Caledon Public Library (CPL) is excited to announce they have received $91,910 courtesy of the Canada Healthy Communities Initiative (CHCI), in tandem with Community Foundations of Canada for the development of an outdoor reading garden in the new Southfields Village Branch this spring. The CHCI is a $31-million investment from the Government of Canada to support organizations as they create and adapt public spaces to respond to the new realities of COVID-19.

“The Brampton and Caledon Community Foundation congratulates the Caledon Public Library for receiving a grant through the Government of Canada’s Canada Healthy Community Initiative (CHCI) Program,” said Jim Boyd, President, and CEO.  “The grant, that will develop and improve the outdoor space at the Library’s Southfields Village Branch, really reflects the core element of the CHCI Program to improve access and use of public outdoor community spaces for a maximum number of people in the community.  The Foundation is excited that this project is about to start, and looks forward to seeing its successful completion in the coming months.”

“Caledon Public Library relishes our role as a welcoming, accessible, and free space. The opening of the new Southfields Village Branch was eagerly awaited by neighbours and staff alike,” according to Colleen Lipp, CEO and Chief Librarian. “The Southfields Village Reading Garden will transform a fenced concrete pad, adjacent to a library branch, into a vibrant and welcoming area. The installation of shade sails, comfortable and flexible seating, and planters will create a 3-season destination for the neighbourhood.”

Library services have been curtailed by pandemic restrictions since the Southfields Village Branch first opened its doors in September 2020. This dynamic space will act as a beacon, drawing neighbourhood residents to the library and supporting the Library’s safe return to in-person programming. Proposed offerings, to be delivered by CPL and our partners, include storytimes (in English, French and Punjabi), book clubs, gardening workshops, and outdoor movies. The installation of raised garden planters will allow users of the space to get their hands dirty while planting seeds and harvesting the bounty of the CPL Seed Library.

“Our vision is for the Reading Garden to be more than just a space for programs, but a spot where residents can safely spend meaningful time – to quietly enjoy a coffee from the nearby café, to make use of the Library’s Wi-Fi for work or study, or to have a lively chat with friends and neighbours” adds Lipp. “The benefits of this space extend far beyond the pandemic as this investment will provide long-lasting benefits to the community.”

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