Get Growing in Greenville!

By Brittni Henderson

There’s something new blooming at the Greenville Public Library for both advanced and novice gardeners, alike!

As you pull into the library’s parking lot, or even as you pass by on your way down Route 44, you might notice a newly erected garden in otherwise under-utilized yard adjacent to the building. This garden, and numerous other agricultural, environmental, and technological programs will now be staples as the library works to fulfill a $9,500 grant it received earlier this year.

The grant is funded by the Studio Rhode Next Generation Library Challenge, and will include many different hands-on, educational experiences for Smithfield residents. The idea behind the garden and the presentations that will coincide with it is to appeal to an interest found throughout town. Whether residents have been growing their own vegetables for years or are interested in starting a beginner garden with their family, the library will have a seminar or event for each individual.

During the month of May, events included a Junior Gardener program, “Inviting Bees into your Garden,” talks by the URI Master Gardeners, and many more.

Patrons will be always be able to mix this low-tech hobby with modern technology by utilizing one of the two new tablets purchased with the grant, as well as the new cameras that can be used to shoot nature photography or other nature-related art. On the tablets, which are diverse in that one is an iPad and the other a Samsung, users can explore different apps pertaining to gardening and nature. These applications can help patrons learn by taking advantage of the built-in classes, plant identification, recipes, and much more. Library patrons can even check out garden tools if they are missing or lacking certain items in their own homes.

As the garden starts to flourish, opportunities could become available for other community groups to lend a hand or to team up with the library staff to keep the program (and the plants!) alive.

According to Cassie Patterson and Rebecca Rowley, Assistant Director and Circulation Supervisor, respectively, the garden project has been a library-wide effort. It is truly a multi-department program, with interest stemming from everywhere. Different librarians have different roles in the process, and it has become a learning experience for everyone involved.

The library is using social media to promote the different events and to keep patrons up to date on the garden’s progress on its blog. By the time the garden is ready to harvest, food items will hopefully be distributed to places in need around town, including the senior center and individual families.

For more information about the garden and topics that interest you, visit their page on Facebook at Greenville Public Library.