The official opening of spring in Lake Oswego arrives on May 17 when the flower baskets go up, courtesy of the Lake Oswego Chamber of Commerce.

An expected 65 volunteers will fan out over the city to hang up 270 flower REVIEW FILE PHOTO - Keith Dickerson will be leading the way for the sixth straight year when the Lake Oswego Chamber of Commerce will hang 270 flower baskets all around town.

Back to lead the effort for the sixth straight year will be the Rev. Keith Dickerson, pastor of Lake Oswego’s Hope Community Church and interim chamber CEO. Overall, this will be the 24th time for flowers to hang in Lake Oswego.

A number of civic-minded volunteers are responsible for the flower baskets going up. Teams will start working as early as 4:30 am on the morning of the 17th to hang the baskets that include as many as 18 different plants and can initially way as much as 40 pounds apiece.

Dickerson said that more civic-minded citizens are needed to make contributions that will keep the program going strong.

Many people believe that the flower baskets are paid for by the city of Lake Oswego. But actually the baskets are entirely funded through community donations raised by the chamber. Each year the chamber’s Village Basket Committee works hard to raise $75,000 to purchase and pay for watering the baskets.

The average cost to maintain a flower basket for the five-month season is $300 per basket. And the average watering and feeding cost per basket is $1.50 per day.

According to Dickerson, the baskets have to be hand-watered daily to assure that they grow to the significant size and colors that the community expects. The many leaves on each of the baskets prevent rain water from fully soaking the plants roots. Without daily watering the baskets would die.

The Village Basket Committee is still actively seeking funds to keep the program at its current level. The public or any business can make a donation in any amount by calling the chamber at 503-636-3634.

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