WEST PARIS — Saturday, April 21, was a day to get things in shape for the summer and to celebrate community spirit at the West Paris Library. In particular, the public service efforts of the 2010 sixth-grade class at Agnes Gray Elementary School were honored and carried forward.
In the early spring of 2010, the students undertook a service learning project at the library. The class had learned about service learning projects in the fall at the Bryant Pond 4-H Camp.
They decided that the newly expanded library offered the perfect opportunity to do such a project. The project that they chose was to expand the library’s flower beds. The library already had a New England-style flower bed at the front of the castle-like building. However, the children recognized that the newly laid walkways offered an ideal location for additional decorative beds.
The students decided that their new beds would reflect their exploration of Maine’s natural environment. The walkway flowerbeds and nearby areas would feature native Maine wildflowers and other plants.
The students researched the types of native perennial plants that might work best in the areas to be planted. Then they created plans for the beds, sought cash and plant donations for the project, held a car wash to raise additional funds, prepared the beds and did the plantings.
The spirit of community giving demonstrated by the youngsters was honored by a handful of adult volunteers on April 21. They gathered to clean out the original and the newer flower beds. They weeded and trimmed and got the plants ready for summer.