Laramie Main Street Alliance (LMSA) and Vertical Community Cultivation Project (VCCP) reintroduced and expanded the Laramie Farm Wall Project to Downtown Laramie in June 2019. The project, launched originally in 2017 as a collaborative placemaking and sustainable agriculture project, set out to provide a unique, interactive green space within the historic district that serves as a display of public art, community engagement and conversation starter on local foods.
“Good design is a pillar to any successful Main Street program. Holistically, things like flowers, green space, banners, bike racks and benches indicate to people that they are welcome and safe in an area. Visual aesthetics, like the farm walls, invite people to linger and explore, leading to a discovery of local businesses,” LMSA Executive Director Trey Sherwood said. “From best practices, we know that a good looking downtown is also a high producing district in terms of sales tax collection and property value. By investing in the physical infrastructure of the district, we are giving local businesses a leg up on the competition.
“Bringing together community and human development organizations to work with private business and citizens is where the power of this program lies,” VCCP’s Travis Hines said. “I hope that the vibrancy of these walls will create an opportunity for people to discuss positive change and that bringing people together towards a common goal will give communities the strength to do so.”
Laramie locals and visitors can find the newest tower display at the corner of 2nd Street and Ivinson Avenue, behind, and hosted by First Interstate Bank, as well as experience previous downtown installations at, Star Awards & Promos, Travel Inn and Coffey Engineering.
“Growing food for yourself and others is extremely gratifying and rewarding. With a seed, water, sunlight and care, anyone can create something of value to share with their family and community; and that it can be done almost anywhere,” Hines said. The project is spearheaded by LMSA and VCCP with the help of local businesses, volunteers and ZipGrowTM technology. The sustainably grown produce, including greens, berries and peppers, is donated to the Laramie Soup Kitchen, though the public is encouraged to interact with the walls by picking and enjoying the fruits, vegetables and herbs throughout the growing season.
“I love that, as a community focused non-profit, we get to engage in creative collaborations to make our downtown a destination. Expanding the Farm Wall program gives us an opportunity to surprise and wow residents and visitors while beautifying our surroundings. Working with VCCP has been so much fun. Travis really understands the importance of providing an authentic experience that has the added benefit of directly impacting community,” Sherwood said.
Updates on this project can be found at laramiemainstreet.org/farmswalls or by contacting LMSA’s Communication Coordinator Jessica Brauer at email@example.com or Travis Hines at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Laramie Main Street Alliance strives to preserve historic Downtown Laramie while enhancing its economic and social vitality. LMSA is a part of the State of Wyoming’s Main Street program under the Wyoming Business Council. Guided by the principles of the National Main Street Program, the organization meets its goals by following the Main Street four-point approach, which included design, organization, economic restructuring and promotion. Learn more at laramiemainstreet.org.