BELLVILLE -- The field full of flowers is hidden away round the bend, past the tennis courts and playground equipment.
The sheet of green stems shoots up towards the earth, budding flowerheads craning towards the sun.
The sunflower field at Burton Park sits where the old baseball field was once located. It’s one of two publicly accessible sunflower patches in Richland County this summer.
The Bellville Sunflower Garden is roughly two acres located immediately north of the B&O Bike Trail Parking Lot.
The gardens are open to the public, but visitors are asked not pick sunflowers so they can be enjoyed by everyone
Mayor Teri Brenkus of Bellville and Mansfied Parks Director Mark Abrams were both inspired by the Ontario sunflower field that took the county by storm last summer. People flocked to the field, located on Walker Lake Road, to take pictures and marvel at the natural beauty.
The Bellville Beautification Committee and City of Mansfield both paid for the seed, but Elzy Milling and Trade donated the labor to plant the seed.
GALLERY: Bellville sunflower patch
The Bellville sunflower patch is located immediately north of the 97 bike path parking lot. There are benches placed throughout the patch -- one with the flowers in the background, one facing the flowers and one on the path mowed through the center of the patch.
“Part of our pride in running Elzy Milling and Trade is our commitment to the area civically,” Clark said. “When both Mansfield and Bellville reached out to help with these projects they envisioned, we were happy to jump in and help out.”
Clark sees the beautification project as evidence that Richland County is working to stand out and improve quality of life for residents.
“Little touches like that are really what separates the villages from hometowns,” he said.
Abrams said the city plans to mow a path around the perimeter and through the middle. He hopes to continue the tradition next year.
“I would like to see it continue. We talked about possibly doing two next year but we'll see where that goes,” he said. “As much as people enjoyed the one in Ontario, I think that $200 (for the seed) was well worth it.”
Sunflowers are starting to head out at both locations, but Clark predicted that they’ll reach their crowning glory in August or early September.
“It’s a bit weather contingent of course,” he said. “You’ll see the heads remain there at least until the start of fall.”