Kennebunk’s Legion of Bloom

To the editor,

Last week, Kennebunk hosted a unique community event called Bouquet It Forward. Before the Main Street flower beds were cut back and winterized, six deputized volunteers harvested the last of Main Street’s remarkably abundant summer flowers.

Flowers and grasses were sorted and organized behind the Waterhouse Center where about 50 curious and creative women, men and children swung by to make-and-take bouquets to give away to a friend, teacher, neighbor, or wife.

Special thanks to Kennebunk’s garden designer, Joanna Sylvester, and waterers, Jane Firth and Barbara Chalou, for creating miraculous gardens in the center of town for us all, in the first place. And kudos to select board member Leslie Trentalange for her enthusiastic support and real organizing help to get the premiere event off the ground.

Town leaders, Bryan Laverriere and Mike Pardue, kindly gave the nod and offered help and safety vests. The Bloom Squad volunteers cut and trimmed flowers, helped children create bouquets, made tags, and even swept up at the end. Thank you to all who freely offered their skills and time.


Free flowers revealed their magic. It was a day of ease and beauty mixed with joy. Diverse citizens created, connected, shared tools, thought of others, expressed gratitude, swapped business cards and used existing resources in a closed-loop recycling event (vases courtesy of The Treasure Chest), and turned what was about to be discarded into a shared bounty.

It is so rare to get to witness something that is just all good. Thanks Kennebunk.

Kate Manahan


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