The Daffodil Project
At a NY4P daffodil bulb distribution in St. Mary's Park in the Bronx
At a NY4P daffodil bulb distribution in St. Mary's Park in the Bronx

New Yorkers for Parks and NYC Parks founded The Daffodil Project in 2001 as a living memorial to September 11. With OVER 7 MILLION free bulbs planted citywide by more than 100,000 young students, parks and gardening groups, civic organizations, corporate volunteers, and other New Yorkers, it is one of the largest volunteer efforts in the city’s history. 

Every fall NY4P gives away approximately half a million daffodil bulbs to individuals and groups planting them in New York City public spaces such as parks, schoolyards, community gardens, street tree pits, and others. Participants must register in advance to receive bulbs. Registration opens in late summer of every year. To learn more about how it works, check out our FAQ. To receive registration alerts, sign up for our newsletter

Order Free Bulbs

Registration for free bulbs will open in late summer 2018. To be notified of when registration opens, sign up for our newsletter

Upcoming Events

Bulb distribution events for the 2018 Daffodil Project season will be posted in late summer, when bulb registration opens. 

Build Community
NY4P staff and students at a bulb planting in Brooklyn
NY4P staff and students at a bulb planting in Brooklyn

Whether you've been working in your local open spaces for years, or you're just getting started, The Daffodil Project is an easy and effective way to build and strengthen your community by working together toward a common goal. Many of NYC's strongest and most effective park advocates and activists got their start by planting daffodil bulbs from NY4P. 

And it's not just about parks - New Yorkers across the city use The Daffodil Project as a way to meet their neighbors, provide after school and weekend activities for young people, give seniors an opportunity to exercise and engage, educate themselves and others about sustainability and horticulture, and in many other ways. If you see a need for your community, there's a good chance that The Daffodil Project can help!

If you'd like help starting or growing your park volunteer group, reach out to a Partnerships for Parks Outreach Coordinator who can connect your with education and resources.

FAQ
A Daffodil Project bulb distribution in the Bronx
A Daffodil Project bulb distribution in the Bronx

Do I need an ID to pick up my bulbs? No. All you need to provide us with is your first and last name when you come to pick up your bulbs.

Can I send someone to pick up the bulbs on my behalf? Yes! Just let whomever is picking them up know that they must check in with your name. Even if you are part of a group (i.e. school, gardening club, etc.) our system organizes the distribution list by the name of the person that requested the bulbs.

How much do my daffodil bulbs weigh? The large net bags (550 bulbs) weigh about 35-40 pounds. The tote bags with 350 and 200 weigh about 25-15 pounds. We suggest that you bring a hand cart to transport them, as they can be heavy

Will there still be a distribution if it’s raining? All of our distribution events are rain or shine!

How did you choose the distribution location? Do I have to request to pick up the bulbs in the borough I live in? In order to provide all New Yorkers with the opportunity to beautify their neighborhood open spaces, our small outreach team does its best to provide multiple distribution locations that are accessible to as many participants as possible. This might mean that we aren’t distributing the bulbs in your neighborhood park, but we try to ensure that pick-up locations are relatively close to mass transit and parking where possible. We provide multiple dates throughout the fall, so that you may be able to find the most convenient location and time for your schedule. If the distribution in your home borough doesn’t work for you, we encourage you to select another distribution location that does!

Why can’t I request a larger amount of bulbs? While we would love to be able to provide every group with as many bulbs as possible, NY4P is a nonprofit organization that relies on donations to provide the funding to purchase our bulbs. Each full bag of bulbs (550) costs approximately $50, and we have over 1,000 individuals who receive bulbs from us at no cost. Depending on our funding, some years we can order more bulbs than others. While we understand it can be frustrating to receive fewer bulbs than you might have the year prior, we are doing our best to accommodate every individual who has requested bulbs. As a result, that sometimes means we have to make cuts to the maximum number of bulbs any one group can receive. If you are interested in donating to help us buy our daffodil bulbs, you can support the work of NY4P and the Daffodil Project here.

What happens if I show up late? We will begin to distribute any unclaimed bulbs to individuals who are on the waitlist during the last 30 minutes of each distribution (12:30 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.). If you show up after 12:30 p.m. we will still try to honor your registration, however, the waitlist is on a first-come first-serve basis. Once bulbs have been claimed, we cannot guarantee bulbs for those who registered. If you know you will be arriving to your distribution between 12:30 pm and 1:00 pm, you can let us know in advance so we hold your bulbs aside.

I submitted my daffodil request, when will I hear back or get a reminder? When you sign up for daffodils, please make sure that you receive an email from Emily Walker or Gabriella Cappo that acknowledges your request. You can then expect to receive an email from Emily on Gabriella on the Wednesday before your distribution date. (i.e. if you signed up to receive your bulbs at the Seth Low Community Center on the 30th, you will receive an email on September 27th with the details of the event).

How can I get more bulbs? For those that would like more bulbs than their original order, you are welcome to request a ticket for the waitlist period, and come back at 12:30 p.m., when we will be distributing any unclaimed bulbs to those on the waitlist.

