BILLINGS — Imagine an entire field covered with sunflowers. That’s what one Billings woman is trying to accomplish— she’s hoping to plant thousands of sunflowers in a field for the community to enjoy by next year.
Aubrey Hopkins, 25, was born and raised in the Magic City. For her, Billings is home.
“I’ve always wanted to find a way to contribute to this community,” Hopkins said on Tuesday.
Now she’s on a mission to bring a little beauty to her city.
“I did a little research, and there are no flower fields anywhere in Billings,” said Hopkins.
She’s seen sunflower fields in other cities and knows the crowds they can attract.
Colorado resident Matt Hulstrom grew a 10-acre sunflower field on his property near Denver as a gift to his daughter.
“I’d say, I probably put down anywhere from 10 to 12 thousand seeds per acre. So, ends up being around 100,000 seeds,” Hulstrom said.
He didn’t expect his community to react the way they did.
“I mean people were stopping by, taking pictures, you know, posting stuff about it, how it brightened up their day, different things like that,” said Hulstrom.
Hopkins hopes to do the same here in Billings. She decided to write a post on Facebook on the idea, and it blew up.
“There were hundreds of people that were interested, and a lot of people that reached out to me on Messenger and asked how they could contribute,” Hopkins said.
The challenge is now finding a location for the field and a landowner to partner with. She’s looking at a field near ZooMontana on the West End.
“This is one location that I’m looking at and I’m working on getting approval and permission to use this,” said Hopkins.
She’s hoping the sunflower field will be near businesses so that they could benefit.
“I have looked into different grants, agricultural grants, to get this started,” Hopkins said.
She’s determined to bring beauty to the city and hopes to start planting by next summer and invites community members to reach out to her with location ideas.
“I just want to people to be excited and get amped up for this next summer,” said Hopkins.
She’s created a GoFundMe and a website if community members would like to support the cause.
You can check those out at Fundraiser by Aubrey Hopkins : Pick-your-own Sunflower Field 2023 (gofundme.com) and HOME | Sun & Celosia (sunandcelosia.com).