In 1977 the Beautification of Ketchikan began as a small operation with one part time gardener attending to 50 hanging baskets and several large planter boxes in the downtown area. It has grown over the years to now include 100 hanging baskets for the Adopt-A-Basket Program through the Parks and Recreation Department
, a small green house, and over 20 landscaped areas with lawns and gardens.
Approximately 8,000-10,000 annuals and perennials are grown each year for the baskets and gardens. All spent plant material, weeds, lawn clippings, and wood ships are used to manufacture compost (approximately 50-70 cubic years each season), which is then used to replenish soil in existing areas.
The two largest and most intense gardens are Whale Park and around the traffic tunnel located in downtown Ketchikan. The largest park areas are Alder Park on the west end and City Park located near downtown, both of which have extensive lawns and picnic facilities