Acres of sunflowers planted at Dix Park this summer

News posted Jun. 28, 2018 - 4:04 pm

The field of sunflowers planted by City of Raleigh Public Utilities near the Neuse River Resource Recovery Facility was a spectacular attraction last year. This year, Public Utilities, in partnership with the City of Raleigh Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources (PRCR) and Office of Sustainability have planted five acres of flowers at Dorothea Dix Park to allow community members to access and enjoy the amazing blooms up close. Peak bloom is anticipated July 14.

Sunflowers are beautiful and also beneficial to the City in multiple ways. At their Neuse River facility, the nutrient-rich byproducts of the treatment plant served as a fertilizer and then the crop was harvested and used to produce biodiesel. The sunflowers at Dix Park will also be harvested and used to contribute to the City’s biodiesel supply.

PRCR will host SunFest 2018 on Saturday, July 14 from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. This family friendly festival features a variety of performances, lawn games, summer themed vendors and of course, walks through the sunflower field during peak bloom. We hope you will join us for this fun and educational event! To help us prepare for everyone, please register for a free ticket through our website. The rain date will be Sunday, July 15.

Sunflower Field Know Before You Go:

  • The sunflower field at Dix Park is located off Hunt Drive near the NCFC soccer fields. Guests should park in the soccer field parking areas during the weekdays;
  • More than 2,000 NC Department of Health and Human Services employees work on the campus each day. Please be respectful of their working environment and avoid all buildings and DHHS parking areas during business hours. On weeknights and weekends, designated parking lots with green striping are available for public use;
  • You can walk or bike to the park. Dix Park is located on the Rocky Branch Greenway;
  • Walking up hills, in grass and on uneven surfaces will be necessary. We recommend closed-toe shoes;
  • Please do not pick the flowers or eat the sunflower seeds. Public Utilities will be harvesting them for use after they have bloomed;
  • Remember you are outside! So are bugs and other critters. Be prepared!
  • Please keep your pup on-leash and pick up after them; and,
  • There are only porta-johns in the park and no drinkable water, so please plan accordingly and enjoy the beautiful blooms!

What to Bring to SunFest:

  • Bring your friends and family;
  • Bring your kids;
  • Bring Fido on a leash;
  • Bring your ideas for the future of Dix Park – think BIG, think BOLD!
  • Bring a picnic blanket or lawn chairs if you wish. We will have large shade structures on-site. We know it will be hot and we want everyone to enjoy the festival;
  • Bring sunglasses, sunscreen, insect repellant, a hat, and a reusable water bottle (we’ll have water stations for refills) – it’s July in Raleigh, we know it’s going to be hot!
  • You can bring a small cooler or picnic basket of food, but we’re going to have lots of food trucks selling delicious food, beer, ice cream, and much more;
  • Please note that smoking is not permitted in the park; and,
  • Drones or other aerial devices are not permitted at the festival– we know this is a great area to fly, but drones and crowds aren’t a good combination. We’ll have plenty of entertainment to keep you busy!

For more information, contact

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