December 5, 2013 in Washington Voices

Liberty Lake Library plans reading garden next spring

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Liberty Lake librarian Dan Pringle sits outside the library Monday with a landscape architect’s plans to turn the land behind him into an outdoor reading garden. The work will begin next spring.
(Full-size photo)

It may be a bit chilly to think about now, but Liberty Lake Library patrons can look forward to an outdoor reading garden scheduled to break ground in the spring.

The garden, featuring shade trees and ornamental plants, will be put in a small grassy area to the north of the library’s main entrance. It will include a seating area that will allow for outdoor story times and other programs. A local woodworker is donating a gate and trellis to help separate the new garden from the parking lot, said librarian Dan Pringle.

People have long complained that the former warehouse is bland, Pringle said. “It’s always been kind of a goal to spruce it up a bit,” he said. “We wanted something a little more related to what the library is, as far as quiet and restful.”

Landscape architect Mike Terrell donated the design for the garden. Drawings of his plan are on display inside the library.

The project is estimated to cost $31,000 after factoring in some donated labor and supplies. The cost is being shared by the city of Liberty Lake and the Liberty Lake Library Foundation.

The foundation was created in 2010 to raise money for library projects. The foundation has already helped pay to remodel the library entrance, which included an entryway roof and painting a wall red to help make the library more noticeable. “We were pretty inconspicuous before,” Pringle said.

The schedule calls construction to start in late April or May with completion by the end of June. The project has received support from the mayor and City Council, Pringle said. “I think the city is pretty enthusiastic about working with a community group like this one,” he said of the library foundation. “It’s not necessarily something that would be in the library budget without community support.”

Reading gardens are few and far between in the area. “It’s not something that a lot of libraries are able to do,” Pringle said. “I think it will be a great addition.”

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