News Feature

Blue Hill
Originally published in The Weekly Packet, July 31, 2014
Vandalism hits downtown flower boxes…again
Surveillance discussed

Blue Hill flowerboxes vandalized

Empty flower boxes line the Mill Stream Bridge in downtown Blue Hill, Maine in the summer of 2014, after a series of vandalism has removed the contents.

Photo courtesy of Blue Hill Garden Club

by Faith DeAmbrose

Since 1953, flower boxes have graced the Mill Stream Bridge in downtown Blue Hill during the summer months. Planted for the town by the Blue Hill Garden Club, the boxes, lining both sides of the street, have been a sure sign that summer is approaching.

Last summer, a string of vandalism cut short the life of the boxes and kept the garden club busy, having to replant them not once, but three times.

This summer, the boxes were again planted, although there are fewer boxes than in years past due to the expense and losses that occurred last year, said Garden Club President Ute Eichenberg in a recent interview.

Shortly after the plantings, vandalism was again reported. During the night of July 17, the contents of some of the boxes were dumped into the river below. On July 19, vandals used a wire cutter to cut the wires that attach the box to the bridge. “They must have been disturbed that night as the box was still there and only part of the second box of flowers were ripped out,” said Eichenberg.

Boxes were vandalized again during the overnight hours of July 24. “It looks like the town really has a problem,” said Eichenberg.

According to Eichenberg, the garden club has been in contact with Hancock County Sheriff’s Deputy Scott Kane, as well as the State Police and Selectman John Bannister to discuss the installation of a web cam that looks down at the bridge.

Now in its 80th year as an organization, the club is looking to promote itself and offer programs for the community, and having to replace the flower boxes over and over again, said Eichenberg, is hurting their bottom line.