5 Questions We Love Hearing About Library Community Gardens
We love it when people ask us questions about our programs, even if it’s something we’ve heard more than once! After all, what better way to learn something new? This week, we’re answering the five most commonly asked questions about Library Community Gardens.
What are Library Community Gardens?
In 2012 the St. Louis County Library System (SLCL) and Gateway Greening formed a partnership with the goal of establishing several community gardens at public libraries. The concept was that by transforming the previously manicured lawns into thriving garden spaces, libraries would be able to extend their programing, offering a wide range of educational classes, gardening information, and environmental programming to patrons. At the same time, they would create a space for community members to grow healthy produce for their families.
The partnership has seen outstanding success since the first garden was installed at Prairie Commons branch library in March of 2013. Today, there are currently three library community gardens active in St. Louis County: Prairie Commons (Hazelwood, MO), Cliff Cave (Oakville, MO), and Grant’s View (Affton, MO).
How can I get involved, or get a plot of my own?
The best way to get involved – whether you’d like a plot or explore volunteer opportunities – is to contact the library branch staff directly. Since each garden is managed by a volunteer group, the library staff will be able to put you in contact with the correct person to handle your request.
Similar to other community gardens found throughout St. Louis, individuals can apply to have a plot of their own in their local library garden. If you’re interested, apply early! Garden space is limited and most library gardens will have a waiting list to sign up for available plots. If successful, gardeners can expect to pay a small annual fee (usually around $25) and will need to agree to follow basic garden rules.
If you are interested in volunteering or learning, you can also ask for information on the community garden, or look for the various educational classes held at various St. Louis County Library Branches throughout the year.
How can I get involved at my Library Community Garden?
Currently, there are no plans to build any additional library gardens at existing libraries in St. Louis County. If you would like to learn more about a current library garden project, or ask about potential future projects, please contact our Outreach Manager!
Do you have opportunities for people to learn about gardening?
We regularly offer educational gardening workshops at each of the library branches, and even a few libraries that don’t currently have gardens! Gateway Greening also offers regular community education workshops at its Carriage House location throughout the growing season.
To find out more about upcoming learning opportunities, please visit:
- Grant’s View Garden Classes & Events List
- St. Louis County Library Classes & Events List
- Gateway Greening Classes & Events List
What happens to the produce grown in the garden?
Just like any other community, each library garden establishes its own rules and guidelines. Most SLCL gardens provide individual plots to individuals or a family to grow produce for their own consumption. The rule of thumb is usually, “if you didn’t plant it, don’t pick it.” This doesn’t mean gardeners don’t get creative though. Other SLCL gardens have community areas, where multiple community gardeners share the workload and offer/donate produce to other families, local food pantries, or to library patrons and staff.
If you have a question about a particular location or garden, don’t hesitate to ask a community gardener or library staff at the main desk.