If you were one of the many New Yorkers who emerged from lockdown last spring and marveled at the city’s many vibrant flowers, you can rest easy knowing that next year’s bloom will be larger than ever thanks to actions being taken by a local group right now. Also, you can even request some free bulbs to plant yourself.
New Yorkers For Parks have been planting daffodils around NYC every year for the last 20 years. The massive volunteer effort, which involves up to 400,000 New Yorkers, began after the 9/11 attacks when Hans van Waardenburg, a Dutch bulb supplier, gifted a million flowers to the city to honor those who died. Since then, over eight million daffodil bulbs have been distributed for free, planted by volunteers every fall and blooming in the spring.
This year, on the 20th anniversary of 9/11, the Daffodil Project will double the number of bulbs planted around the five boroughs for a total of one million bulbs planted in the city. The project’s increased size this year is meant to also honor those lost in the coronavirus pandemic.
If you’re looking to volunteer with the 2021 Daffodil Project, there is currently a waitlist that you can join by filling out your information on this page. Joining the waitlist doesn’t guarantee you’ll receive bulbs, but you’ll be notified if you make the cut. You’ll be asked to specify the number of bulbs you’d like, your ideal pick-up location and more.
Stay tuned for more information on where you’ll be able to find the million daffodils across the city this spring. In the meantime, you can check out 2019’s map to see where the flowers popped up last year. (Pretty much everywhere!)