Beginning in 2002, Ford Motor Company began planting sunflowers (and later other crops) at a number of their properties around Dearborn. This is a guide to the latest locations and crops.
Most fields are posted “no trespassing” so should only be viewed from public roads. RRBO has permission from Ford security to survey them.
RRBO is not able to grant permission nor do we have any information on obtaining permission for others to use the fields for photo shoots, etc.
1. Southeast corner of Southfield Freeway (M-39) service drive and Hubbard. Since 2009, this has been planted in hay and harvested; a cover crop or short weeds remains overwinter with a border of sunflowers, but they are not very productive. As of fall 2016, this field is being used for fill dirt and staging for a building project.
1a & 1b. Formerly two fields of a wildflower mix (on either side of the Ford entrance road, and separated from field 1 by a row of trees and a road. As of fall 2016, one on the east side of the perimeter road is being bulldozed for a building site. The field between the road and the Southfield Service Drive can be good for sparrows and finches in winter.
2. Southwest corner of Southfield Freeway (M-39) service drive and Hubbard. As of fall 2016, mowed and mostly unproductive.
3. In front of Ford World Headquarters on Michigan Avenue. Sunflowers, bisected by a double row of trees.
4. Southwest corner of Southfield Freeway (M-39) service drive and Rotunda Drive. Primarily natural weedy growth, mowed several times a year. When left unmowed, can be good for interesting sparrows (Grasshopper Sparrows nested in 2015) and old-field migrants.
5. In the triangle formed by Schaefer Road, I-94, and Rotunda. Some sunflowers bordering a harvested hay field (see 1).
6. Both sides of Lundy Parkway, a road going through a business park between Mercury Drive and Greenfield Road. South of Lundy Parkway, wildflower mix. North of Lundy Parkway, some sunflowers, bare ground, bordered by a woodlot.
7. Southfield Freeway (M-39) service drive south of Paul, behind Home Depot. Wildflower mix.
8. Ford Road and Mercury Drive. Wildflower mix.
9. Along entrance road to Fairlane Town Center off of Evergreen, across from Big Fish Restaurant. Wildflower mix. Note that this field is often mowed before winter.