Phil Niemisto Pocket Park always stays beautiful

The Marquette Beautification & Restoration Committee Inc. is not letting a little roadwork get in the way of, well, beautification and restoration.

Although a Michigan Department of Transportation project on South Front Street prevented the group from planting flowers this year for its annual Petunia Pandemonium, it is taking on a new project: adding color in flower form to the Phil Niemisto Pocket Park along West Washington Street.

The Marquette Downtown Development Authority did not have the staff to properly maintain the park, so it reached out to the MBRC, which decided to take on the project.

It’s only a one-season gig for the MBRC, which hopes other groups will step forward to work on the project in future years.

Still, it’s admirable that the committee, which also performs work at Father Marquette Park, sponsors the annual Marquette Garden Tour and is involved in other activities, has decided to add upkeep of the Phil Niemisto Pocket Park to its agenda this year.

If anyone can do it, the MBRC can.

Every year, the colorful flowers of Petunia Pandemonium greet local and out-of-town travelers to the southern gateway of the city of Marquette. It’s an inviting welcome to the area.

Much smaller and tucked away, though, is the Phil Niemisto Pocket Park, which bears a statue of the park’s late namesake. Niemisto, in addition to washing windows in the downtown area, also tended to the park.

Although it is tiny, individuals along the busy West Washington Street corridor have a chance to admire the plants and take a rest there should they so desire.

Unfortunately, Phil Niemisto is no longer with us, but his garden is one way his spirit is kept alive.

It’s only fitting that people make sure the park stays beautiful.

Phil would be proud.


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