Daffodils in bloom: Family walk sponsored by YMCA brings dozens to local park.

Mar. 19—ASHLAND — The inaugural Daffodil Springtacular family walk brought more than 100 community members to Central Park observing meadows of yellow flowers.

About 26,000 daffodil bulbs were planted in 11 different locations last year. They're all now blooming, said Norma Meek, Daffodil Springtacular coordinator. It's not just flowers to her, but a vision of bringing "beauty, love, tranquility, serenity and harmony" to Ashland.

"It's hard to be unhappy when you are looking at beautiful yellow fields of flowers," Meek said. "They bring joy to everyone's faces when they drive by and see them. We want to bring a focus to our community so that people will come. ... They will shop, they will visit and tour our meadows; it will just bring visitors to Ashland," Meek said.

"The community has embraced the meadows this year. I've gotten calls as far away as Morehead and Lexington asking how we got it organized and how we did it," she added.

Clarke Wiley, of the daffodil committee, had approached Meek in the past with the idea of putting meadows of yellow in town. It inspired Meek to jump on board and they did just that.

"I just thought about it and said I would help him. I became kind of the ring master. We have a great committee — nice individuals who really have stepped up and helped. This is a big endeavor," she said. "The community has continued to support this project that we hope in 10 years will bring over 70 meadows of yellow."

Matt Perkins, Ashland mayor, was in attendance for the daffodil family walk Sunday and said the flowers are an example of "everybody working together" for the betterment of the city and region.

"It started many years ago," Perkins said. "Just like with anything, it spreads and this is just an example of this growing. ... It's a legacy that will live long past all of us for our kids and grandkids to see.

"It's a sense of pride, where you live," he added.

Perkins said Meek, who wears many hats in northeastern Kentucky, is a "force to be reckoned with."

"She can get anything done and, when she puts her mind to something, with her powers of persuasion, she can get non-profits and government agencies to come together to see something through," Perkins said. "In our little part of the state you have a group of people that love where they live, and are willing to do whatever it takes to make it look as pretty and beautiful as possible."

The first meadow was planted in Central Park in 1999.

Other locations to see the "Meadows of Yellow" are: ACTC entrance, Armco Park, Ashland Tennis Center, City of Ashland Welcome Sign (7th Street), City of Ashland Welcome Sign (35th Street), Community Trust Bank drive-thru (16th Street and Carter Ave), downtown Catlettsburg, Food Fair (South Ashland), South Ashland City Park and Wiley Manor at 2700 Forest Ave.

(606) 326-2657 — ajohnson@dailyindependent.com