spend some quality time with their children and families."

Last year's event drew over a hundred participants, and 98 hanging flower baskets were built in less than 45 minutes. Volunteers were on hand from the local garden community to assist the children with the baskets. The staff of Rhodes Florist was also on hand to direct and assist in the building. Basket builders were provided an empty basket, potting soil and flowers to use in their creations. Flower choices included geraniums, pansies, marigolds, impatiens and more.The entire event is sponsored by the Pease Township Park District and Rhodes Florist.

Feenerty stated, "Mostly we had children and their moms building the baskets together, but we also had several dads and even some grandparents taking part. Some of the folks who participated didn't have children at all. They just wanted to support a community event, and take home a hanging basket for their front porch. Everyone was welcome."

Belmont County Department of Development Director, Sue Douglass brought her mother to last year's event to build a few baskets.

"Douglass was instrumental in saving the historic Blaine Bridge, and said that she was so very delighted to see the bridge being used in such a productive way," said Feenerty.

"Pease Township Trustee Roger Weaver was also on hand last year. He and his granddaughter came and built several baskets to take home to mom and grandma. Mr. Weaver was largely responsible for the forming of the Pease Township Park District, whose mission it is to maintain the historic site and provide community events. Weaver said he envisioned events such as this taking place on the bridge, and was happy to see things going so well."

The historic Blaine Bridge is the oldest stone bridge in the State of Ohio. It is listed as the State's Bicentennial Bridge. This arched structure was built in the shape of an S in order to minimize the effects of the flowing water from Wheeling Creek. The bridge was built in 1825 as part of the National Road.

"The basket building will take place on the bridge itself. The bridge crosses Ohio's Wheeling Creek, and provides the only public access to the creek. Visitors to the bridge are always surprised and happy to see that the bridge is so beautiful. Part of this is due to the natural beauty of the creek area, but part of that beauty is also due to the hard work of the landscaping class at the Belmont Corrections Institute. The inmates from the prison have provided the landscaping at the bridge, and take great pride in making this one of the most beautiful sites in Belmont County," said Feenerty.

For more information about Building Bridges or the Blaine Bridge Park write to the Pease Township Park District, 72105 Jones Road, Martins Ferry, Ohio 43935



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