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Sycamore library garden accessible to all

Published: Monday, April 14, 2014 11:38 p.m. CDT • Updated: Monday, April 14, 2014 11:41 p.m. CDT
(Danielle Guerra – dguerra@shawmedia.com)
Sycamore Public Library director Sarah Tobias (left) gets some help Saturday from Northern Illinois University student Tom Jareczek, of Lambda Sigma fraternity, as they unload concrete slabs that will be used for a walkway around the new garden plot next to the library. Students were helping with the effort as part of NIU Cares Day.

SYCAMORE – Jill Dubicz said she was still sore a couple of days after she began work Saturday on a handicapped-accessible community garden next to Sycamore Public Library at 103 E. State St.

Dubicz, events and marketing coordinator at the library, was one of the volunteers who helped break ground for the library’s own 1,200-square-foot community garden. Volunteers also dug pathways and laid stones to create handicapped-accessible walkways.

“Hopefully when it’s all said and done, we’ll be able to not only have garden beds for handicapped individuals, but it’ll be a space that will be ideal for programming,” she Dubicz said.

Thirty students from Northern Illinois University also helped Saturday as part of NIU Cares Day, a community service event. Organizers, who are working with help from DeKalb County Community Gardens, hope to have plants growing by May.

Volunteers will work through the next four weekends to meet their goal and collect the food grown for themselves. The leftover produce will be donated to local food banks, Dubicz said.

Dan Kenney, DeKalb County Community Gardens executive director, said the library’s garden project may grow vegetables and edible flowers. The organization may also hold joint workshops and classes on basic gardening to help the area flourish.

“It’s a great opportunity for people in the community to learn skills about gardening,” Kenney said. “It will also be a good opportunity for people to come together and share ideas about gardening.”

This isn’t the first planting-related effort the library has held. It also offers seeds that patrons can check out and plant in their own gardens. They then return seeds from the harvested produce to the library, Dubicz said.

Grants from International Paper, Walmart and community members have made the community garden possible, Dubicz said.

“We’re going green,” Dubicz said.

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