Nature | Nature Issue 2017

A Community of Flowers

The Sunflower Project teaches “beauty, purpose, and art” one mammoth sunflower at a time

Thea Michele Smith

A sunflower begins as a seed. It is a compact, quickly forgotten speck resting in the palm of a hand. But let that seed drop into soil and provide it with water, and it will shed its coating and sprout a stem, leaves, and eventually, flower. For Kathy Fitzgerald and Rita Alvarez, this is how their organization, the Sunflower Project, began: from a small idea and a big passion.