How flower baskets and volunteers show Lake Oswego at its blooming best

Flower baskets in full bloom

In these times of budget cutbacks and dwindling resources, the Lake Oswego Village Flower Basket program is a testament to what volunteer time and donations can accomplish. Entering its 21st year of operation, the program with annual costs of $70,000 is completely funded by donations from private citizens and businesses and is made possible by a partnership between these groups as donors and volunteers and the city of Lake Oswego.

“That’s what people don’t realize,” explains Lori Lauber, Office Manager for the Lake Oswego Chamber of Commerce. “The Village Flower Basket Program is managed by a foundation through the Chamber and all the funds are donated.” The money that comes in goes out to cover the $300 cost of one basket from purchase to maintenance which includes daily watering and feeding. This year, close to 50 volunteers hung 247 baskets throughout Lake Oswego, fanning out in four teams with specific job descriptions from “ladder and safety support” to “flower basket hookers.” It’s a team effort that draws veterans and newcomers beginning as early as 4:30 am on a Saturday in May. Baskets stay up as long as funding and flowering allows.

Why go to all this trouble for flower baskets? It enhances the quality of life, bringing an aesthetic beauty to the city as residents as well as visitors travel along the main rights-of-way. The flower basket committee takes pride in the fact that Lake Oswego won the “America in Bloom” award in 2003. Their efforts helped Lake Oswego earn a 5 out of 5 Bloom rating for floral displays. In addition, the chamber is frequently sought out by other communities hoping to replicate the program in their towns. For volunteers, the reward is one of feeling a sense of community and ownership. “It’s gratifying for volunteers to walk by the baskets in the middle of summer and say, ‘I hung that!’” explains Michele Baker, coordinator of the Village Flower Basket Foundation.

The flower basket program is also a very visual and public way of saying, “We care about this town enough to invest in its beauty.” That message can be appealing not only to residents but newcomers.  Just a few months ago the Chamber’s Lauber received a call from a new resident who said, “I decided to move here because of the baskets and I can’t wait to donate.” That’s quite an endorsement of a program that is totally volunteer funded and run.

To learn more about the Village Flower Basket Foundation, check our their page on the Chamber of Commerce website at: or their facebook page at:!/pages/Lake-Oswego-Village-Flower-Basket-Foundation/214345888590671.

About lovelakeoswego

I feel pretty lucky—I live where I work and I love where I live. As a Realtor in Lake Oswego, I get to share that enthusiasm with clients every day. Through this blog, with the help of my freelance writer wife, Genita, I’d like to share that enthusiasm with you. The quality of life you’ll find in Lake Oswego belies its size—there is so much to experience here from a fireworks show over the lake on the 4th of July to the Festival of the Arts--one of the premier arts events in the region. So please check in each week for another reason why I love Lake Oswego and who knows—maybe you’ll fall in love too! If you’re interested in experiencing Lake Oswego personally, please feel free to contact me either on my cell at (503) 939-9801, via email at or check my website by clicking the link in the "Contact me" section in the right-hand column. I would love to show you around.
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2 Responses to How flower baskets and volunteers show Lake Oswego at its blooming best

  1. Pingback: The arts take center stage during Lake Oswego Festival of the Arts | 52 Reasons to Love Lake Oswego

  2. Pingback: 5 Secrets to the Eye-Popping Color of Lake Oswego’s Flower Baskets | 52 Reasons to Love Lake Oswego

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