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Sunflower with dew on it

Hilliard sunflower planting, seed sales to help refugees

Posted May 6, 2022 in Uncategorized by David Ball

The community is invited to help the City of Hilliard “plant the seeds of love” to help refugees from Ukraine and other countries around the world.

With the help of residents, the City will be planting a field of sunflowers along Scioto Darby Road west of Municipal Park, on part of the property that will be home to the future Community Center. Seeds will be provided for the planting to those who arrive at event at 2 p.m. May 22.

The project was created to bring awareness about and raise funds to support international refugees from all countries. The City also will be selling 1,000 sunflower packets at $5 per package, with all proceeds going to the non-profit agency US Together (https://www.ustogether.us/.) Residents are encouraged to plant these sunflower seeds on their own properties.

To raise funds for relief efforts, sunflower seed packets will be sold:

  • at the planting on May 22 (credit cards or checks);
  • at the Community Center and the Senior Center, 3800 Veterans Memorial Drive, weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (credit cards or checks);
  • at Celebration at the Station concerts at Hilliard Station Park on Thursday nights starting in June (credit cards or checks); and
  • at Hilliard Family Aquatics Center and at Clyde “Butch” Seidle Community Pool once they open May 26 (cash or credit cards only.)

Residents wishing to make monetary donations without purchasing seeds may do so directly via clicking the “Planting Seeds of Love” donors page on WebTrac (credit cards only.)

Sunflowers are the City of Hilliard’s official flower and the national flower of Ukraine.

At maturity – in 60 to 80 days – the flowers will fill an area approximately 4.5 acres. In addition to the main field, a learning circle surrounded by sunflowers will be created for educational programming. The programs will be hosted by City of Hilliard Recreation and Parks Department. Signage teaching information about sunflowers also will be available.

Before harvest, it also will be possible for residents to take pictures at the field.

“The war in Ukraine has brought the plight of international refugees from all countries into sharp focus,” said City Manager Michelle Crandall. “The connection of sunflowers being the official flower of both Ukraine and the City of Hilliard made the idea of supporting relief efforts while beautifying the community a natural way to help those in need.”

The bulk of the field will be planted by a professional farmer, but community residents who want to help plant can do so at 2 p.m. May 22. Those interested in helping are asked to park at the parking lot near the western entrance to Municipal Park on Scioto Darby Road, or at Latham Park, 4125 Cosgray Road.

“The Hilliard community consistently opens its hearts for those in need,” Crandall said. “The ‘Planting the Seeds of Love’ program is a simple and beautifully symbolic way of helping those who have been displaced from their home countries.”

The City is seeking partnership opportunities with local businesses, organizations, and contractual/independent farmers who would be interested in submitting ideas for helping Hilliard harvest the seeds and/or otherwise put them to good use. Contact Erin Duffee, Deputy Director of Recreation and Parks, at 614-334-2579 or email recandparks@hilliardohio.gov with proposals.