Ribbon Cutting For Westchester Public Library’s New Prairie Garden June 16

Westchester Public Library Executive Director Fidencio Marbella stands in the library’s new prairie garden on June 2. | Michael Romain 

Friday, June 3, 2022 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews 

The Westchester Public Library, 10700 Canterbury St. in Westchester, is planning a ribbon-cutting and unveiling of its new garden, “Prairie Rising,” on June 16, 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. 

The garden, which features native plant species, will be dedicated to Frank Perry, the late Westchester village president who died last year, and Fred W. Poppe, the library board’s former treasurer who died in 2020. 

“There used to be a stretch of turf grass here,” said Fidencio Marbella, the library’s executive director, during a brief tour of the new grande on June 2. 

“Canadian National Railway gave us a $25,000 grant to convert this into a native prairie plant garden,” he said. “Native prairie plants are homes for pollinators and for the birds that feed on the pollinators. It also absorbs a lot more rainwater and is a lot prettier.” 

Other organizations, including America In Bloom, a national nonprofit that promotes beautification efforts across the country, also lent their support for the project. 

The roughly 2,500-square-foot garden spans the library’s entire west side. The prairie garden is the third garden the library has planted in roughly a year. 

“We’d like to kind of get rid of all the turf grass, so maybe the next phase could be the front yard,” Marbella said, adding that the prairie garden, also called a “pocket prairie,” is very low maintenance and promotes local biodiversity. 

“They tried to design it so that there are flowers blooming at all different times of the year,” he said. “We’ve got flowers like swamp milkweed for monarch butterflies, we have indigo. There’s a lot of cool stuff here.” 

On June 16, library officials will be joined by officials from American In Bloom and the Canadian National Railway. 

For more on the Westchester Public Library, click here. 

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