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Why Yes, That is Corn Growing in Shain Park

Birmingham's Department of Public Services Director Lauren Wood said the ornamental corn is a nod to the city's past.

If you've been to  in Birmingham recently and thought the planter surrounding the Freedom of the Human Spirit sculpture looked a little different, you'd be right.

That's ornamental corn — yes, corn — growing in around the Marshall Fredericks sculpture at the downtown park, (DPS) Director Lauren Wood said.

"I love it and everyone else seems to like it, too," Wood said. "We're willing to do anything new and different."

Wood said the idea originated as a suggestion last year from Ron Rea, the Birmingham-based architect who designed the newly renovated Shain Park. Corn used to be grown in the area, Wood said, so the DPS agreed ornamental corn would be a nice touch this spring and summer.

The corn was planted in the spring and has so far sprouted to about knee-high. Wood said they're not sure whether the corn will survive — the area at the center of Shain Park is particularly hot, especially in recent weeks — but the colorful stalks won't be producing any ears anyway.

Also new in Shain Park this week are several umbrellas near the fountain. "They add some nice color and shade to the park," Wood said.

Check out the corn and umbrellas for yourself tonight as the at the park with a concert from Steve Acho.

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