Patterson Library Story Time Garden and Healthy Living Series
In an effort to help their community learn to live a healthier lifestyle, the Patterson Library in Putnam County, NY, started their “Story Time Garden” in June 2009. With the help of a local resident and greenhouse, they constructed a charming garden, complete with an enchanting garden gate. It quickly became the focal point of the library and attracted visitors of all ages throughout the year.
With the members of the “Story Time Garden Club” and their families, the library planted a variety of vegetables and provided instruction on how to grow them and maintain a garden. Library staff and Garden Club members pick and serve the vegetables as snacks at library programs and incorporate garden stories and year-round decorations into the library, which attract people from the area throughout the seasons.
This year, the library has expanded their garden-based programming to include a “Healthy Living” series. This series includes nutrition lectures, cooking classes, exercise programs and an expanded collection of books and resources to help community members of all ages develop and embrace a healthier lifestyle. The library also plans to further expand the garden and create a “garden tool lending library,” which will enable them to lend basic garden tools to library members in an effort to make it more cost-effective and easier for library members to begin gardening at home. In addition, with such an enthusiastic response from the community to the programs, the library has been inspired to seek out other venues and ways to help area residents live healthier lives; for example, they recently received grant funding from United Way to keep their momentum going as they endeavor to educate community members on the benefits of a healthy lifestyle.
To learn more about how Patterson Library’s programs are teaching kids, families and seniors about gardening, nutrition and healthy living, visit their website.