A former industrial site has been revived as the home of a 1.2-acre sunflower field at West Euclid Avenue along the bike path in Springfield.
The renovation project is a joint effort between Keep Clark County Beautiful, National Trail Parks & Recreation District, Clark County Land Bank and the City of Springfield.
The field will “beautify our community” in an area that was “an eyesore to the neighborhood,” said Leann Castillo, director of NTPRD.
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Each organization has contributed to the project in some capacity.
The land had already been purchased by the land bank as part of its mission to revive blighted property, said Steve Schlather, program coordinator of Keep Clark County Beautiful.
The project was paid for by KCCB, and materials and equipment were provided by NTPRD, Schlather said.
All three organizations involved in the project have worked together in the past on the KCCB committee, but this is their first collaborative project, according to Castillo.
“We work together on a regular basis, but this is something tangible we can see,” Castillo said.
“Something of this size is a lot for one organization to handle and maintain,” said Ethan Harris, assistant executive director of the Clark County Land Bank. “This is a great example of what can happen when all the players are in a room together.”
NTPRD has also created informational signage to go along the bike path, according to Castillo.
“Not only are people enjoying the beauty, but hopefully they are reading the signs and they learn something about sunflowers that they might not have known,” Castillo said.
This collaboration could be a springboard for future projects, Castillo said.
It is part of a broader renovation project undertaken by the land bank called Project Path, Harris said.
“The land bank has taken it upon itself to work with other organizations and see what we can do to return what is now blighted into productive status,” Harris said.
The flowers will provide food and habitat for birds and bees and pull unwanted materials from the ground, according to Schlather.
The sunflowers should be in bloom in about a week, according to Schlather. “We’re hoping the neighborhood comes by and people on the bike path check it out,” he said.