The Superior Express -

Sunflowers are popping up in Burr Oak

Everything's coming up sunflowers in Burr Oak


Sunflowers of all kinds are showing up in Burr Oak for the 150th birthday of the town. Several are in place on the fence north of the Burr Oak school building.

Sunflowers are popping up everywhere in Burr Oak these days. In fact there are 150, one of a kind, primitive art created sunflowers up and down the main street of Burr Oak. All the sunflowers were created by welding, bolting or wiring metal pieces together. Adding the bright sunflower colors onto the metal was also done by volunteers. Sunflowers were items like old wheels, disk blades, hay rakes, augers, chains, fan bladesand hinges, all donated by people within the community. There is even a piece that came off of an old Harley Davidson motorcycle that was incorporated into one of the sunflowers. This community project was the idea of the city clerk, Amy Reed.

Amy was searching for a project that would have people working together and spark pride in the town. Amy thought the sunflower would make a good subject in representing Burr Oak. After all, sunflowers are the Kansas state flower, is represented on the state flag and the nickname for Kansas is the Sunflower State. The plan was put into action after word was received Burr Oak had been awarded a Dane G. Hansen Foundation grant. "When people found out about the project, they donated recycled metal objects of all kinds and volunteers would show up at an appointed time to work creating the sunflowers," Amy shared. She credited helpers Renita Volker and Julie McEntee with help in developing the sunflower project.

The idea was the sunflowers would be up and on display along the main street before Burr Oak's 150th anniversary celebration, June 4, 5 and 6. Of course there had to be 150 sunflowers in connection with the number of years of the town's anniversary. Currently most of the sunflowers are in place with the last of the sunflowers going on display within the first part of May.

Sunflowers of all kinds are showing up in Burr Oak for the 150th birthday of the town. Several sunflowers are in place on the fence north of the Burr Oak school building.

It is hoped people traveling into or through Burr Oak will take note of the many bright sunflowers and according to Amy, it could even be used as a traveling game to count the sunflowers to see if all 150 can be found. Besides the 150 sunflowers along the main street, which is part of Highway 128, there are other created sunflowers located at the library, the museum, in yards, parks and other places in town. Most of the sunflowers are along the chain link fence north of the former school house building.

The sunflower was a good choice for this project as it's considered to be a historic Kansas symbol which represents the frontier days, winding trails, and the grassy prairies of this area. It's a native flower seen in years of the past but also it continues to be seen in the present and in the bright days ahead just as it is with the town of Burr Oak.

Another recent grant Burr Oak received through the Dane G. Hansen Foundation, along with private donations, and through the USDA, provided funds for new street signs and most of the 68 poles and signs in town. Most of these are now in place with the rest going up throughout the summer. A S.E.A.R.C.H. Grant was applied for. It was awarded to Burr Oak so an engineering project has started in developing a plan for water works improvement.


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