U.S. Army Corps of Engineers await sunflowers to bloom

Published: Aug. 10, 2023 at 9:52 AM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - The Chena River Lakes Flood Control Project is known for preventing floods but did you know the floodway also has a sunflower field dedicated for wildlife.

The Moose Creek Dam was originally created to reduce flooding to Fairbanks. As the floodway needs to be clear of wooden stems, such as trees, that could damage the dam the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers dedicated part of the flood control project as a sunflower field for wildlife and to also maintain the moose population.

Dalton Silvis, a Park Ranger for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers describes that the field serves more than just the moose that eat the planted vegetation.

“We also decided that instead of mowing the whole thing, we’re going to till up some of the ground and we’re going to try and plant some species just for wildlife. It helps us on the flood risk management side and it helps us on the environmental stewardship side so we’re not just mowing everything all the time,” said Silvis.

The field is located along Lawrence Road within the floodway at the entrance parking lot. Although, a construction project is under way at this time and limits how much you can see, the public is allowed to walk up the ramp to see the field where the sunflowers are expected to bloom at the end of August.

“I would advise the public if they want to come out to see the sunflowers, come on out and look at them [and] take the pictures they want. If they see wildlife in them we ask you to respect the wildlife and stay a safe distance away from them and try not to bother or harass the wildlife. If they bring their dogs, dogs are welcome pets out here in the floodway. If they are going to be out there, as long as they’re not chasing the geese or the cranes we’d appreciate that,” said, Silvis.