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Madison County SWCD Helps With Children's Garden at Public Library

Conservation Showcase


Students help plant gardens.

Students help plant gardens.

By Kathy Walker, SWCD DAC in Madison County, AL

In September, the Children's Living Library Garden held its grand opening.  This was a compilation of visions of many people.

I became involved a couple of years ago when Kristin Kulavich, Sustainability Liaison for the City of Madison, called me and said that it was mentioned that I may be able to help with a great project she had in mind for the grounds of the Madison Public Library--an interactive, fun, hands-on outdoor learning center.

She indicated that Mike Roden, former coordinator of Alabama Mountains, Rivers and Valley Resource Conservation and Development, and Renona Seibert had asked her to come to talk to me about the project.

Kristin was enthusiastic about the possibility of hands-on learning center. She had clippings from newspapers and magazines to show what she envisioned. Not long into the conversation, she had me hooked on the project also.

Madison County SWCD Supervisors were excited about the partnership.  Kristen and I searched for grant opportunities.  We traded ideas and she applied for a grants. She received two grants from RC&D, plus many, many more that she applied for.

On Sunday, September 18, Phase I of this wonderful project had its grand opening. The children were excited and eagerly ran from place to place to explore all the wonderful things that they could touch and explore.

Items included in the garden was a life-size Scrabble Board with laminated alphabet tiles, a Jimmy Bucket sculpture that depicts items that are used in the garden, a pizza garden, a butterfly garden, a lizard house, an outdoor blackboard with lots of chalk, an alligator tire sculpture, a worm bin, a mini amphitheater for story time, and a rain barrel with the children’s handprints on it.  There was also a place for kids to bring scraps in zipper bags to be added as needed for the worm bins.

The local television stations ran stories on the grand opening and an article was published in The Huntsville Times.

Monday morning, after the Phase I grand opening, Phase II kicked into gear. All involved are in full grant writing mode to keep this wonderful project going.

Jimmy Bucket sculpture.

Jimmy Bucket sculpture.

Outdoor chalkboard

Outdoor chalkboard.

Rain barrel.

Rain barrel.