Published On: Wed, Oct 26th, 2016

New Hope Partnership Wins Pennsylvania Horticultural Society Award

New Hope Girl Scout Troop 2024 poses alongside the mural they painted with help from artist Jennifer Cole.

New Hope Girl Scout Troop 2024 poses alongside the mural they painted with help from artist Jennifer Cole.

Pennsylvania Horticultural Society has given the Pocket Meadow at the Free Library of New Hope and Solebury an Award of Distinction in its Gardening and Greening Contest. Over 300 entrants competed.

Judge Diane Diffenderfer said the garden is a “wonderful new garden space” and “such a welcoming spot for children and adults alike.” Pennsylvania Horticultural Society is America’s oldest such organization.

As part of an outdoor renovation plan, the Board of Trustees of the Free Library worked in partnership with Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve and New Hope Girl Scout Troop 2024 to install a “pocket meadow” featuring native species of plants chosen for their suitability. “Native species help create sustainable environments, lessening, and in many cases eliminating, the need for mulch, pesticides and herbicides,” say meadow designers.

In March 2016, the Free Library of New Hope and Solebury reopened after a large-scale renovation, and began re-purposing the building’s outdoor space soon after.

Local firm Hugh Marshall Landscape Contractors, Inc. dug the beds, leveled the ground and laid the groundwork, so to speak. The Girl Scouts worked with Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve Pocket Meadow Coordinator Maggie Strucker to design and plant the garden using native perennials.

The girls also created stepping stones embedded with mosaic designs to mark a path through the plants, painted bird houses to add color to the space, and worked with New Hope artist Jennifer Cole to paint a large mural on the library’s back wall. “It is not only colorful, but doubles as a height chart for young library patrons who wish to measure their growth,” say organizers.

Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve, established in 1934, pioneered the Pocket Meadow Educational Initiative, which replicates small meadows in schoolyards and public spaces throughout the region.

Girl Scout Troop 2024 is sponsored by the Upper Elementary School of New Hope-Solebury. The 18 members of the troop participated in the redesign and installation of the Children’s Garden at the library during the school year 2015-16 to earn their Girl Scout Bronze Award. Along with other completed requirements, the community garden project allowed the girls to move up from “Junior” to “Cadette” rank within Girl Scouts earlier this fall.

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  1. Can’t wait to check it out! Congratulations!

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