Op-Ed: We could soon become the daffiest state in the nation

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Newport Daffodil Days Festival

Newport, there’s hope!

 

Under frozen mounds of snow throughout Newport are 866,500 daffodil bulbs. But don’t feel sorry for them – they’re designed by nature to withstand these cold winter temperatures. Indeed, they rely on winter’s cold to trigger the biochemical process necessary to bring the bulb to flower in spring. This fortunate chemistry helps to keep bulbs safe and snug in their winter beds, ready to explode in a riot of eye-popping yellow in time for our 5th Annual Newport Daffodil Days Festival, April 14-22.

Fall saw a record planting of 184,750 bulbs – bringing Newport ever closer to its “Daffodillion” goal of one million daffodils. Thanks to the City’s Tree & Park Supervisor, Scott Wheeler, and his stalwart crew (aided and abetted by our automatic bulb planting machine), last year’s bulb plantings included:

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  • 15,250 bulbs on the front lawn of St. Peter’s, at Broadway’s entrance into the city.
  • 41,000 more bulbs across from Easton’s Beach on Memorial Blvd., now totaling over 60,000.
  • 17,000 re-planted at Ballard Park.
  • 15,000 more on Cliff Walk – now totaling 55,000.
  • 13,750 along the train tracks on America’s Cup Ave.
  • 10,000 in and around Miantonomi Park – now totaling 25,000. 

 

An additional 62,750 bulbs were given away to local residents and businesses at Easton’s Beach, the Farmer’s Markets and the Broadway Street Fair. Our remarkable “Daffy” volunteers then planted another 10,000 at prominent spots throughout Newport.

 

Thanks to State Representative Lauren Carson, Governor Raimondo and RIDOT took interest in our efforts, requesting that Daffodillion plant at highly visible locations leading to the Pell Bridge, and in Warwick, off the 195 Interstate. For these demonstration projects, 15,000 bulbs were donated to the state to which they added another 25,000. Just think – we could soon become the daffiest state in the nation!

 

None of this would be possible without the support of the City, Daffodillion donors and volunteer planters. With such continued generosity, the once unfathomable goal of one million daffodils perennially greeting Newport each spring should be reached this coming fall.

 

For more information or to contribute to reaching a Daffo-dillion, go to www.Daffodillion.com.

 

Heartfelt appreciation to all.

 

John Hirschboeck

Daffodillion Project Director

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