Fields of sunflowers are attracting visitors to the Columbia Bottoms conservation area


SPANISH LAKE, MO – Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words, and there is a new popular place that has become the picture taking area near Spanish Lake.

The sunflower stands for loyalty and adoration. And these sunflowers in Spanish Lake stand between 2 to 6 feet tall.

“We used to plant pretty much in May and then they would bloom in July and then mature, and the seeds would drop off in September and they would attract doves. Since we found out they were so popular in July for people to take pictures with, our staff decided to do some additional planting.  So, they have done additional fields at different times.  So, we should be able to see sunflowers at Columbia Bottom all the way through mid-July to mid-August,” said Dan Zarlenga, Missouri Department of Conservation.

About 3 miles north of Interstate 270 at the Riverview exit is the Missouri Department of Conservation Columbia Bottom.

The 4,318-acre conservation area is home to fishing, boating and hunting.

But this year they added thousands of sunflower seeds in assorted areas.

“People happen to plug Columbia Bottom into their GPS units or phones it may say closed.  That’s the visitor center, it’s closed.  But the area is open from a half-hour before sunrise to a half-hour after sunset,” said Zarlenga.

But if you go, be aware of the gravel and dirt roads that can kick up a cloud of dust.

“Sure, well yeah this is great win win situation for the sunflowers.  It helps the dove hunters in the fall.  It provides food for doves’ other animals and our pollinators which are important.  And it gives everybody a chance to see these beautiful sunflowers and get on Instagram hashtag Columbia Bottom you’re going to find all kinds of cool photos of sunflowers.  So, it’s great to get out and enjoy nature.”

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