Golden trowels replaced the traditional gold-plated shovels for ceremonies to dedicate the new Blooms on Broad project Thursday. The first 12 planters to initiate the program have been placed at each corner of the Second Avenue and Broad Street intersection.

Eventually, the Community Foundation for Greater Rome hopes to encourage donors to help finance plans to place planters at six intersections up Broad Street to help beautify the downtown business corridor.

Seven of the initial 12 planters at each of the intersections of Second Avenue and Broad Street have already been sponsored by local families or businesses.

CFFGR Executive Director Joel Snider gave out trowels to partners in the project, including Andrea Jones from Berry College who was instrumental in advising the foundation on types of flowers and the way they should be displayed; Jeanne Krueger from the Rome Floyd Chamber, which provided financial support; Rome City Commissioner Sundai Stevenson, since the city has agreed to take on watering responsibilities; Amanda Carter, director of the Downtown Development Authority which came up with the Blooms on Broad name; along with Nancy Knight, who represented the foundation.

The Blooms on Broad program was conceived after a group from the foundation made a visit to Columbus, Indiana, to get ideas for how the foundation might be able to help further enhance the ambiance of Rome.

“The right people came together at the right time,” said Snider. “We hope this serves as an example of how these organizations can collaborate together.”

Community Foundation for Greater Rome Chairman Ed Watters said the beautification effort in the small Indiana town, roughly the same size as Rome, helped decrease litter, decreased crime and helped increase the quality of life in the community.