Duke Energy contributes to the Darlington Branch’s future Children’s Garden

Mindy Taylor of Duke with Tony Watkins, Jimmie Epling, Gwen Robinson and Liz Davis.

Mindy Taylor of Duke with Tony Watkins, Jimmie Epling, Gwen Robinson and Liz Davis.

The vision of a Children’s Garden at the Darlington Branch of the Darlington County Library System is a step closer to reality with a contribution from Duke Energy. Duke Energy’s Government and Community Relations District Manager, Mindy Taylor, presented a $2,000 check to the Library on December 22nd to help fund the creation of the garden.

The Children’s Garden is the next step in the Library’s long range plan that included the renovation, remodeling, and reimagining of the Darlington Branch. The Library’s children’s area was moved to its current location within the building in June last year. The grounds outside the new children’s section of the Library lead to the inspiration for a children’s garden.
The Children’s Garden will encompass over 2,000 square feet. The secure, walled garden will be accessible from the Library’s children area.

The garden will include a patio area, variety of flora, walkways, benches, and two garden plots. The Library will use the Children’s Garden for outdoor story times and special programming. It will be a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) learning space for children. The Garden will be a focal point for learning about the ecology, celebrating Earth Day, and teaching gardening/farming techniques to children. The children will learn about gardening as they help us in the spring to plant seeds in the special garden plots, tend the growing plants, and harvest the foods, herbs, flowers, and other plants in the fall.

“We want the Library to become an experience for children. The Children’s Garden is one way the Library can bring reading and the world alive for children. We are very grateful to Duke Energy for its contribution to help make this project a reality. Our hope is the Garden will spark in children a lifelong interest and passion for nature and reading,” said Library Director Jimmie Epling.

The estimated cost of creating the Children’s Garden is between $5,000 and $6,000. The Library has also received donations for the Garden from the Kalmia Garden Study Club, Orlando Hudson, and others.

The Children’s Garden provides members of the community an opportunity to volunteer their time and expertise help develop and maintain the Garden and to create programs and artwork for it.

The Library plans a groundbreaking for the Children’s Garden in early spring. For more information on the Children’s Garden and how you may help, contact Darlington Branch Manager Gwen Robinson or Director Jimmie Epling.

Author: Duane Childers

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