State group recognizes Langley Main Street work, project with awards

Volunteers Miles Buckwalter and Clark Goecker help plant the Second Street garden beds on June 6

The Langley Main Street Association continues to collect awards from downtown revitalization industry groups.

The non-profit program received two more awards at the RevitalizeWA conference this week in Bellingham. The Langley Main Street Association won Community Partnership for the group’s work with gardens on Second Street, the Langley Whale Center, electric golf cart shuttle service and downtown banners and Outstanding Special Project awards for the Monsters on Machines event in early 2013.

Both awards and the conference are put on by the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation.

During a semiannual presentation to the Langley City Council on May 4, Langley Main Street Association President Janet Ploof spoke of some of the group’s projects and accomplishments. In its third year, Langley Main Street Association continues to grow and thrive thanks to members, dedicated tax dollars and collaboration, she said.

“Main Street has done exceptionally better because of our communication with planning, parks and the chamber,” Ploof said, referring to the two city departments and the business group.

Main Street hopes to have a $90,000 budget, more than double in previous years, thanks to increased membership and B&O tax pledges. That money pays for a part-time program director, part-time and summer interns.

During the construction work on Second Street in early 2013, Main Street organized a Monsters on Machines day. Working with a local author who wrote a similarly-titled book, the construction crew opened up its heavy equipment for people to inspect and enter, even operating the horns.

Commercial core sales jumped that day, according to Ploof.

Much of the landscaping in the city’s commercial core is handled by and managed by Main Street. Hanging baskets around town are put up by the group, and the edible garden is tended to by its volunteers.

Mayor Fred McCarthy said the city often receives compliments on its foliage.

“We continue to get people coming to Langley and remarking on the gardens,” he said. “It’s a source of pride for the city.”

Ploof and other Main Street members along with McCarthy and Councilwoman Rene Neff said they would attend the Bellingham conference to accept the awards.