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Sunflowers Bloom Despite Uncertain Future At Maria’s Field Of Hope

It might be the last year Maria’s Field of Hope, a field of sunflowers off the highway in Avon, blooms in its current location.

The Prayers From Maria Foundation planted the flowers in honor of 7-year-old Maria McNamara, who died in 2007 from a cancerous brain tumor.

The field is already in bloom this year, earlier than usual, and it continues to be a destination for thousands to visit and learn about its message.

This is the fifth season that owners of the land have allowed the Foundation to use the field, but new construction projects encroaching on the space may force the memorial to move.

“We knew our time was limited,” said Maria’s mother Megan McNamara.

She said the city offered some land down the road, but it wasn’t right.

“We’d like to continue on in this area, and we’re hoping that we get the support from the community to do that,” said McNamara.

McNamara said she’d like the flowers to be visible from the highway so that the message of Maria’s Field continues to resonate.

“We’re a foundation of hope, so we’re very hopeful that we’re going to find the right solution,” said McNamara. “We’re going to find the right place where we need to be.”


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Reporter/producer Elizabeth Miller joined ideastream after a stint at NPR headquarters in Washington D.C., where she served as an intern on the National Desk, pitching stories about everything from a gentrified Brooklyn deli to an app for lost dogs. Before that, she covered weekend news at WAKR in Akron and interned at WCBE, a Columbus NPR affiliate. Elizabeth grew up in Columbus before moving north to attend Baldwin Wallace, where she graduated with a degree in broadcasting and mass communications.