The celebration of spring, May Day, is the perfect occasion to break ground on the Mill Valley Public Library’s innovative SmartGarden. The groundbreaking ceremony will take place on Friday, May 1st, at 5pm in the small redwood grove adjacent to the Library (the entrance to the Amphitheater pathway). The event is free and open to the public.
Mayor Kenneth R. Wachtel will be present with shovel in hand to help break ground on this momentous occasion. There will be plenty of fun for everyone, including activities for kids with a May Day theme. Refreshments will be served including lemonade and cookies.
The SmartGarden is a demonstration garden that teaches the importance of native plants and the necessity of water management. The SmartGarden should inspire the local community to take advantage of the benefits of harvesting water and creating a sustainable native garden. Small changes in people’s backyards can collectively have a huge impact on the preservation of our local environment.
The initial response to the project has been overwhelmingly positive. Many people have already contributed their time and ideas to the project. Geoff Hall and Kamala Bennett of Sentient Landscape, along with local water expert Apryl Uncapher designed the SmartGarden using the principles of sustainable gardening. Iris Landscaping from Novato was chosen to install the garden. Installation will start the first week in May and be completed by the end of June.
The SmartGarden is the latest in a long list of sustainability-related efforts from the City of Mill Valley.
“The SmartGarden on the grounds of the Mill Valley Public Library exemplifies a true community partnership,” City Manager Jim McCann said. “From promoting the importance of native plants, sustainability and water management to working with school groups and gardening enthusiasts of all ages, the SmartGarden is an opportunity for the entire community to participate. We are enormously proud of the Mill Valley Public Library and the staff for their leadership and cutting edge work in creating the SmartGarden.”
The project is the vision of Kristen Clark, the Library’s Operation Manager, and is partially funded by a Pitch an Idea Grant from the California State Library Association. The grant, along with some private donations, is helping to fund the first two phases of the project. The Library is seeking additional contributions and in-kind donations to complete phases three and four, which would include more garden beds, showcase a wider array of native plants, and demonstrate additional features like flow forms.
For more information about the SmartGarden, including how to get involved with or contribute to the effort, contact Kristen Clark at firstname.lastname@example.org. Residents are also encouraged to visit millvalleylibrary.net/smartgarden to subscribe to the SmartGarden blog as well as to see a full list of gardening-related events at the Library.