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Charlestown Woman Plants Daffodils Along Marathon Route to Honor Victims

The flowers can be seen along the entire route on Marathon Monday.

Photo Credit: Diane Valle
Photo Credit: Diane Valle

Runners and attendees of the Boston Marathon may notice something new along the route this year. 

A variety of yellow daffodils, potted and planted, have been distributed along the route, thanks to the efforts of Charlestown resident Diane Valle.

Valle, a founding member of the Friends of the North End Parks Daffodil Day, came up with the idea for the effort after last year's Boston Marathon bombing. On April 14 of last year, she celebrated the blooming of 13,000 daffodils planted along the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway.

Then, after the events of the Boston Marathon, and seeing the city come together as it did to support and help one another, the idea sprang to distribute daffodils along this year's route to symbolize inspiration. 

Valle and a host of volunteers began planting the flowers in December 2013 from Hopkinton to Boston, lining the area with 100,000 yellow flowers. More than 2,000 daffodils were also planted at Newton Wellesley Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital, and potted flowers have also been distributed to businesses and locations along the marathon route, and Valle and the team will continue to drop those off up to the day of the marathon.

Many of the flowers have begun to bloom in time for this year's marathon.

"It has been a remarkable outpouring of volunteers and supporters who care about Boston and the Marathon, plus they love the gesture of hope and celebration of Spring in planting 100,000-plus daffodils," Valle said. "We plan to plant thousands more in the Fall 2014 for Marathon 2015."

Simon Malls, The Prudential Center, the Old South Church, John Hancock, Fairmont Copley and the Boston Redevelopment Authority have all participated in the effort, which has reached its goal of $1,000 per mile for a total of $26,500.

Moreover, the initiative has gained the support of the following organizations:

  • The Tower Hill Botanic Garden
  • The Garden Club Federation of Massachusetts
  • Massachusetts Horticultural Society
  • New England Wild Flower Society
  • The Emerald Necklace
  • The Charles River Conservancy
  • Weston Nurseries 
  • The Friends of the North End Parks
  • North End Beautification Committee  

Bantry Bay Books, meanwhile, has published a book titled "If Not for the Perfect Stranger," an account on the Marathons' unexpected gestures of kindness, featuring the daffodil effort. The book is for sale at Marathon Sports. 

For more information on how to help, contact marathondaffodils@gmail.com. Donations can also be sent to the following address:

Marathon Daffodils
The Cooperative Bank
201 Main St.
Charlestown, MA 02129

Paula April 20, 2014 at 08:50 PM
Diane Valle is a phenomenal person!! Great job Diane!!!

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