Look for a riot of daffodil blooms in Tupelo come spring

TUPELO – Before residents can enjoy the spectacle when thousands of daffodils brighten the spring landscape of Mill Village, the task of planting 50,000 bulbs must be completed.
Not as many volunteers as last year turned out for Saturday’s daffodil planting at Elizabeth and Spring streets, so more time and hands will be needed to plant the bulbs that are left, said project organizer Doyce Deas.
“All told we had about 55 volunteers coming and going,” Deas said about midday Saturday. “I’m not sure what we’ll do to finish, but they need to be in the ground this week.”
Jolie Reid brought her children – 6-year-old Sadie and Jon Carter, 4 – to give them their first experience of community service.
“Daffodils are my favorite flower, and this was a good service project to do with the kids,” she said.
The Reids were teamed with Moe Bristow, another daffodil lover who helped with last year’s daffodil planting.
“I have them all over my yard and think this project started last year is great,” Bristow said.
Ruth Fonden, a member of the Southern Heights Neighborhood Association, also helped with last year’s project and thought it a good teaching opportunity for her son, Brennan Fonden.
“I wanted to have my son participate in community service, and this was a project where I could not only tell him, but show him,” Ruth Fonden said.
Brennan Fonden and the friend who came with him, Zierra Long, both are members of their community’s Neighborhood Association Youth Council.
Norma Smith has history in Mill Village that she wanted to share with her daughter, Sihya Smith.
“My father was born here, he was raised here and he raised us here, even though we live in another part of Tupelo now,” Norma Smith said.
Mill Village was one of the communities the Quality of Life Committee identified when they developed their master plan, Deas said.
She noted that residents throughout the city play a part in Quality of Life projects like the daffodil plantings and the downtown concerts held during the summer. The projects are supported by funds accumulated from people who do not opt out on their water bills to have their monthly charges rounded up to the next dollar. The additional cents go into the Quality of Life Fund, she said.
“We’ve got areas identified for several years out and we plan to be in a different part of the city each year,” Deas said.

Contact Lena Mitchell at (662) 287-9822 or lena.mitchell@djournal.com.

Lena Mitchell/NEMS Daily Journal