Cascade Library Outdoor Gardens & Activity Space
Did you know the KDL – Cascade Township Branch and the Township have partnered to provide library and recreational services in the current location for more than 25 years?
The library team works to use its beautiful grounds to expand offerings, including story walks, scavenger hunts, teen zones and outdoor concerts, in partnership with the Cascade Downtown Development Authority. Community members also use the nearby green spaces for picnics.
However, the outdoor space presents challenges. Near the library building, the grass is frequently wet from rain and watering, resulting in water pools and puddles. The broader grassy space frequently dries out and provides the perfect habitat for ant colonies, making it less than ideal for sitting.
For a number of years, Friends of the Cascade Library has collected money from its regular book sales, Chapter Two Bookstore and eBay shop for an outdoor gathering space. The group paid for an initial outdoor space master plan and, following bids from several companies, selected local firm Native Edge to design a space where:
- People could gather safely, surrounded by nature.
- Larger events could be held.
- Special events such as concerts could be hosted.
- People, particularly children, could learn and explore.
- Community members could picnic.
- Environmental stewardship would be considered.
The master plan is divided into three main phases of work:
- Phase One includes the area nearest the library and calls for accessible sidewalks for easy traveling to a story time meeting space and a picnic area, featuring native plants and water gardens. It also includes exploratory pathways into the existing wooded area.
- Phase Two expands the sidewalk beyond the woods and adds more green space for gathering or lawn games and a pavilion.
- Phase Three extends the sidewalk entirely around the building and creates additional native plant areas and smaller tabled spaces for eating, studying and socializing.
The Friends of the Cascade Library board voted to fund the entire first phase of the project and the Township Board has authorized use of the land for the project. It is anticipated that bidding will take place late spring or early summer 2023 and construction on Phase I will begin fall of 2023. Cascade Library staff continue to explore funding partners for the second phase of the project, with the hopes it can be completed in 2024, if not sooner.
Outdoor Gardens & Activity Space Master Plan
Pavilion Plan Cost Estimate