Wildflower project approved by Dayton City Council

The gateway marker on the east side of Dayton along US 90 now features two life-size Texas longhorn sculptures. The area around the gateway marker will soon be planted with wildflower seeds.

A grassy section of land near the gateway markers on the east side of Dayton will soon be planted with wildflower seeds. The newly-formed Dayton Garden Club is taking on the task with the Dayton Enhancement Committee after gaining permission from Dayton City Council at Monday night’s meeting.

Appearing before council with Dayton Enhancement Committee’s Susan Simmons, Tara Hanel, a vice-president of Dayton Garden Club and a member of the Dayton Enhancement Committee, told council that the garden club is willing to furnish all the seeds and provide the labor. All that was needed from the city was permission.

Susan Simmons with the Dayton Enhancement Committee (right) and Tara Hanel with the Dayton Garden Club share their groups’ plans to plant wildflowers at the gateway marker on the east side of Dayton on US 90.

“No city funds will be used for the project,” Hanel said.

The City owns a sliver of land at the entrance to Dayton. The rest is owned by private landowners. Kelsey Connor, another member of the club, said that verbal permission for the wildflower project was granted by the other landowners.

“We have volunteers with the club who will help till the land to prepare the property for planting. Mother Nature will water them. There is really nothing needed from the city except permission to use the land,” Conner said. “They re-germinate over time. Plant them once and it’s good to go.”

The wildflowers are expected to be planted in the first part of November. If all goes well, the first blooms should emerge next spring.

The Dayton Enhancement Committee just wrapped up another improvement to the gateway markers at the same location where the wildflowers will be planted. In August 2020, Bluebonnet News shared news of the committee’s plans to install two driftwood Texas longhorn sculptures that were the creation of Dayton artist Charles Vogliardo.

The life-size sculptures have since been installed by the city’s public works employees. The sculptures were paid for by the Dayton Enhancement Committee with no additional expense passed on to the City of Dayton.

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Before creating Bluebonnet News in 2018, Vanesa Brashier was a community editor for the Houston Chronicle/Houston Community Newspapers. During part of her 12 years at the newspapers, she was assigned as the digital editor and managing editor for the Humble Observer, Kingwood Observer, East Montgomery County Observer and the Lake Houston Observer, and the editor of the Dayton News, Cleveland Advocate and Eastex Advocate. Over the years, she has earned more than two dozen writing awards, including Journalist of the Year.

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