During the summer months, the library’s Prairie Patch garden, located on the east side of the building, flourishes with 40 raised pots used to grow a variety of vegetable, herbs, fruits, and flowers. View a map here.
Established in 2016, the Prairie Patch is more than just a community garden! While the Prairie Patch cultivates fresh food for the community, it also cultivates learning for youth. Each week, kids and teens explore the science behind gardening and create nature inspired art, dissect seeds, test soil for various minerals, measure and chart growth, harvest food, and use their math skills. The fresh food is then given away to the community and donated to local food pantries.
The Prairie Patch is Monarch Waystation. We received certification in 2020 by creating a habitat that helps preserve the species and support the butterfly's amazing migration every year.
All ages welcome!
A community project and partnership.
A learning tool for children.
A place for families to enjoy sunny, summer days.
Fresh, organic veggie given away to our community.
The roots of the Prairie Patch were started with the community in mind. In 2016, in partnership with GoodWorx, 20 garden beds were planted on the east side of the library. Families were able to pick up fresh produce from Good Worx or from the local food pantries that Good Worx delivers,
Since then, the Prairie Patch has grown to over 40 beds! With the help of community volunteers and the Darien Garden Club, the Prairie Patch not only cultivates fresh food for the community through the Garden Giveaway, but it grows the minds of kids, who learn from library programs.
Whenever possible, as weather allows, the garden is watered using the rain barrel system that was installed by the Eagle Scouts of Boy Scout Troop 101 in Darien—this is a wonderful example of the community involvement and learning our garden has provided.
Each week during the summer, kids and teens explore the science behind gardening and create nature inspired art, dissect seeds, test soil for various minerals, measure and chart growth, harvest food, and use their math skills. The fresh food is then given away to the community and donated to local food pantries. See the program calendar for summer classes. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, classes may be limited.
In addition to the library programs, families can learn while they play in the Prairie Patch with Bea’s Garden, the Sensory Garden, and the Play Patch. Learn more.
Experience the Prairie Patch through our Sensory Garden. We’ve highlighted plants and attractions to help you interact with the Prairie Patch using each of your five senses. Learn more.
Our Play Patch is a hands-on play place for children visiting the Prairie Patch.
Visit Bea’s Garden, a special home for insects in the Prairie Patch, which includes a large, handmade insect hotel, several bee habitats, an observatory to watch the bees working, and pollinator plants to attract butterflies and bees. Bea's Garden was created through a generous donation from the Lawrence family in loving memory of Beatrix.
The Garden Giveaway provides local families with access to fresh food that was grown in the Prairie Patch. In addition to the food the library grows, the library invites local gardeners to share their excess food. All food left at the end of the night is donated to local pantries. Be sure to sign up for enews to get the latest about the giveaway.
"I love cooking with fresh items," said Dominique, who visited the Garden Giveaway in 2019. “Because I was able to pick up a good-size zucchini, I can now make a zoodle dish for my family.”