Cortney Ofstad/Daily Globe
HURLEY THIRD grade students plant flower pots under adult supervision in downtown Hurley Wednesday along Silver Street. From left are third grader Melissa DiGiorgio, volunteer Trudy Pinardi, Pinardi's grandson, Evan Corullo, 5; and third graders Courtney Corullo and Sophia Genisot, also Pinardi's grandchildren.
HURLEY - Forty-one third graders from the Hurley K-12 School donned gloves, grabbed trowels and planted flowers along Silver Street in Hurley Wednesday.
Joy Schelble, of the Iron County University of Wisconsin-Extension office, prepared students for the planting by speaking in classrooms. Schelble is the county's horticulturalist, and asked students why flowers are planted in the city each year.
"The first student looked at me and said, 'To take care of the environment,'" Schelble said.
"The next student said, 'To show how much we care,' and a third student said, 'When people come to visit, if they like it so much, they will want to come back.' I was amazed at these answers. It shows they really care about their community and understand what it is that we are doing."
Plantings have taken place for more than 10 years, and students are paired with adult volunteers. The organizations that volunteer their time include the UW-Extension office, Master Gardeners, 46th Parallel Planters Club, Iron County Health Department, Hurley Area Chamber of Commerce, Iron County Sheriff's Department and Hurley Police Department.
Parents and family members volunteer their time.
In addition, local businesses pay for gardening supplies and have lunches for the kids.
Jill Giovanoni loves to see the flowers. "We've (Giovanoni's True Value) been donating the flowers for the past three years, and the planters do a really great job," Giovanoni said. "The kids really seem to enjoy it and it gives a little back to the community. All of the credit goes to the planters, because they do a great job."
Schelble said the Hurley department of public works also does a great job.
"They maintain and keep the flowers, fill up the barrels, put out soil and water the flowers," Schelble said. "Mark Bluse and the guys are an exceptional crew and do a wonderful job."
For more information on the planting, call the Iron County UW-Extension office at 715-561-2695, or the Hurley School District at 715-561-4900.