- Associated Press - Wednesday, October 19, 2016

MONTROSE, Iowa (AP) - Lee County’s community members have attempted to set the world record for most people planting flower bulbs simultaneously.

About 1,700 students and community members tried Tuesday to double the previous record of 850 people in the United Kingdom, according to the Hawk Eye (https://bit.ly/2e7zVjN). County participants had five tulip bulbs to plant within an hour at the Lee County Conservation Center, and officials say the task was completed in less than 30 minutes.

Event organizer Dana Millard with Lee County Economic Development said the county expects to have 100 percent of the tulips return in the spring.

Millard said Guinness World Records must verify paperwork before the potential record is acknowledged.

Conservation group Pheasants Forever donated tulips to the event and considered it an investment in the future of nature conservation. The group spent $13,000 on prairie blazing star tulips, an Iowa native that will benefit pollination according to biologist Eric Sytsma.

Sytsma also said encouraging children to get outside more often can help conservation efforts.

“These kids are voters,” Sytsma said. “They will be voters. Every bit of conservation is all determined by voter input.

“Getting kids outside is the only hope of getting sustainable policy 10 or 15 years down the road.”

Fort Madison City Manager David Varley and Keokuk City Administrator Aaron Burnett served as the two witnesses required by Guinness to testify the broken record. After the witnesses’ verification, Guinness is expected to confirm the broken record within a few months.


Information from: The Hawk Eye, https://www.thehawkeye.com

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