Street Tree Program - History

History of the Hanging Baskets

As an all-volunteer organization established in 1993, the Corte Madera Beautification Committee initiated the Hanging Basket project 26 years ago. We partner with the Corte Madera Public Works Department to keep the baskets looking beautiful throughout each summer, spring and fall. 

Corte Madera’s beautiful hanging flower baskets began with Ben and Carolyn Larson, who had seen similar baskets in McMinville, Oregon, in 1992 and were inspired to find a way to bring them to Corte Madera. 

 

A grassroots group called Friends of Village Square (which was the name of the area that later became known as Old Corte Madera Square) was promoting improvements to the former railroad right-of-way that ran through the center of the Square, and in 1993 a newly formed Beautification Committee offered additional support. Carolyn Larson was Mayor when those improvements became a reality in 1994. 

 

The first annual installation of hanging baskets came in 1996 and has been renewed every year since then, thanks to the generous donations by public-spirited individuals and businesses who pay for the baskets.

 

Ben and Carolyn, along with a crew of dedicated volunteers, took care of the baskets from May to December each year until Ben’s death in 2007. Now, the Beautification Committee partners with Public Works to keep the baskets beautiful throughout each summer, spring and fall, and making Corte Madera the prettiest town in Marin.