Millennium Library Park is a Busy Place

Yoga in Millennium ParkA lot has happened in the year since this  post was written, about what was then our newly-renovated and newly-planted park, so I thought this would be a perfect time to update you.

Park November 2011
Even more has changed since this photo was taken in November 2011!August 1, 2013

We’ve got some fancy new furniture (hint: the blue lounge chairs are ridiculously comfortable), beautfiul new art, flourishing plants, and lots and lots of programming. Our visitors have been busy taking pictures and posting them on twitter and instagram. (the art piece emptyful has become something of a social media star, and featured in Thursday’s Metro). Photos  tagged “@wpglibrary”  can still be found on our twitter page.

Play and Learn in the Park

Play and Learn in the Park

The Downtown Biz hit the ground running this summer with free yoga at lunch on Mondays and zumba on Fridays. We added some more fun with giant games (giant Connect Four, giant chess…) and eBook assistance during our Play and Learn in the Park Wednesdays. We  also hosted hip hop performance artists PuConA and Nereo II for an inspiring spoken word event. The forecast had been threatening rain, but the weather was warm and sunny.

Birches 2012
Birches 2012

Birches 2013

Birches 2013

Probably the most striking change is the plants. The Kentucky Blue Grass lawn is thick. The trees, a mixture of trembling aspen, paper birch, and American elm, are starting to show growth. The Karl Foerster reed grass is now begining to grow to full height and the native perennials (coneflower, monarda, wild onions, rudbeckia, etc) have really begun to fill in their spots, and to flower.

My favourite component may be the water garden. It is something of a pleasant surprise to encounter such marshy plants (Blue Flag irises, cattails, bulrushes, and pond lilies) in an urban setting. Plus I love to see the windmills, that keep it all aerated, turn to catch the breeze.

Boardwalk 2012 and 2013

Boardwalk 2012 and 2013

Water Garden 2012 and 2013

Water Garden 2012 and 2013

I think this is all the more impressive when I remember that it is all actually a roof-top garden – built on top of our underground parkade!

ConeflowersIf you’d like to learn more about the native plants used, and maybe how to incorporate them into your own garden (rooftop or otherwise) check out our sizeable collection of prairie gardening and native plant books.

If you have visited the park this summer you would have noticed that work continues. We are renovating to allow for a three-season entrance off of our TD New and Noted room, so that you can check out your library materials and exit directly into the park.

It just keeps getting better!

– Erica

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