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Library Garden Gets New Gazebo, Brick Pathways

(February 9, 2009) Work is nearing completion on a new gazebo and picnic table in the Steele Creek Library garden, and brick pathways have been installed to replace the original cypress mulch pathways.

Susan McDonald, Manager of the Steele Creek Library, originally asked the Steele Creek Library Association for a picnic table to reward library staff for high achievement in the library's Customer Service Program last summer. The Library Association decided to expand the project to provide permanent, stable pathways and a sturdy gazebo to cover the table.

Susan says that library staff plan to use the gazebo for children's programs in the spring and summer. She expects to have a concert or other community event to commemorate the library's 5th anniversary this August. Once the gazebo is complete, the final bricks have been placed around the gazebo supports, and construction materials are removed, the garden will be open for patrons to visit. In addition to the gazebo table, the garden has several benches that are ideal places for quietly sitting and reading a favorite book. Spring flowers should arrive soon to further enhance the experience.

She said staff and patrons are looking forward to using the new garden features. She said the improvements have made a beautiful garden even more beautiful. It will become a more inviting destination for patrons and staff.

The gazebo is made of treated, stained wood, and the table top is made from a composite material made from recycled wood and plastic called Trex. The roof will be made of tin and should be complete within a week or so. The gazebo was designed to match and complement the gazebo in the children's section of the library adjacent to the garden. It is made of sturdy, durable materials and should last a long time.

Garden pathways have been paved with brick. The pathways now connect the library building to the center of the garden, with branches to the garden corners and to a large area at the compost piles where Mecklenburg County Solid Waste and Recycling staff conduct composting classes. These pathways replace the original pathways made from cypress mulch, which washed away during major rain storms. The garden now has permanent, level pathways that can withstand stormy weather.

The contractor for the gazebo is Accent Fencing of the Carolinas (contact Mitch Lane at 704-239-5708), and the contractor for the pathways is Tarheel Masonry and Concrete Company.

The Steele Creek Library Association and community supporters of the association's fund drive conducted in 2004 have paid for the garden improvements, which cost approximately $18,000.

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