Westhampton Free Library Plants Pollinator Garden in Glovers Park - 27 East

Westhampton Free Library Plants Pollinator Garden in Glovers Park

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Librarian Sara Zarowin at the pollinator garden in Glovers Park. BILL SUTTON

Librarian Sara Zarowin at the pollinator garden in Glovers Park. BILL SUTTON

The pollinator garden at Glovers Park. BILL SUTTON

The pollinator garden at Glovers Park. BILL SUTTON

The pollinator garden at Glovers Park. BILL SUTTON

The pollinator garden at Glovers Park. BILL SUTTON

The pollinator garden at Glovers Park. BILL SUTTON

The pollinator garden at Glovers Park. BILL SUTTON

The pollinator garden at Glovers Park. BILL SUTTON

The pollinator garden at Glovers Park. BILL SUTTON

The pollinator garden at Glovers Park. BILL SUTTON

The pollinator garden at Glovers Park. BILL SUTTON

The pollinator garden at Glovers Park. BILL SUTTON

The pollinator garden at Glovers Park. BILL SUTTON

Librarian Sara Zarowin at the pollinator garden in Glovers Park. BILL SUTTON

Librarian Sara Zarowin at the pollinator garden in Glovers Park. BILL SUTTON

Librarian Sara Zarowin at the pollinator garden in Glovers Park. BILL SUTTON

Librarian Sara Zarowin at the pollinator garden in Glovers Park. BILL SUTTON

Librarian Sara Zarowin at the pollinator garden in Glovers Park. BILL SUTTON

Librarian Sara Zarowin at the pollinator garden in Glovers Park. BILL SUTTON

The garden area before it was dug. COURTESY SARA ZAROWIN

The garden area before it was dug. COURTESY SARA ZAROWIN

The garden area before it was mapped out. COURTESY SARA ZAROWIN

The garden area before it was mapped out. COURTESY SARA ZAROWIN

The garden was mapped out on June 8 prior to planting. COURTESY SARA ZAROWIN

The garden was mapped out on June 8 prior to planting. COURTESY SARA ZAROWIN

The garden area before it was planted. COURTESY SARA ZAROWIN

The garden area before it was planted. COURTESY SARA ZAROWIN

authorBill Sutton on Jul 5, 2023

Glovers Lane Park is a hidden treasure in the Village of Westhampton Beach.

Tucked away off the beaten Main Street path, on the one-way Glovers Lane, nestled behind the Chamber of Commerce building, the park, complete with numerous plantings, benches, tables and even a fountain, provides a contemplative space away from the summer bustle of a crowded Main Street. Residents and visitors alike can find a quiet minute to walk its footpaths, listen to the cascade of the fountain and soak up a little green time amid its rolling lawn and shady trees.

And if everything goes according to plan, the park will have a bevy of new visitors in the coming weeks and months, albeit on a much smaller scale.

The Westhampton Free Library early last month completed a project years in the making to install a small pollinator garden in one corner of the park, designed to attract bees, insects and other critters in an effort to protect the environment — and provide an educational tool for the community on the importance of conservation and maintaining the area’s natural resources.

The 140-square-foot garden, built with the cooperation and blessings of village officials, was originally supposed to be planted in March 2020 but was delayed by the start of the pandemic. It was further held up while the village revitalized Main Street in 2021 and installed the new sewer system in 2022, according to Sara Zarowin, an adult reference librarian at Westhampton Free Library, who spearheaded the project.

“There were just a lot of things going on in the last few years,” said Zarowin, who noted that the Village Board had approved plans for the garden three years ago before COVID got in the way. “Finally, this year, we brought it back and were finally able to do it.”

The garden — which sits under a distinctive red Japanese maple tree on the north side of the park, west of the gravel path, and is 20 feet wide and 7 feet deep — contains a total of 76 plants, in 13 varieties, Zarowin noted, and was planted on June 8 with the help of Doug Nappi from Dragonfly Landscape Design of Westhampton Beach, with financial support from the Kiwanis of Greater Westhampton, Elizabeth Lederer and the Westhampton Rotary Club.

Plants include New England asters, bee balm varieties, butterfly weeds, butterfly bush, meadow sage varieties, English lavender, and others.

The overarching goal of the project is to conform with United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, particularly No. 15, commonly referred to as “Life on Land,” and No. 17, which talks about making partnerships to meet the overall development goals. It is meant to maintain and support the habitats of pollinators such as bees, butterflies, moths and other insects, as well as birds and bats.

While the garden “belongs” to the library, Zarowin said, it’s really an effort that she hopes will be adopted by and cared for by the community.

“We have a reading garden that’s attached to the library,” she said, and while it has pollinator plants “it’s not a full pollinator garden.”

“We wanted something the community could have easier access to and it didn’t have to be behind a fence or anything,” said Zarowin, 31, a seven-year veteran of the library who earned a master’s degree in library science from Kent State University in 2020 and who runs the library’s “seed library,” in which patrons can receive up to four packets of garden seeds per month during the summer.

So Library Director Danielle Waskiewicz suggested they reach out to the Village Board to see if a partnership with the village would work. The board was 100 percent on board, Zarowin said.

“Glovers Park was one of the perfect options because they were still kind of working on it,” she said, noting that the village has added a lot of plantings to the park in recent years. “It’s beautiful, and we thought, ‘Why not add some more color to it?’”

Mayor Maria Moore, who noted that Glovers Park was dear to her heart — it was her first project when she took office in 2014, said the idea of the pollinator garden was very well received.

“The board was very receptive to the library’s idea for a pollinator garden, enthusiastically pitched to us by Sara Zarowin,” the mayor said. “The library, under the leadership of Danielle Waskiewicz has been a terrific partner not only to the Village Board, but to the community as a whole. The garden is beautifully laid out and will be an attraction for years to come for ‘all creatures great and small.’”

Glovers Park is made up of two adjoining parcels, both purchased by the Southampton Community Preservation Fund. The northern lot was bought in 2007, while mayor Conrad Teller was in office. Teller cleared the lot of a small building that was there, Moore said, and it sat undisturbed until she began developing the park. The second parcel, where the new pollinator garden is located, was purchased in 2016.

“It was a perfect addition,” Moore noted, “as it connects Main Street to Glovers Park and the Chamber building, and also provides space for additional seating and events.

“Village governance is like a relay race with the baton passed from mayor to mayor and board to board,” she added. “So I inherited the empty lot, or what I thought of as a blank slate, and with the help of several local landscapers — Stinchi, Dragonfly and Broadview — who graciously volunteered their services, we were able to design what you see today. Now that the plantings have grown in, and with the fountain at its center, it’s a very peaceful little park.”

Once the timing finally cooperated, Zarowin said, the pollinator garden came together fairly quickly.

“It was really just organizing everything so that it all lined up to work out for the planting,” she said. “I had to coordinate with Dragonfly and the village so that it would all work out. They got it done in a day. It was just amazing.”

Dragonfly will help maintain the garden, Zarowin said, and the village reworked the irrigation system in the park to keep the garden watered.

She hopes to erect a plaque in the garden at some point explaining its purpose to visitors, and also a solar-powered water fountain for the birds.

She noted that there’s been a lot of attention in recent years to the colony collapse of bees, and hopes that the pollinator garden can in some small way help.

“Hopefully,” she said, “this can be something that supports those pollinators and just help the community thrive.

“And it’s beautiful,” she added. “I hope people will enjoy it when they sit on a park bench and look at the garden. I want it to be enjoyed by the community, for sure. It’s definitely blooming, and I’m excited to see it fill out more.”

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