Project Daffodil already getting ready for second planting season in St. Charles

  • Volunteers for Project Daffodil helped plant 5,000 daffodil bulbs last fall in Mount Saint Mary Park in St. Charles. They're planning a second round of planting Oct. 16, with the help of dozens of volunteers.

    Volunteers for Project Daffodil helped plant 5,000 daffodil bulbs last fall in Mount Saint Mary Park in St. Charles. They're planning a second round of planting Oct. 16, with the help of dozens of volunteers. Courtesy of the River Corridor Foundation of St. Charles

 
 
Updated 7/6/2021 6:26 AM

It's not easy planting 5,000 daffodil bulbs in a single fall day.

Even though planting season is still months away, the River Corridor Foundation of St. Charles already is seeking volunteers to help with the second year of Project Daffodil. After enjoying the bloom of 5,000 flowers this spring in Mount Saint Mary Park along Route 31, organizers are hoping to exceed the effort when they work the dirt again in a few months.

 

River Corridor Foundation Director John Rabchuk originally planned for a total of 100,000 daffodils to be planted over several years, but he acknowledges the number eventually will inch closer to about 40,000. It'll be due to a lack of space, however, and not a lack of effort or interest.

Visitors flocked to Mount Saint Mary Park this spring as thousands of blooming daffodils surrounded the beloved Mr. Eggward statue. The bulbs were planted under COVID-19 restrictions, but 125 volunteers still turned out last year and worked in shifts.

"What we were really pleased about, and what we hoped for, is that it really became a photo opportunity for a lot of people this spring," Rabchuk said. "For the five or six weeks the daffodils were blooming, there were people taking pictures all the time and saying very nice things about it."

Rabchuk hopes for additional volunteers this year, as organizers try to match the 5,000 daffodils and add 150 Virginia bluebells that are native to the area. The planting will take place to the south of last year's event.

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"We've already had a few new people sign up," Rabchuk said. "We put up signs at the site with a QR tag for Project Daffodil, and I think that's where people are finding out about it."

While the St. Charles Park District has been accommodating by providing the space in the park, city staff will help clear a rocky edge that proved difficult to work around last year. Planting tools will be provided to volunteers, who will be divided into teams. Volunteers can sign up for the October 16 event at projectdaffodilstc.com.

Organizers are asking for volunteers who are able to bring certain equipment like electric generators and drills. The planting is estimated to take about two hours.

"We've got a much better feel for it this year, so we'll be better organized," Rabchuk said. "You never know about weather and other things, of course, but we learned a lot from last year."

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