I learn at least three new facts each day while working at the Dublin Library’s Information Desk.  Last week, a library customer told me how you can grow sunflowers for free  by participating in The Great Sunflower Project.  You’ll not only have beautiful flowers in your yard, but you’ll provide pollen to the Bay Area’s bee population.

Sunflowers are easy to grow and are great for wildlife.  Bees and other pollinators love the sunflower’s center and squirrels and birds snack on the seeds as the sunflower matures.

The Great Sunflower Project is looking for citizen scientists to plant sunflowers around the country and then observe how many and what kind of bees buzz by them. You’ll observe the bees for 30 minutes twice a month and record what you see.  Participants can be any age.

When all the data is in, San Francisco State University scientists will use it to make a coast-to-coast pollination map, showing where bees are and aren’t throughout the United States.

Kits with seeds for native sunflowers are free and are being mailed out now. Join by visiting The Great Sunflower Project’s Web site, or call (415) 847-1716.

For more information about gardening, landscaping and botany, visit the Dublin Library!

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