There's no question the sunflowers at Matthiessen State Park have become a part of the Starved Rock experience.
Visitors from across the state, including the Chicago and Peoria areas, wandered through the 60-acre sunflower field Monday.
The sunflowers weren't planted last year because of wet conditions. This year, they are in full bloom. The flowers bloom through July and by August, and they seed and wilt through early September, attracting pollinators and providing shade for deer, opossums and raccoons.
A representative from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources said the fields were planted for dove hunting season, and anyone planning a professional photography session must apply for a filming and activity permit through the park office at least two weeks in advance for approval.
The field is located behind the model airplane field at the River Access Area.
“We ask that the public do not cross through the airplane field or trample the plants,” said the IDNR representative.