Photo: Brandon Bourdages/Shutterstock

Overtourism Forced the Closure of California’s Daffodil Hill

California Sustainability News National Parks
by Eben Diskin Jul 22, 2019

Owners of sunflower fields around the country aren’t the only ones sitting on their porch, chasing off Instagrammers with their broomsticks. McLaughlin’s Daffodil Hill just outside Sacramento, California, is now closing indefinitely to the public after 80 years due to the unmanageable influx of tourists. Parking, traffic, and environmental damage had all become major issues, causing the Ryan family — who has owned the farm for six generations — to announce the closure.

In a Facebook post, the family said, “This decision is the most difficult that we, as a family, have ever made. […] After the crush of visitors that descended upon our Hill this year, we came to realize that the limitation on the size of our parking areas and the inability of the local road infrastructure to handle the volume, created liability and safety concerns for everyone involved […] We have carefully examined numerous potential remedies to reduce traffic and visitors to try and keep the Hill open, including shuttles and reservations for attendance. However, in the end, we reached the same conclusion that the narrow roads and the Hill property infrastructure cannot be changed.”

With its massive blooms of nearly 300,000 daffodils, Daffodil Hill has always been a popular attraction. However, overcrowding issues were exacerbated this spring when visitors descended on the farm in droves, creating traffic jams along small country roads, parking illegally all over the place, and behaving unsafely.

The Ryan family concluded their announcement by thanking visitors for their support, and imploring people to “honor our ancestors by continuing to appreciate Mother Nature in all her glory whenever and wherever you can.”

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