The Daffodil Project returning to Queens next month to memorialize lives lost during 9/11, COVID-19 pandemic

Daffodil Project
The Daffodil Project kicks off its 21st year next month, bringing volunteers from across the city together to honor those New Yorkers lost in 9/11 and COVID-19. (Photo courtesy of New Yorkers for Parks)

New Yorkers for Parks announced the launch of this year’s Daffodil Project, one of the city’s largest annual volunteer programs, which brings people together to plant living memorials to those lost during 9/11 and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since its inception in 2001, over 400,000 Daffodil Project volunteers have planted more than 9 million daffodil bulbs across the five boroughs. In addition to creating the living memorial, the project promotes citywide park stewardship and civic engagement, advancing New Yorkers for Parks’ agenda to increase funding for city parks.

“The Daffodil Project is an opportunity for New Yorkers to come together and create a beautiful, living memorial for those we’ve lost, sparking healing, togetherness and joy,” said New Yorkers for Parks Executive Director Adam Ganser. “Flowers, parks and natural spaces have a significant impact on our quality of life, and New York’s city government must follow through on the mayor’s verbal commitment to increase spending for the Parks Department to 1% of NYC’s annual spending.”

The project kicks off on Sunday, Sept. 25, at Union Square Park in Manhattan followed by two events on Saturday, Oct. 1, at the RISE Center at 58-03 Rockaway Beach Blvd. in Far Rockaway and at Brookfield Park on Staten Island. After that, the Daffodil Project moves on to Mill Pond Park in the Bronx on Sunday, Oct. 2, and wraps up on Sunday, Oct. 16, back in Queens at the Overlook in Forest Park.

(Photo courtesy of New Yorkers for Parks)

“The Daffodil Project is a reminder of how crucial parks are to New Yorkers’ mental health and emotional well-being and the urgency of boosting NYC Parks funding to 1% of our city budget to ensure parks are clean, accessible and restorative places for everyone,” said Councilman Shekar Krishnan, chair of the Parks Committee. “I’m proud to support the Daffodil Project with $10,000 in discretionary funds to bring our community together and help raise awareness about the importance of investing in our parks.”

Distribution of the bulbs will take place between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. at each location. Registration for volunteers is now open at ny4p.org/the-daffodil-project.

“The Daffodil Project helps both beautify our community and honor the memory and mission of community leaders, such as teachers at P.S. 41 like Mrs. Geri Cilmi, who taught local students to love science, respect nature, and to always work toward a world that promotes conservation,” said Jessica Burke, founding president of Friends of Crocheron & John Golden Park. “Last year, along with volunteers planting over 500 bulbs around the park, we gave away 900 bulbs to community members and groups in northeast Queens. We’re excited to work with the Daffodil Project to bring that joy to the community again this year.”