Horticulture's Planted Fire Truck Featured in ALM Publication

Planted Fire Truck in Heritage ParkApril 23, 2010

Each year, the Alabama League of Municipalities holds a photo contest. The winner of the contest has their municipality's photo published on the cover of the Annual ALM Directory. Others who place in the contest have their photos published on the cover of the monthly Alabama Municipal Journals. The City of Prattville has submitted photos in the past, but has not been fortunate enough to win.

This year, Mayor Byard suggested that Horticulture's planted fire truck be used in the photo. This proved to be an ingenious idea!

City Webmaster Teresa Lee took the photos submitted to ALM in representation of the City of Prattville. Lee thanks Marie's on Main for so graciously allowing her to utilize the second floor of their establishment to get an interesting angle for the photo which highlights beautiful Heritage Park as much as the planted fire truck.

"While I am proud of my picture, I realize that it is the hard work of the Horticulture Division and the uniqueness of the subject that allowed us to win 2nd place out of more than 62 entries. I congratulate Ken and his staff for the recognition they continue to receive for their hard work," said Teresa Lee.

How did the planted fire truck come to be? While looking around for a vehicle for his division, City Horticulturist visited the City Vehicle Maintenance Department. Our mechanics jokingly suggested he take the retired, and barely running, fire truck. Ken said he thought about that later and, having done planted stationary vehicles before, his mind started churning with ideas. Johnson approached City Planner Joel Duke and Mayor Jim Byard about constructing a mobile horticulture display.

After a few adjustments to the fire truck by our very capable Vehicle Maintenance mechanics, Johnson drove the fire truck up to his office on Ridgewood Road. His entire staff got into the spirit of the project. They removed unneeded firefighter-related parts from the truck and used the space to create a planting area. They added irrigation and lights to the truck.

The palms trees, both windmill and pindo varieties, are permanent. The rest of the plants are added seasonally. These plants are grown from seed in the city's hothouse. There have been topiary monkeys on the fire truck in the past. They were not added during this particular photography session.

The planted fire truck was on display during CityFest. It has been driven in the Independence Day parade, featured at the Annual Halloween Candy Walk, and was in the Christmas Parade.

The photo at right was featured on the cover of the Alabama Municipal Journal in February. ALM will also be doing a feature on the planted fire truck and the Horticulture Division of the City of Prattville.