Cooper-Siegel Community Library garden — the gift that keeps on giving
When Jim Mitnick gifted his wife, Fritz, with an outdoor garden at Cooper-Siegel Community Library in Fox Chapel, he gave something special to the entire community.
The garden itself was a no-brainer, with Fritz being a Master Gardener, long-involved with the garden club, and, a children's librarian.
“The real value is when I go by and see programs out there, when I see people enjoying nature,” Mitnick said.
Others have noticed the value, too.
The site, named the Fritz Mitnick Welcome Garden, was chosen for its design to receive a Community Greening Award from the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society.
The award recognizes beautification efforts throughout the region based on plant variety, design, use of space and horticultural practices.
Carol Papas, president of the Fox Chapel Garden Club, worked with Greg Schaffer from Blawnox-based Greenprints to design the space, which sits adjacent to the library and is visible from Fox Chapel Road.
“Greg did the major overall design and I focused on the details,” Papas said. “I made sure the shrubs were those that Fritz enjoyed in her garden.”
Library Executive Director Stephanie Flom said Schaffer is no stranger to the property, having designed the Gateway Garden in front of the library as well.
The outdoor spaces flow nicely into one another, having shared the same designer, she said.
“The Welcome Garden is a living work of art that changes throughout the season,” Flom said. “It benefits the natural environment as well as the community who enjoys its beauty.”
The space is hemmed by perennials and bushes with open space in the middle to host library programs for young and old. It abuts the porch, where patrons like to relax with a good book.
Flom said she's thrilled that the garden was selected from among those across the state.
“The PHS award recognizes the high level of quality work that the garden club put into the garden,” she said. “We knew it was a beautiful garden, but now it is an award-winning one.
“It helps to set the standard for what a truly great work of living art, a truly great public garden, should be.”
Mitnick said his first thoughts for the garden didn't include honors or awards.
“To be honest, I just didn't like what they had planned for that space and I thought maybe we could do something to make it better,” he said.
Construction of the $7 million library in 2011 left little funds for proper landscaping.
“I wanted to give a gift that would have sustaining value to the public,” he said, “and the garden club acted as my co-conspirators. I'm big into public spaces for public good.
“This is something to enhance the library and the programs. It's a pleasant place where people can sit on rocking chairs and enjoy nature.”
Tawnya Panizzi is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-782-2121, ext. 2 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Linebacker Harrison coming along slowly since return to Steelers
- Steelers notebook: Shazier returns just in time
- Foundation arranges free maid service for women with cancer
- District 9 roundup: Redbank Valley QB sets state’s single-game passing record
- Daily Courier roundup: Greensburg Salem tops Uniontown in nonconference game
- Corbett, Wolf resort to sticks, stones to attract attention
- WPIAL football playoff clinchings
- Freeport man accused of having child pornography images
- Homework: Hot exterior colors for 2015
- Steelers’ Adams delivers in pinch against Texans
- Pens look to buck shots, goals trend