Project Daffodil aiming to plant 5,000 flowers in St. Charles
Mr. Eggward is about to have a bunch of company.
Beyond the 100 volunteers meeting Saturday at Mount St. Mary Park in St. Charles, next spring the iconic Humpty Dumpty-esque statue will be surrounded by the blooms of 5,000 daffodil bulbs being planted this weekend to bring an eyeful of joy to those visiting the park along the Fox River.
Project Daffodil is the brainchild of John Rabchuk, a member of the River Corridor Foundation of St. Charles. In conjunction with the St. Charles Park District -- and thanks to a generous donation of bulbs from the Heinz Brothers Greenhouse Garden Center -- a team of volunteers will get their hands dirty starting at 9 a.m. Saturday with the goal of laying the groundwork for beautiful blossoms along the western edge of the park and the nearby bicycle trail.
Rabchuk believes that after a long winter continuing to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, the public will appreciate the brightness.
"Everybody we've talked to thinks it's just a great idea," Rabchuk said. "After such a horrible 2020, we're hoping in the spring of 2021 we'll have a bunch of blossoms around Mr. Eggward and bring smiles to people."
Dave Johnson, the St. Charles Park District's assistant superintendent of parks, said the area around Mr. Eggward was mowed to prepare for the planting but the ground needs no clearing to accommodate the daffodils. While they aren't native to the area, Johnson said they'll do well in the exiting landscape.
"We think it'll make an impressive display and it'll welcome people as they come into St. Charles from the south on Route 31," Johnson said. "It's a nice, happy greeting. It's a good place to have that kind of impact."
This could be just the beginning of the planting partnership at Mount St. Mary Park. There's still plenty of room around Mr. Eggward for different types of flowers in future seasons.
Depending how this planting session turns out, Mr. Eggward might have more flowery friends in the years to come.
"If we go all the way from the Mr. Eggward sculpture down to the south parking lot, there's room for 100,000 bulbs," Rabchuk said. "The Fox River Valley is such a wonderful place, and it's kind of a hidden gem. Anything we can do to make it better, that's our goal."