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Scottdale reading garden to be dedicated Sunday

A reading garden was a part of the original plan for the new Scottdale Public Library. This year, the goal was realized when construction of a new green rain garden was started.

At 3 p.m. Sunday a dedication of the reading garden is scheduled. Mayor Chuck King and garden designer Martha Oliver are invited to speak.

Construction of the garden was funded through private donations and a grant from the R.K. Mellon Foundation, the Jacobs Creek Watershed Association and The Primrose Path.

The nearly $60,000 project includes a rain garden and permeable concrete that will allow rain water to run into the ground rather than ponding in the former alleyway or running into the sewage system.

Kathy Hamilton, landscape architect and stormwater technician with the Westmoreland Conservation District, said Jacobs Creek Watershed received a federal 319 grant to help clean up waters in the watershed as well as help with storm water/ sewage separation.

About $30,000 of the total grant money was used to pay for the excavation and construction of the rain garden that's located at the end of the former alley closest to the Scottdale Community Pool. It will cover the cost of the permeable concrete for the patio.

Hamilton said the rain garden will reduce ponding in that area and some of the roof water will go to feed the plants.

Nearly $30,000 from the R.K. Mellon Foundation grant as well as some other donations were used to build additional raised planters for vegetation and purchase tables with umbrellas and a garden statue.

Library Director Patricia Miller said local government officials from the municipalities the library serves have been invited as well as representatives from the watershed and the R.K. Mellon Foundation.

"From the beginning of our planning for the new library, we wanted it to be a place that was a community hub," she said. "We wanted to have something that reached out and connected to the community and this garden is right beside the gazebo and part of downtown."

Miller said the garden will be available for use when the library is not open for those who might want to enjoy the area.

Because the library is a place for learning, she added that the garden will be used as an educational tool.

"Not only do we have the rain gardens but the tables are from 100 percent recycled materials. We have permeable concrete and all of the plantings in the garden are plants native to Pennsylvania," Miller said. "With this we were able to add to the green areas in town rather than putting in another parking lot."

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