Bella Guardiola, 13, piggybacks onto her friend Mckenzie Zelechowski, 16, for a photo taken by Mckenzie’s sister, Charli, in a field of sunflowers on the Oak Rest Farm along Highway 83 in the Town of Burlington. The picturesque field reopened Friday evening after a misunderstanding over highway safety prompted the owners to close it for a day. (Photo by Jason Arndt)

Owner, sheriff’s official say miscommunication led to closing

By Jason Arndt

Staff Writer

A Burlington sunflower field popular with photographers was set to reopen as of 5 p.m. Friday after Racine County authorities and the owners of Oak Rest Farms clarified issues related to Thursday’s closure.

The field, which has garnered local and regional attention, was shut down after authorities responded to a report of a child walking too close to the shoulder of Highway 83 at around 2 p.m. Thursday.

“We just wanted to make sure that the roadway was safe, but they can definitely park on the shoulder of the roadway,” said Racine County Sheriff’s Sgt. Danielle Schulman. “There was some confusion possibly, so we never asked them to close down the sunflower field.”

On Friday, field owner Jennifer Greeter said she and her husband decided to close the roadside business because they felt uneasy about safety after deputies and officers arrived to the scene.

Greeter, however, opted to reopen on Friday following several discussions with the Racine County Sheriff’s Office.

“I really want to thank, especially the Racine County Sheriff’s Department for coming out and taking a look and understanding our situation that a lot of people enjoy the field,” said Greeter.

Greeter, who admits there was some miscommunication, plans to keep the roadside field open through the end of next weekend.

As she resumes business, both Greeter and the Sheriff’s Office agreed customers need to exercise caution.

“The thing that we want to make sure of it that parking there is safe just so that there are no accidents on the roadway,” Schulman said.

“We will be asking people to use caution,” Greeter said.