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Club creating Rotary Children’s Garden at library

MADISON – For its first ‘signature project,’ Rotary Club of Madison has started its work to create Rotary Children’s Garden at Madison Public Library.

A signature project involves an ambitious venture that will require a large investment of time and money from the club. “Rotary Children’s Garden, a very popular library feature, will serve as both a capital and a service project for the club,” Rotarian Publicist Carla Daily said.

Club members will build and install many of the garden elements. “The total value of the project is estimated at $50,000. We raised the funds with our ‘Parrots of the Caribbean’ fundraisers,” Daily said. “Thanks to all the Parrotheads who have helped make this possible.”

Like its predecessor, Rotary Children’s Garden will allow youngsters to expand their love of reading to outdoor sessions and activities. Children’s librarians or guests can read to boys and girls in seating nooks. Children can plant seeds and watch the flowers and vegetables grow. All features in the garden will nurture a sense of whimsy.

The Rotarians are dividing the overall work into ‘Done-in-a-Day projects,’ which “cover just about anything you can imagine,” Daily said. An example of a done-in-a-day project was painting and transforming concrete paver squares for the garden into alphabet letters, symbols, punctuation marks and book snippets.

Several Rotarians and Madison Branch Manager Sarah Sledge gathered recently to paint and stencil the pavers for later placement on the garden grounds. Rotarian Al Turner applied vinyl stencils on the stones, and Don Faint, Bob Pro, Kerry Straub and Fred Davy assisted in the work.

Club members added motivational words and phrases to the pavers, like “Win,” “Magic” and “Truth.” They borrowed from author Roald Dahl for the quote, “Those who don’t who don’t believe in magic will never find it.”

In addition, Rotarians have planted trees and installed irrigation rigs in the garden. Their next workdays will involve laying sod, along with assembling and placing five large garden boxes.

“The fruits of our summer’s labor will soon result in a wonderful garden … a children’s garden at our beautiful, new library,” Daily said. “We’re so blessed in our ‘small’ town to have such a wonderful resource as Madison Public Library. And your local Rotary family is proud to help support this by funding the Children’s Garden.”

Rotary Club of Madison meets weekly on Thursdays at 7 a.m. at Hogan Family YMCA. The club’s mailing address is P.O. Box 856, Madison, AL 35758. For information, call 256-564-2075 or visit madisonalrotary.org or Facebook/Rotary Club of Madison. 

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