Bethlehem Area Public Library's Room to Grow Children's Garden
In the heart of historic Bethlehem, our public library is situated next to City Hall on a large plaza, once landscaped with a 72’ x 24’ reflecting pool. The pool was eventually filled in with annuals and maintained by community volunteers. However, for the last several years, this large barren plot located directly behind the library has been abandoned. This “seed” of an idea – to recapture and revitalize this public space – sprouted last year as a direct result of the Summer Reading Club theme “Dig Into Reading.” While we provide dozens of in-house and outreach programs per month to our community, outdoor activities and nature-based learning programs have been limited due to our center-city location. We are seeking to create, maintain, and grow a dynamic garden learning space, where we not only nurture the seeds of a child’s imagination but also engage the child in simple gardening and environmental activities.
The library’s garden will play a vital role in both our preschool science storytimes and school-age science camps, allowing the children a chance to grow a variety of native flowers and produce and to cultivate new skills and a sense of community. We envision this garden as a dynamic work-in-progress, enriching our future children’s programs and creating a shared community space that highlights native and edible plants and easily grown produce. Master Gardeners from their local Speakers’ Bureau will provide themed children’s workshops (like Planting a Pizza Garden or Eating a Rainbow) while sharing their expertise with our staff and patrons during the design and maintenance process. We will also collaborate with volunteers from the local garden club, seeking their knowledge and skills to assist the children. In this way, the garden project becomes fertile ground for intergenerational programming as well.
KGI is a nonprofit community of over 30,000 people who are growing some of our own food and helping others to do the same.
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Kitchen Gardeners International
3 Powderhorn Drive,
Scarborough, ME, 04074, USA