In a unique collaboration, the St. Louis County Library District and Gateway Greening have partnered to establish community gardens at several library branches throughout St. Louis County. Libraries have long thrived on the concept of sharing resources for education and entertainment. Establishing community gardens at library sites builds on this concept while activating the library’s outside landscape and establishing it as a community hub as well.
The first in a series of community gardens will be installed at the Prairie Commons Branch at 915 Utz Lane in Hazelwood, Mo., Saturday, March 23, from 9:00 a.m. to noon. Local community members turned gardeners, accompanied by Gateway Greening volunteers, will assemble the 20 raised garden beds. Lumber, tools and soil will be generously donated by project grantee Missouri Foundation for Health, along with St. Louis Composting and Accenture. Members from the St. Louis Audubon Society will also be on hand to install a 500-square foot butterfly garden. St. Louis County Library staff will also maintain a library garden bed, donating the produce to a local food pantry.
SLCL Director Charles Pace said, “The St. Louis County Library is happy to partner with Gateway Greening on the first of what we hope will be many future projects of a similar nature. Part of the mission of the Library is to be an educational institution and we hope to demonstrate the value of urban agriculture and gardening to the communities we serve. We are excited about the potential of our new community garden and look forward to the future success of this initiative!”
“Gateway Greening has operated for 29 years, primarily in St. Louis City and north St. Louis County. By expanding our programs to the entire county, we can continue educating and empowering our neighbors to strengthen their communities through gardening and urban agriculture. Partnering with the St. Louis County Library allows us to provide educational gardening programs and promote urban agriculture as a tool for community development,” said Mike Sorth, Executive Director of Gateway Greening.
To learn more about the Prairie Commons Community Garden please call Matt Even at 314-588-9600 or visit www.gatewaygreening.org
About St. Louis County Library
St. Louis County Library is the busiest library in Missouri. In 2012, the library circulated over 12 million items including books, DVDs, eMedia, video games, magazines and CDs. In the same year, over 6 million people visited SLCL branches and bookmobiles. The library consists of 20 branches, including a Headquarters, which is located at 1640 S. Lindbergh Blvd in Ladue. To learn more about SLCL programs and events, visit www.slcl.org
About Gateway Greening
Gateway Greening is a nonprofit organization that educates and empowers people to strengthen their communities through gardening and urban agriculture. Gateway Greening has been working to provide creative, grassroots solutions to urban problems since 1984. Programs include supporting more than 200 community and youth-focused gardens across the St. Louis area through educational opportunities, grants and technical assistance; urban beautification projects that enhance the downtown St. Louis urban landscape; and City Seeds Urban Farm, a 2.5 acre farm in downtown St. Louis that provides therapeutic horticulture and jobs training programs to individuals who are homeless and underserved.