The Daffodil Project
In honor of Earth Day, I got out to Riverside Park this morning to take some pictures of the daffodils that dot the park. A testament to how cold it's been and the nor'easter of last weekend, the daffodils are usually finished blooming by now so I was delighted to find them still in full flower. They were a welcome sight in the aftermath of the Virginia Tech shootings and a week that included the solemn anniversaries of Columbine and the Oklahoma City bombing. But even the daffodils do not come without their own reminder of another tragic event: September 11th.
The Daffodil Project was started as a living memorial in New York City parks to honor the victims that died in the attacks that day. Thanks to the generosity of a Dutch bulb grower, Hans van Waardenburg, who donated 500,000 of his own bulbs and organized the donations of other Dutch bulb growers, he was able to present the city with over a million daffodil bulbs to be planted in all New York City parks in all boroughs. Over 10,000 volunteers turned out to plant the bulbs in the Fall of 2001, the largest community planting in city history. The following Spring, as a symbol of renewal and new life, the bulbs began sprouting up in clusters on hillsides, fields and flowerbeds and have been every Spring since.