Sunflowers at Stone Creek
Sunfowers at Stone Creek

If you’ve paid a visit to the area surrounding the future Atkins Golf Club at the University of Illinois recently, you may have noticed the massive field of sunflowers at Stone Creek subdivision that has taken over the west side of the course.

The Atkins Group planted the sunflowers as a transition crop, as the land goes from being one of TAG’s properties to becoming an asset of the U of I. In total, there are now around 42 acres of sunflowers in full bloom along the western curve of Stone Creek Blvd in Urbana.

The sunflowers are there for the public to enjoy, and a maze/walking path has been cut through the flowers in the shape of the University of Illinois “I”. The entrance is near the scrub tree at the corner of Stone Creek Blvd. and Amber Lane, and another can be found farther along Stone Creek Blvd.

“We didn’t do this as a moneymaker,” said Jim Goss, Director of Farm Management for the Atkins Group, “We did it to bring a little enjoyment to the community during what has been a pretty rough year.

Because of the late start in planting the field, it’s not yet known when or if the flowers will eventually be harvested, but they will be around for several weeks, adding a great spot for people in the community to come out and enjoy.

Below is a map of the location of the field and the entrances to the sunflower path. If you visit, please be respectful of both the flowers and other people. Practice social distancing and be aware that our local bee population absolutely loves the sunflowers at Stone Creek just as much as people do! Also, be aware that the walking path through the flowers is unpaved and may be muddy or uneven in places, so appropriate footwear is recommended.