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In the News: A Vision Realized

By Christina Wise, Press Banner. Photo credit: Christina Wise Strolling through the interior of Felton’s new library, one is struck by the openness, warmth and hominess of the building. Butterflies flit across the check-out desk and children’s area as walls patterned...

Now more than ever we are so grateful to have a beautiful outdoor space!

While the Library building remains closed due to safety concerns, curbside service for materials and online learning offers the community access to the collection and programs.

The Felton Discovery Park is open and offers hands-on volunteer opportunities for ongoing maintenance under the guidance of County Parks Volunteer Coordinator, Margaret Ingraham. In June, community members worked to protect the beautiful native plantings. In July, the highly active SLV Rotary will spend a morning grooming different sections for the enjoyment of visitors.

Learning about plants that increase pollination and play host to a healthy watershed is one of the central goals of the Park. If you are interested in volunteering on future park work days or if your organization might be interested in adopting an area to maintain, please email feltonlibraryfriends@gmail.com. Volunteers may also work on their own schedules in specific areas after consultation with the County Parks Volunteer Coordinator.

The project is more than just a building.

This project consists of the new, 9,000 square foot library and the adjoining Felton Discovery Park on 2.1 acres of land owned by the county. The linkage of libraries with outdoor spaces is a growing national trend. It expands library programming through environmental education and enriches park programming through the library’s many resources for reading, research, and discovery. The new library includes comfortable reading areas, free computers/Wi-Fi, a teen/multipurpose room, a children’s library area and a community room.

To facilitate environmental learning and exploration of the adjacent park, the library offers microscopes, special collections on nature, and supplies for discovering the outdoors. The park, just a few steps from the library’s patio, features accessible paths, native and pollinator plantings, benches, a watershed relief map, a human sundial, musical instruments and places for children to explore. It promotes environmental learning through interpretive displays and programming by County Parks, the library, and community organizations.

Safe and secure? Check.

Unlike existing parks and public spaces, the new library and nature park were developed from the ground up, prioritizing today’s needs for safety and security. Both library and park incorporate strategies and design features for optimal security. Safety. Issues of potential concern were identified and addressed early in the process by a task force comprised of community members, library staff, Santa Cruz County Parks staff, and the County Sheriff’s department.

Many agencies are involved.

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