The Clark County Sunflower Field, located near the bike path along West Euclid Avenue and Grand Avenue in Springfield, is in full bloom.
With nearly four to five acres of sunflowers, individuals can visit the field, take photos and make memories with their loved ones - while taking proper COVID-19 precautions like wearing masks and social distancing.
Chuck Bauer, director of the Clark County Solid Waste District explained that the project began in 2018 as a collaboration between Keep Clark County Beautiful, National Trail Parks and Recreation District, the city of Springfield, the Clark County Land Re-utilization Corp. and the Clark County Solid Waste District to plant a sunflower field at an abandoned industrial site.
“We were trying to get an attraction that would beautify Clark County and make people want to come to Clark County to see it,” Bauer said.
The sunflower field is more than a yearly attraction - it helps conserve nature and resources, Sam Perin, education specialist at the Clark County Solid Waste District explained.
“When you plant sunflowers, they perform a process called phytoremediation,” Perin said. “Those plants actually remove toxins and metals from the soil.”
This year the Clark County Solid Waste District added eight chairs around the field that are made from reused styrofoam.
Perin explained that the chairs have QR codes on the back of them that visitors can scan and learn more information about the Clark County Solid Waste District’s styrofoam recycling program.
He added that their styrofoam recycling program is the second one in the state.
The Clark County Sunflower Field is one of the only sunflower fields in the area.
The sunflower field off of U.S. 68 in Yellow Springs was not planted this year due to the coronavirus pandemic and the importance of social distancing, according to a Facebook post from the Tecumseh Land Trust in late June.
Bauer explained that the Clark County Sunflower field is “a much smaller version” of the sunflower field in Yellow Springs.
The Keep Clark County Beautiful board voted “pretty much unanimously” to plant the field this year because they felt residents would be able to social distance comfortably and that residents needed something to look forward to, he added.
Bauer said he visited the field this past week and saw a father taking photos of his daughter in the field.
“That’s what it’s about,“ Bauer said. “People in the community coming to the field and making a memory with their family.”
Last year, Keep Clark County Beautiful was awarded the 2019 Keep America Beautiful Overall Community Improvement award for the Clark County Sunflower Field at the Keep America Beautiful National Conference in Memphis, Tennessee.
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