WESTPORT — The bright yellow color of daffodils often signifies the change from winter to spring, and a new campaign could see the sun-kissed flowers spread throughout town.
This fall, local real estate agent Debra Kandrak started her Paint the Town Yellow campaign hoping to not only add to Westport’s scenery, but also commemorate those who have passed. Having studied interior design in college, Kandrak said she’s always looking for the beauty in nature.
“I thought wouldn’t it be nice if everyone planted daffodils around town,” she said. “In the spring you could see thousands of them everywhere.”
Kandrak, a resident of Westport for over 20 years, started her own memory garden in the early 2000s to honored lost loved ones. Every year she plants hundreds of daffodils on her property.
After coming up with the idea for a townwide project, she quickly garnered support on social media, from residents and local business owners, with many sharing their own stories of planting daffodils to commemorate loved ones. One family on Hillspoint Road has already pledged to plant hundreds of daffodils, she said.
“The response was overwhelming,” she recalled. “Everyone thought it was a fabulous idea.”
Kandrak said she hopes to make this campaign a yearly event; this year’s theme will focus on remembering loved ones, while next year will have a new theme.
“Every fall I hope to start to putting the word out,” she said. “Then I’ll say what the campaign will be for.”
Ultimately, she said she would love to see her work culminate in a daffodil festival akin to the annual Daffodil Festival in Nantucket, which offers a full day of events ranging from art exhibits to book sales.
“For 45 years they have been doing this Daffodil Festival,” she said. “Once it takes off and there are daffodils everywhere, maybe Westport can have one.”
Kandrak noted a potential festival and floral scenery could be a positive for downtown.
“I’ve had just a phenomenal response from everyone I’ve spoken to,” Kandrak said of the campaign’s initial support.
In the spring once the daffodils begin to bloom, she will return to social media in hopes of seeing the fruits of everyone’s labor. And when fall rolls around once more, she’ll be preparing for another campaign for the town.
“I’ve already thought of next year,” Kandrak said. “I’m thinking next year we’ll plant daffodils against bullying.”