Woodward Wildflowers

Project To Beautify The Avenue Blossoms This Summer

By Shelby Clark Petkus

A thousand sunflowers will be planted on Woodward Avenue this summer in the park district between Six and Eight Mile Roads as part of the "Sunflowers on Woodward" project.

Presented by Royal Oak's Woodward Avenue Action Association (WA3), the beautification project aims to make Woodward a walkable, complete street for its 27-mile stretch. Since 2012, WA3 and other volunteers have planted hundreds of plants through the districts along Woodward. Considered the "All American Road," Woodward will hopefully continue to feature inspiring architecture, quality streetscaping, beautiful public spaces, increased patronage, development of further unique heritage and recognition as a national model of public/private collaborations following WA3's continued involvement.

In addition to the sunflowers, Normal Silk of Birmingham Blossoms will help sponsor the planting of 15 Princeton Elm Trees at the intersection of Seven Mile and Woodward. With generous contributions, the sunflower beds will be maintained and tree planting can be expanded.

Silk, together with his partner Dale Morgan, will also host a thank you cocktail party for the donors and benefactors of the sunflower project as an incentive to help raise the needed funds. Local residents and supporters of the project who donate at a level of $75 or more per person will be invited to the couple's Garden Cocktail party, an event that will be held at Detroit's only Frank Lloyd Wright home. The home, the Dorothy G. Turkel House, also serves as Silk and Morgan's private residence.

Aside from being a unique Wright home in Detroit, the architect's rare, all-concrete "Usonian Automatic" midcentury design is exemplified. The Turkel home is one of only seven of its kind and is also the largest, and only two story, of those examples. Recently featured in Hour Magazine (April 2014), the home has extensive gardens that complement the organic architecture of the home.

So far, the People for Palmer Park (PPP) have signed on as supporters of the sunflower project, solidifying their presence as advocates for growth in the Woodward area, particularly Palmer Park. Other groups and individuals are urged to support the sunflower project for the benefit of all along the Woodward corridor.

The sunflower project is tentatively scheduled to begin the first week of June; tree planting will be early to mid June. The Garden Party for donors of $75-plus will be at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, June 11.

WA3 is located at 30947 Woodward Ave., Suite 200, Royal Oak. Blossoms can be found at 33866 Woodward, Birmingham. For more information on the project, visit


To keep up with the cool cities along Woodward, such as Royal Oak and Birmingham, visit http://www.pridesource.com.
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