On Wednesday, a table filled with flowers was set up outside the East Trenton Collaborative (ETC) headquarters at 601 North Clinton Avenue as Trenton residents designed and received free bouquets.

The Bouquet Bar At the Center was created for residents to come to the ETC’s headquarters. At the center handing out flowers was Vicky Vega, an intern at Capital City Farm, finishing her ornamental horticulture degree at Mercer County Community College.

“I’m just trying to get the flowers out for the community. This time I had too many flowers, and I didn’t want to store them for too long. I’d rather get them out to the community. So I spent the morning clipping flowers and bringing them out,” Vega said.

After registering, Trenton residents got their picks of chocolate sunflowers, white sunflowers, orange sunflowers, zinnias, and flowering basil, among other flowers, to build bouquets of colors.

“What brought me out most importantly is I love flowers. Today I have sunflowers and Zinnias in different colors…there from the capital city farm. I usually get my flowers from there. So I know they’re gonna last a while, ” said Trenton resident Maati Sekmet Ra. “I’m gonna put them right in my kitchen in my window.”

The process was simple; Vega would lay out flowers she had brought with her in blue buckets filled with water, then let residents build their bouquets, or she would make the bouquets for them.

“They’re just happy to have some free flower to add beauty to their house and have a nice addition to the table at night,” Vega said.

The East Trenton Collaborative is a community organization that works in the East Trenton Neighborhood to address the issues of traffic safety, park conditions, and environmental health. Part of that effort involves bringing people to the headquarters on Clinton Avenue. Sheryl Snider, East Trenton Collaborative Community Organizer, explained that today is an example of how the ETC operates.

“Our mission is all about community family. We want this to be a place for people to raise their families, work, live, and play. So what better way of showing that than with some beautiful flower displays… That’s beauty,” Snider said.

Staff and volunteers were helping around. Flynn Flemming, a Clinton Ave Resident and volunteer, is celebrating his retirement, gathering flowers to make his house look like paradise.

“I’m trying to shift gears and find time to do on my retirement,” Flemming said. “I am learning how to buy plants, maintenance them, and keep them alive in the house. It makes you feel like when the doors are closed…Sometimes I feel like I’m somewhere in paradise.” He gestures to the bouquet in his hand. “I’m gonna put this on my dining room table.”