Drake Library to Celebrate Landscape Completion

Drake Library to Celebrate Landscape Completion

Drake Community Library’s “Converging Landscapes” project is now complete, and the public is invited to enjoy the results at a celebration on Wed., July 29, from 4:30p.m.-6 p.m.

The Prairie Jewel Dixieland Band, led by trombonist Frank Heath, will perform and root beer floats will be served on the south terrace of the library. In case of rain, the event will be in the library’s story room.

Library Director Marilyn Kennett invites the public “to come and enjoy the space.”

“This is a way for us to thank the community for their support of the project. It took collaboration amongst several groups—city administration, the public works department, the Poweshiek Soil & Water Conservation District, Grinnell College’s Center for Prairie Studies, and area citizens to make this happen,” Kennett said.

Visitors to the southeast corner of the library property will find new access points from State St. and the library’s parking lot leading to the south terrace. Permeable paving provides landing pads off the terrace steps and in a small patio on the north side of the adjacent bowling alley. These features are connected by a permeable paver footpath and limestone stepping stones through the prairie landscape.   The paver surfaces and a bioswale infiltrate rainwater runoff serve to reduce soil erosion and keep rainwater out of the storm sewer system.

“We have been very pleased with the design work and landscaping efforts of Forever Green, Inc. of Coralville during the initial phases of the project and with the installation of hardscape features and plantings by VanTomme Concrete and Landscaping of Grinnell this past spring,” said Kennett. “Now, we are looking forward to developing the learning environment and programming to complement the south prairie landscape.”

In addition to private funds and grants received earlier in the $90,000 campaign, the landscaping project recently received $4,000 from a second Watershed Improvement Review Board (WIRB) grant through the Iowa Watershed Improvement Fund with support from the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS), Division of Soil Conservation towards the implementation of permeable paver practices. The library’s maintenance budget will cover lawn care and mowing where necessary.

Elizabeth Hill, outreach coordinator for the college’s Center for Prairie Studies, with assistance from Center interns and community organizations, has worked to establish butterfly gardens and wildflowers within the south prairie, creating a beautiful prairie showcase.

Drake Community Library is a partner organization of the Greater Poweshiek Community Foundation (GPCF), which facilitated contributions to the Converging Landscapes campaign. The Claude W. and Dolly Ahrens Foundation provides back office support services to GPCF through its Community Support Service program.

Members of the Drake Community Library Board of Trustees are President Katherine McClelland, Jim Ahrens, George Britton, Jordan Esbrook, Karen McNally, Theresa Pagliai, and Bill Rudolph. The trustees welcome input from the community regarding all aspects of library services.

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