Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Main Street project has run its course

link Robert Arrowsmith


I took a walk around Main Street last week as I normally like to walk to meetings and walking-distance locations whenever possible, and saw and photographed the pots and their lack of flowers.

First of all to those that have kept their planters up, kudos, they look beautiful. You clearly have put plenty of time and energy into them and it shows. However, the others …

The pots themselves look nice. No graffiti, still in decent condition, no wear, etc. Inside them, especially the groups of three on the corners, I found at least one that is being used as an ashtray, two that were being used as garbage cans, three others with weeds, and the remainder basically just having dried dirt in them.

It creates an image of beautification given up on.

With volunteerism you have to make the project something that you want to do in the first place, and does not require maintaining by the volunteer, especially without direction.

Part of the reason volunteerism is in decline is because actual demand is too often beyond what the original expectation to commit was sold as.

These pots are the perfect example of volunteerism being pushed beyond expectation.

I would be willing to bet that a number of businesses did not think they would have to maintain them basically forever at their own cost when they agreed to the flower pots originally.

As for the groups of three at the intersections, I cannot venture a guess as to what those are about, being new to the area. But I do know that if expectation to maintain them has not occurred, for whatever reason, the planters probably need to go away because they are now being used for the wrong purpose.

They are creating an image of lack of desire to maintain aesthetics, an impression of lack of commitment, and frankly a feeling of abandonment.

Go to an inner city that has perception issues and you will find aesthetics as a huge part of the problem.

You have to keep volunteerism simple, regardless of intentions. If an organization is not willing to volunteer the time themselves, then expectation cannot be for a volunteer to do so.

By the looks of the pots on Main, the project, while noble in intent, has run its course. If there is no commitment to continue with the empties, they need to go away.

Robert Arrowsmith is publisher of Clovis Media Inc. Contact him at:

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