Downtown Oswego has been given a new splash of color for spring.
Some 50 old, concrete flower pots that line the sidewalks and corners have been replaced with brand new, painted ones featuring scenes of local businesses, the town's high schools and events in Oswego.
“The flowerpots in downtown Oswego were beat up and not very nice. The Village was going to pay to get new good ones. I thought it would be a good idea to paint murals on them,” said Oswego High School junior Annika Mikkelson, the young woman behind the project.
Mikkelson has been a Girl Scout for 12 years and is working to obtain the Gold Award, the highest honor one can receive as a Girl Scout.
To obtain the Gold Award, a Girl Scout identifies an issue in her local community that she cares about and works to organize a group project to take action on the issue. The Gold Award has a ceremony in June and also has several scholarship opportunities for girls who receive it.
Adding to the excitement, Girl Scouts recently celebrated their 100th year in March 2012.
Mikkelson said she has always been interested in art and when she saw the state of the old pots she knew she wanted to do something with them.
“I hope the pots will add beauty to the downtown area,” said Mikkelson, “and also bring more patrons to the local businesses.”
Originally she had planned to work with Hesed House in Aurora and help redesign and improve a storage room or something similar.
“I’ve always liked interior design,” said Mikkelson. “Unfortunately, I had a hard time getting a hold of anyone for the project.”
Mikkelson reached out to the Oswego community and gained several volunteers and students from the high schools to help her with her project. The group worked over spring break at OHS to paint the 50 pots.
Mikkelson’s mom, Julie, added that several local businesses had also contributed to the project.
The pots are currently in various spots in downtown Oswego and in May, according to Mikkelson, will be planted with flowers by horticulture students.
“It’s been a lot of fun,” said Mikkelson. “They turned out really well and I hope everyone enjoys them.”