In the midst of budget cuts and possible tax hikes, the future of funding for public libraries remains unclear but in Belmont Shore, a group of local ladies has taken it upon themselves to spruce up the outside of the Bay Shore Library now.
Known as the Junior League of Long Beach's Sustainer Garden Group, the 26-member organization is working to revamp the outdoor area of Belmont Shore's library, which has been showing its wear in recent years.
Sharing a love of gardening and a budget of $400--which the group has accrued over its four year existence--the women have busily cleaned up the patio area and are repotting plants, said Sandy Davidson, the group’s chair, in an email to Patch.
“We have staged two workdays at the library and will monitor the health of our new plants as we go into the warm summer months,” Davidson wrote. “We are committed to making sure the new greenscape thrives.”
Some of the members walk by the library daily and have observed its slight slow fade. Some plants had been mashed while others died off. Two members in particular, Imelda Scholnick and Charlene Ebright, have long been interested in restoring the landscape and began working four months ago with head librarian at Bay Shore, Debi Vilander.
More work remains, however, and the group is currently discussing ways to raise money over the summer to fund what Davidson referred to as “Phase Two” of the project. For now, the group is relying on donations to fund future work.
"We are excited by the positive response to our efforts at Bay Shore Library and hope that donations will be made to the project,” Davidson said in an email. “We are always happy to talk to others interested in our beautiful jewel of a library.”
A recent article in the Grunion Gazette has generated some postive feedback, Davidson said, and she hopes many more residents will share an interest in revializing the landscape at the Bay Shore Library.
“How many other cities have libraries that overlook a sand beach and sparkling bay?” Davidson wrote in an email to Patch. “Second and Bay Shore is a heavy use corner and presents landscaping challenges; such a beautiful location must be nurtured, especially in times of rapidly shrinking city budgets.”
The hope is to have Wi-fi one day soon, and have a patio where one can soak in reading, knowledge and the lovely oceanfront landscape.
For more information or to donate, contact Davidson at firstname.lastname@example.org.