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Valley of the Sunflowers activated a 2-acre, vacant, city block in downtown Phoenix and turned it into a beautiful field of sunflowers.


The sunflowers were harvested by community members and high school science students. By the completion of the project (Winter 2012), the students went from “seed to engine” by growing & harvesting the sunflowers, pressing the seeds for oil, and creating biodiesel fuel for their alternative fuel, hybrid solar/biofuel, vehicle project.


Growing Season 1 = Fall 2011

Growing Season 2 = Spring 2012



  1. Reduce urban blight by temporarily activating & beautifying a vacant lot (an entire city block).

  2. Provide a biofuel source for the Bioscience HS’s hybrid vehicle using sunflower oil.

  3. Create a transformative educational experience for local students.

  4. Serve as an innovative catalyst for sustainable energy and transportation in Phoenix.

  5. Bring excitement and inspiration to downtown Phoenix.




Valley of the Sunflowers was a community engagement, public art project of artist Kenny Barrett and project managers Sean Sweat of Intel and Braden Kay of the ASU School of Sustainability. The project was initiated through key community partnerships with the Phoenix Union Bioscience High School & the staff & board of Roosevelt Row Community Development Corporation.


Intel Foundation & Intel Corporation provided funding for the first two seasons of this project. Generous donation by Hensel Phelps Construction Company, ASU School of Sustainability, Sycamore Farms & Matt Moore, UofA, DPR Construction, ASU Desert Initiative, Sunstate Equipment Rental, Mohammed Zerkoune of USDA, City of Phoenix, APS and many many volunteers made this project possible.

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