If a seed can grow to great heights and someday give back, what would happen if we planted thousands of them – 15,000 of them to be exact – all around the City of Oak Park? We’ve never done this before so your guess is as good as ours. To say we are thrilled to embark on this journey is, well, an understatement. And, from the efforts within the community that have stepped forward to volunteer, we are not alone.
Students, teachers, and school administrators from nearly every school within our school districts have adopted seed starter trays provided by Eckert’s Greenhouse in Sterling Heights. They’ve planted the seeds, watered the sprouts, and patiently monitored their growth – sunflowers can grow up to two inches a day! We are planting four different kinds of sunflowers ranging from 2 feet to 10 feet in height.
Meanwhile, employees of the Department of Public Works are busy with power sod cutters making 25 ft. x 6 ft. and 50 ft. x 6 ft. garden beds along our roadways, at our intersections, throughout our parks, and more. We’ve received 15,000 seeds from De Bruyn Seed Co. in Zeeland, Mich. and started some plants in flats that contain 18 plants each. These flats are placed in various containers inside City windows that harbor daily sun.
You are cordially invited to our Festival of Sunflower planting party on Wednesday, May 18, from 10 a.m. to noon. Meet us at City Hall with your garden gloves and a tool to dig a one-inch hole. We will be planting sprouts and seeds, one foot apart from each other in designated areas around City Hall, the Library, the Recreation Center, and Shepherd Park. We sure could use your help! At the end of planting season, we will have 15,000 square feet of sunflowers to greet our residents and all who pass through our fine City. What a nice way to start our day and end our evening drives – with a bit of joy and sunshine!