New native landscaping will be established at Wright Library this spring thanks to community volunteers and grant support. Local civic groups and individuals rallied around the library's recent ecology education programs and vision of using Ohio's indigenous plants in the library landscape.
A shade garden on the west side of the building and sun garden in the southeast corner of the library's lot are underway. The gardens will feature Ohio's indigenous plants and provide a habitat for local and migrating pollinators and birds.
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Generous funding made these projects possible. Thank you to our partners: Four Seasons Garden Club, MOMs of Oakwood, Girl Scouts of America, Wright Memorial Public Library Foundation, and Montgomery County.
Located on the southeast corner of the library's lot, the sun garden will be planted in late May and consist of 32 different species of plants and meet the qualifications required to become part of the Monarch Waystation Program. Signs within the garden will educate passersby on the importance of pollinators and benefits of including native plants in the urban landscape.
Garden planning formally began in September 2020. The library continued to gather community support, create community partnerships, locate possible funding, and formalize the garden site. In April 2021, the Community Read of the book Nature's Best Hope by Douglas Tallamy galvanized support and resources for a native garden at Wright Library.
In early 2022, a group of volunteers and library staff began to meet to plot the garden, discuss its educational goals, and develop maintenance plans. Green Oakwood, a local citizen group focused on sustainability, as well as the Dayton native plant nursery Tadmor Greenes have been heavily involved in the sun garden's progress.
The sun garden is a combined effort of Wright Library, OSU Extension Master Gardener Volunteers (OSUE MGV), Dayton Area Wild Ones, and other community partners including Lilly Rich, an Oakwood Girlscout who will base her Gold Award upon service to the garden and its implementation.
The west side of the library will be landscaped with native plants that thrive in shade. Pawpaws, the official native tree of Ohio, other understory shrubs and trees, and a variety of Ohio’s beautiful spring ephemeral wildflowers and groundcover will be established in the coming months.
Oakwood resident Cheryl Vargas will help develop the shade garden. Vargas stepped forward as a volunteer keen on establishing native landscape for the library. Through her involvement with Greater Dayton Partners for the Environment, Green Oakwood, MEEC (Marianist Environmental Education), and Dayton Area Wild Ones, she brings a depth of knowledge and commitment to the shade garden development and community education.