Assemblymember Mark Stone and Felton Library Friends are pleased to announce $1 million in new one-time state funding for construction of Felton Library and Nature Discovery Park Project, a one-of-its-kind facility in California.
“The San Lorenzo Valley is a special place, and the Felton Library and Nature Discovery Park will promote environmental education in a wonderful new community setting,” Assemblymember Stone said. “This project is emblematic of the community’s commitment to education, whether
it be indoors or outdoors.”
The $1 million dollars, included in the California FY 18-19 state budget, will supplement the $10 million earmarked for the Felton library through the 2016 Measure S bond measure and a recently awarded $395,000 State Parks grant. The supplemental funding will help retain imporant design features that are being threatened by rapidly rising construction costs. This environmentally innovative project is a partnership between Santa Cruz Public Libraries, Santa Cruz County Parks Department, San Lorenzo Valley Water District and community partner Felton Library Friends.
Watch Jim Mosher of Felton Library Friends describe the moment when Mark Stone
told him about the $1 million in additional funding
Both the new building and the nature park will enhance and highlight the existing riparian landscape through innovative design features. The 8,990-square-foot library designed by architect Teall Messer will include larger collection capacity, new technology, and indoor and outdoor community spaces. The adjacent park will offer outdoor learning spaces, interactive nature discovery zones, a bridge linking the library to the park and an interpretive nature loop trail around Bull Creek.
“This project is an innovative model for engaging communities in environmental literacy through their library services,” said California State Librarian Greg Lucas. Santa Cruz County Library Director Susan Nemitz agreed, saying, “The role of libraries is changing to offer communities a broader range of innovative services, and the Felton Library and Nature Discovery Park accomplishes this. We anticipate both children and adults across the county and region taking advantage of these important new environmental educational opportunities.”
“This new funding could not have come at a better time,” said Bruce McPherson, 5th District County Supervisor and long-time supporter of the Felton project. “This support means we can move forward with the park and library design without sacrificing its beauty,
functionality, and unique features.”
Stone emphasized that the Legislature intends the funds to be used to ensure completion of the entire project, fully realizing its original vision and promise. “I have supported and been closely monitoring the project from its inception nearly 15 years ago and have been impressed with the dedication of the community as well as county and library staff in turning this creative vision into reality,” he said.
Nancy Gerdt, Felton Library Friends Chair adds: “We are very excited to have this important financial support from the state that helps ensure that the full vision for the project can be realized. We so appreciate Assemblymember Stone’s hard work and guidance for the
She also noted that the new state award, while providing significant funds for much needed construction costs, will not alter the need for additional resources for the project. To meet these needs, Felton Library Friends is managing a capital campaign, “Realizing a Community Dream.”
Currently, the campaign is focusing on leadership gifts. The Friends will launch a community-wide public campaign in the fall. All community gifts will be used for needed enhancements for the project that include the library patio, technological resources, special collections, special park features, and learning materials that integrate park and library programming.
Library and park groundbreaking is expected in the fall, with an opening date of late 2019.