When you look at what you think is a corner Buffalo News vending machine, look twice over the next few weeks. Some of those boxes have been converted to community seed stations for the latest public art project from the Albright-Knox Art Gallery.
The first of the wildflower seed stations was installed Monday in front of Mattie's Restaurant on Fillmore Avenue. A total of ten will be distributed across the city and the county, as the art gallery works with Erie County and the City of Buffalo on the continuing public art project.
A total of 10,000 packages of flower seeds will be given to the public from the boxes to grow more native flowers.
"We think this idea is not only fantastic, but it also relates to the synergy and energy that's going on here in urban neighborhoods today," says Mattie's owner George Butch Holt. "We find more parents and children are working in their gardens. So, this is a great idea."
Sponsors says only some of the flowers will grow before the end of this season but they all will start growing in the spring. The project is the brainchild of artist Jenny Kendler.
Albright-Knox Senior Curator Cathleen Chaffee says flowers will link the community.
"It beckons us to cross cultural and economic lines and it contributes directly to the health and the vibrancy of our communities and our neighborhoods," said Chaffee. "It will add beauty and wildflowers to our yards and community spaces and it will also hopefully unite our residents with a common and shared civic goal."
Among the plants is milkweed, food for the twice-annual migration of Monarch Butterflies through this region. They are a threatened species because there is so much less milkweed than there used to be along their migratory path.