The Herald Bulletin

Evening Update

Community

May 30, 2009

Landscape changing at Middletown library

MIDDLETOWN — Imagine a town where urban life and wildlife coexist in harmony.

Picture butterflies, ladybugs, vibrantly colored songbirds, rabbits, frogs, turtles, and squirrels drawn into yards of native flowers, plants, and bushes. And maybe even a garter snake or two.

While it may sound like a Walt Disney-esque fantasy, the Middletown Public Library is working toward that goal. They have begun by changing their landscaping to create a Certified Wildlife Habitat through the Indiana chapter of the National Wildlife Federation.

“Hopefully, you’re going to come in here as a patron and say, ‘Oh my gosh, that’s such a great idea’ and go home and mimic what you see here,” said Library Gardener Dee Pring.

Based on a points system, if a certain number of businesses, parks, and schools become certified, the entire town can become habitat certified.

Landscape alterations are tied into the library’s summer reading and education program, “Exploring Nature’s Trails and Tales,” which runs through July 9.

“Trails is tied to the outside habitat landscaping and tales refers to reading,” said staff member Linda Jones.

“I would call Linda Jones, Dee Pring, and Sally Mills our library’s dream team,” Director Teresa Holden said. “Their enthusiasm and imagination has made this program.”

To qualify the habitat for certification, the library must provide wildlife with food, water, cover, and places to raise their young.

The library will supply food through the plants that are naturally eaten by wildlife, along with feeders. Water will come from three gardens, including a rain garden, a birdbath and a small pond of concrete the children will help build.

Cover and places for wildlife to raise their young will be provided by bushes, rock piles, brush piles and hollow logs. Bird, bat, and screech owl houses will also be added.

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