Park City Library opens the Sustainability Resource Center on Earth Day
Free open house includes tours and giveaways
Park City Library has something to celebrate on Earth Day.
After working for the past year on creating its Sustainability Resource Center, the library, 1255 Park Ave., will host a free celebration from 4-6 p.m., Friday, April 22, said Kate Mapp, adult services librarian.
“It will be an open house, and we’ll give tours and provide information about the center,” she said. “We want to showcase what we’ve been doing and Celebrate the Earth.”
The event will feature cake and giveaways, including plants and worms from a composting workshop, Mapp said.
“We’ll also have nonprofits — Swaner Preserve and EcoCenter, Recycle Utah, EATS, Park City High School Earth Club and Go Biochar, Planet Earth First Park City, Summit Community Gardens and Wasatch Back Chapter of the Citizens’ Climate Lobby — who will come to the table,” she said.
According to Mapp, the event will also feature information from Park City municipality’s sustainability department, headed by Celia Peterson.
“Celia worked closely with us on the center’s information,” she said. “She helped us write up information for our signs and messages.”
The Sustainability Resource Center,located in the middle of the library’s first floor, features an EcoPower bike, Mapp said.
“People can ride the bike and generate electricity that goes back into the grid,” Mapp said. “The bike is unique because it has a book holder. You can work out, read and generate electricity.”
In addition, the center features a rotating display of books and information that focuses on different sustainability themes.
“The theme now is drought and drought-tolerant gardens,” Mapp said. “All the information in the display tells people about the importance of water.”
The center also includes a cabinet of sustainability-related books for children, teens and adults.
“Some of the books are stories and biographies about scientists,” Mapp said. “And others teach different issues that are tied in with sustainability and environmental issues.”
One of the highlights of the Sustainability Center is the Green Wall and indoor herb and vegetable garden, according to Mapp.
“The Green Wall is made of plants that were specifically selected because they purify the air,” she said.
The Indoor garden was purchased by Friends of the Park City Library and EATS, a local nonprofit that promotes healthy eating, Mapp said.
“The garden has lettuce, cilantro, arugula, spinach, bok choy and kale, which feed the library’s pet guinea pigs,” she said. “Library staff can also pick some of the plants for their own lunches as well.”
Another highlight is the seed library.
“Members of the public can fill out a form and take up to six seed packets per visit, and no library card is needed,” Mapp said. “The form tells us what seeds they took, and we will refresh the packets every other day.”
A library card is needed to check out the gardening tools from the tool library, Mapp said.
“The tool library is a companion to the seed library,” she said. “People usually use a tool once a season, so they can come check one out to use.”
People who are interested in buying a particular tool can also check one out to see if they really want to buy one, Mapp said.
“We also offer sustainability-themed items including radon detectors and energy detection kits for check out,” she said.
The Sustainability Resource Center also gives the Park City Library a chance to start some new programs, Mapp said.
“At the first part of every month we will give out sustainability kits and bags,” she said. “This month we gave away organic grocery bags, and next month we will focus on waste. So we will give out biodegradable waste bags to be used when you and your pets are going backpacking, because protecting our natural environment is just as important as driving electric cars.”
The library is also implementing a Green Reads program, which is like a book club, but reading a book isn’t required, Mapp said.
“We select a book that we match with a podcast or article that features interviews with the author,” she said. “So Green Reads participants who don’t have time to read the book can listen to the podcast or read the article and still participate in the group’s discussions.”
The group will meet once every quarter. This quarter’s book is “All We Can Save: Truth, Courage and Solutions for the Climate Crisis,” a collection of essays and poetry edited by Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson and Dr. Katharine Wilkinson. The discussion will be held at 10 a.m. on July 26, Mapp said.
The idea for a Sustainability Resource Center blossomed a couple of years ago when the Park City Library board created a subcommittee to look at how to develop sustainability goals and ideas, according to Mapp.
“That was the time when more and more community grants regarding sustainability were made available,” she said. “During that time, Park City made a goal to hit net zero carbon emissions by 2030, and since the library is an information hub, we wanted to have a focus on sustainability. We wanted to help community members learn about sustainability and environmental issues, and provide awareness and information about nonprofits who can help them do this.”
The center was made possible by funds from Friends of the Park City Library and an annual grant from the Utah State Library, Mapp said.
“The center has invigorated the space,” she said. “We were able to put in more light and comfortable seating, and it’s been exciting to see how people are seeking out this space and being inspired.”
The tower at the Olympic Welcome Plaza was recently outfitted with a new design.
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