The WoodTrust Bell Foundation Garden is adjacant to the Youth Services Room. The Garden is open during Library hours during the growing season (usually late April through October). It is fenced and can only be entered through the Youth Services Room.
The Garden has been certified as a Monarch Waystation. It is only the twentieth library in the country to achieve this status and the second in the state.
The Garden was created in 2013 as part of the renovation of the Youth Services Room. It was named in honor of the WoodTrust Bell Foundation, which was a major donor to the renovation and a long-time supporter of the Library. The original butterfly supporting plantings have been expanded to include more milkweed plants. As the milkweed becomes established, the Garden will have over five hundred square feet of Monarch habitat.
The Library is working with local Master Gardeners to develop the space as an environmental learning center. This supports the Library’s goal of providing interactive learning opportunities through its Youth Services program.
The twenty-eight varieties of flowering plants in the Garden are all labeled and will provide season-long support for butterflies and pollinators. A grant from Monarch Watch provided additional milkweed to supplement the original plantings. The Master Gardeners created two demonstration plots of square foot herb gardening. A woodland flowers plot is in development in the area to showcase a different environment. The Library is offering children’s, teen and adult programs on butterflies and gardening, some of which will take place in the Garden.
“Having a garden attached to the Youth Service Room is a great resource” said Library Director Andy Barnett. “Now we have the chance to make it into a real learning area thanks to support from the WoodTrust Bell Foundation, Monarch Watch and the Master Gardeners.”
Monarch waystations are designed to provide both nectar sources for pollinators in general and milkweed habitat for monarchs in particular. Monarch Watch, which oversees certification, is a nonprofit education, conservation, and research program based at the University of Kansas. There are over 13,000 certified waystations, 500 of which are in Wisconsin. There are five in Wood County, including one at Port Edwards Elementary School. The other four are privately supported.