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Converging Landscapes on Target for Completion in 2015


Converging Landscapes on target for completion in 2015


Drake Community Library has surpassed the halfway mark in its capital campaign for the library’s urban prairie, Converging Landscapes. Over $55,000 has been raised through grants and private donations towards the $90,000 campaign goal. Existing savings from the library’s undesignated gift account were utilized to jumpstart the project last spring, leaving a fundraising target of $26,000 to fully complete the comprehensive plan.


Drake Community Library was opened in November, 2009 and named in honor of George and Sue Drake as a tribute to their service to the community and support of the library. The Drakes have also been strong supporters of the Converging Landscapes campaign. Sue Drake said, “Why contribute to landscaping? Why not!  We have a beautiful library and want to extend that “LEED Gold” feeling to its surroundings. Our community is proud of its library, so let’s join in this effort to enhance the landscape.”
Landscaping work began in June, 2014 utilizing the services of Forever Green, a landscaping company from Coralville. Since then, a permeable paver system has been constructed at the north entrance and landscaped beds of Winterberry, Eastern Wahoo, Hazelnut, Summersweet, Viburnum, and Penstemon have been established adjacent to the Fifth Avenue side of the building.   Rhizomatous Tall Fescue (RTF) sod has been installed alongside these plantings and next to the walkway leading to the library’s main entrance. RTF sod was chosen because of its drought tolerant, self-repairing, and disease resistant qualities. These qualities produce a grass that requires less mowing and little to no watering once established.


Drake Community Library is a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified building at the Gold Level. The library board of trustees aims to support sustainable practices within and outside the building while providing quality library services. “There are many ways to be sustainable. We are working to strike a balance on the library site between offering a prairie learning environment on the south with an acceptable level of grounds maintenance on the remainder of the site,” said Gail Greenwald, library board president.


Future plans call for the installation of a bioswale in the southeast sector of the site as well as a permeable paver patio and walkway. The patio will display the Louis Sullivan jewel box design that has become recognized symbol of Grinnell. These low impact features will alleviate erosion problems by accepting rainwater runoff and create an inviting pathway across and into the prairie grasses on the south side of the library. The full landscaping plan is available for viewing at the library and from the library website at www.grinnell.lib.ia.us/landscape.


“Work will resume as soon as weather permits in the spring, assuming the necessary funds are in place,” said Marilyn Kennett, library director, “We’ve had a great community response thus far and are close to our goal of creating an attractive gateway to the prairie, to the library, and ultimately to our city.”


Drake Community Library is partnering with the Greater Poweshiek Community Foundation to facilitate the acceptance of donations to the Converging Landscapes campaign. Checks should be made to Greater Poweshiek Community Foundation with “DCL Landscape” in the memo and mailed to GPCF, PO Box 344, Grinnell, IA 50112.

Members of the Drake Community Library Board of Trustees are President Gail Greenwald, George Britton, Dan Covino, Jordan Esbrook, Katherine McClelland, Karen McNally, and Paul Pohlson. The trustees welcome input from the community regarding all aspects of library services.

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