GREENFIELD — The arrival of more than a dozen brightly colored bicycles festooned with flowers and boa feathers in downtown Greenfield must surely signal that spring is here.
Greenfield Main Street Inc.’s inaugural Bikes in Bloom project rolled out last weekend to promote the city’s 16 downtown bike racks, highlight downtown beautification efforts and, incidentally, herald the arrival of spring.
“We had people go through their garages from throughout the community,” said Shelley Swift, Greenfield Main Street program manager. “The community really responded, and we’ve had some really nice older bikes donated.”
The donations were then handed off to organizations like the Hancock County Public Library, Hancock County Community Foundation, Riley Festival and other groups that turned the two-wheelers into works of art.
The library’s “Bike Mobile” that now sports a miniature library building complete with books on the front axle, was work made easy given the enthusiastic response by library staffers.
“I had no idea,” said Barbara Roark, library assistant director. “I sent an email out to see if anyone was interested (in working on the bike), and they started coming out of the woodwork. It’s kind of nice that everyone wanted to get on board.”
Greenfield planning director Joanie Fitzwater said the effort wheeled well above expectations and is creating the buzz officials were hoping for.
“It’s a new and exciting way to bring attention to downtown and the improvements we’re making there,” she said.
The decorative bikes are being featured on Main Street’s Facebook page, and they’re already generating interest.
“We’ve gotten at least 60 new Facebook followers in the last 12 hours,” Swift said.
In addition to sprucing up for spring and highlighting the location of city bike racks, downtown supporters hope the initiative will get new blood involved in the area and act as a catalyst to broaden the volunteer base for further beautification and development efforts, Swift said.
SoupHerb owner Suzanne Kosovich, whose own three-wheeler sits at the bike rack just outside her restaurant at State and Main streets, said she wasn’t sure how the project would initially be received, but now she’s a believer.
“People have been asking about them all day,” Kosovich said. “I’m really excited about the chatter about them here in the shop. They’re fun; I love them.”
Residents can vote for their favorite bike on Greenfield Main Street‘s Facebook page through May 16.