What happens if I’m on the waitlist? The waitlist for bulbs begins at 3pm on Friday, September 1st (i.e. when regular bulb registration ends). If you register between Monday, August 14th and Friday, September 1st before 3pm, you are NOT on the waitlist. The Wednesday prior to the distribution date you selected during waitlist registration, you will receive a reminder email with the details of the event. We will distribute raffle tickets to those on the waitlist, and at 12:30 pm sharp we will begin calling out numbers. It is on a first-come first-serve basis so be sure you get your raffle ticket for the opportunity to get some bulbs!

Daffodil Project daffodils in a street tree pit in the East Village
Daffodil Project daffodils in a street tree pit in the East Village

Where can I plant my daffodils? When requesting bulbs, it is great to have in mind a space where you can plant them. Some great locations include neighborhood tree pits, community gardens, schools, parks, and planters in front of buildings – basically, anywhere that the public can see and enjoy them in the five boroughs of NYC! 

If you want to plant in a park, but haven’t done so before, we encourage you to look up your Partnerships for Parks Outreach Coordinator. They can help you to get in touch with the park manager for permission to plant your bulbs.

If you want to plant in a tree pit that is in front of a local business, you could stop in to ask if they are already doing anything to care for the tree, and express an interest in beautifying it by planting bulbs. This could be a great chance to see if they would help with the longer-term care and maintenance of the tree pit – for instance, maybe they could help you keep garbage out of the pit on a regular basis, and can help with watering during the warmer months.

How do I plant daffodil bulbs? Everyone who receives bulbs will receive detailed planting instructions when they pick up their bulbs, and you can download instructions in English and Spanish.

Can you give me tools for my bulb planting? Unfortunately, no. We do encourage you to look into small grants and crowdfunding if you are in need of supplies. Our friends at the Citizens Committee for New York City and ioby can help make this happen!

When is the best time to plant? Daffodil bulbs should be planted after the weather cools down, usually mid-October through the first week of December. It is important to get them in the ground before the first frost! If you aren’t planting your bulbs right away, we suggest you store your bulbs in a cool, dry place until you can plant them.

Is there anything I can do for NY4P in return for getting free bulbs? Yes! We always love when bulb recipients spread the word about The Daffodil Project, so please let your friends, family, and neighbors in NYC know that they can get free bulbs through our program. In addition, if you are planning to get press around your bulb planting day, we ask that you mention that the bulbs you are planting came from the New Yorkers for Parks Daffodil Project. This kind of coverage helps more New Yorkers discover our program!

Also, we love to see pictures of your planting events, and we especially love seeing pictures of the daffodils in bloom once spring arrives. Please send your photos to ny4p@ny4p.org – your photos help us see the impact we are having on NYC!

History
DeWitt Clinton Park, the site of the very first Daffodil Project planting
DeWitt Clinton Park, the site of the very first Daffodil Project planting

Like most New Yorkers in the fall of 2001, NY4P Board Member and public garden designer Lynden Miller was grieving in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, when she received a fax from Hans van Waardenburg, a Dutch bulb supplier with whom she had worked for many years.

"He had written, 'I feel so distressed and heartbroken for New York. New York and my country have had a long relationship going back to New Amsterdam. ... I just wish there was something I could do,'" Miller told the New York Daily News in 2011.

"And I sent back, 'Hans, you don't have any extra bulbs, do you?'"

Around the same time, Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe had a similar idea: planting yellow daffodils – the color of remembrance – across the city.  

Then the ship arrived in New York Harbor, one of the very first after the harbor reopened, and with it, a gift: one million daffodil bulbs from van Waardenburg and the City of Rotterdam.

That fall, more than 10,000 volunteers joined NY4P to initiate the Project. In 2007, Mayor Bloomberg named the daffodil the city’s official flower in recognition of the millions of daffodils that had bloomed every spring since 2001.

Today, the initiative remains a powerful memorial to the victims of the September 11 attacks, and its spirit is defined by the thousands of New Yorkers who join together to make their neighborhoods, and their city, a more beautiful place to live. 

Dedicate a Daffodil
Daffodil Project daffodils in Staten Island
Daffodil Project daffodils in Staten Island

You can share the Daffodil Project by dedicating daffodils in honor of a family member, friend, or your favorite community organization. They'll receive a customized daffodil certificate commemorating your support of communities across New York City in their honor.

Give a gift that never stops blooming!

Donation Levels

$25 – 250 bulbs, beautifying tree pits along a street
$50 – 500 bulbs, brightening up a community garden
$100 – 1,000 bulbs, filling a schoolyard
$250 – 2,500 bulbs, revitalizing a neighborhood park
$500 – 5,000 bulbs, across a whole borough
$1,000 – 10,000 bulbs to plant throughout New York City

Please note that these free bulbs are distributed to anyone who agrees to plant them in public spaces throughout the five boroughs. NY4P cannot guarantee that the bulbs will be designated to a specific park or borough.

The Daffodil Breakfast

A springtime tradition since 2002, the Daffodil Breakfast celebrates individuals and organizations whose dedication to their neighborhood and city exemplifies the Daffodil Project’s spirit of volunteerism and stewardship. The Breakfast helps to fund NY4P's work through the Daffodil Project. 

Learn more about Daffodil Breakfast and the honorees.

Contact Us

Still have more questions? Contact Gabriella Cappo, Outreach Coordinator, at 212-838-9410, ex.303, or gcappo@ny4p.org, and she'll be happy to help!