Volunteers dig deep, plant daffodils

By JB Clark/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – A handful of volunteers got out early and braved the cold weather Saturday morning to help keep Tupelo beautiful for years to come.
About 15 volunteers planted the newest plot of daffodils for the Tupelo Daffodil Project from 9 a.m. until noon along Veterans Boulevard near the Highway 78 intersection.
Residents and people who travel through Tupelo in the spring have noticed large plots of daffodils popping up on the MDOT hill, along McCullough Boulevard, at City Park, Ballard Park, Veterans Park and near the Old Mill Town Park.
These plots were planted through the Tupelo Daffodil Project as a part of Keep Tupelo Beautiful.
“The response that we get from this is very good,” said Sherrie Cochran, environmental planner for Keep Tupelo Beautiful. “The parents bring their kids here to work, and it’s real cold so sometimes it’s hard to keep them on point. But in the springtime when the flowers bloom, the parents bring their children by and the kids say, ‘Oh yeah, we helped plant that,’ and they get excited and come back.”
Cochran has been planting daffodils with the help of volunteers each winter since 2008.
“My favorite part of the year now is when the daffodils start popping up around town,” she said. “Scenic beauty has a restorative power to it.”
Marguerite Johnson has helped plant the flowers each year and brings her granddaughters along with her.
“I come out and do this every year because I’m part of the community, and we want a community that looks good,” Johnson said.
Mary Grace has joined her grandmother each year since 2008 and said she enjoys riding past and seeing the flowers in the spring and telling her friends about it.
The project started with an idea from a friend of Doyce Deas, Lynden Miller, who worked to plant one million daffodils around New York after the 9/11 attacks.
“It’s a great investment for the community and I just wanted to do something that would be long lasting and bring beauty to the city,” Deas said.
Keep Tupelo Beautiful provided $10,000 in quality of life investment money for purchasing bulbs this year.
jb.clark@journalinc.com