Dartmouth North library upgrades to include new green space, playground
The Highfield Park location is getting a $1-million boost, with plans open for community input
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A local library will rewrite the way people read and borrow books by bringing the community and nature together with a new green space.
The Halifax Public Libraries (HPL) announced their plans to create a public green space for the Dartmouth North Public Library on Wednesday during a public show and tell event.
The green space, which will be attached to the front of the library, will create a space for people to relax outside, read books and access other library services, said Åsa Kachan, CEO of the Halifax Public Libraries.
“Its an idea we've given thought to for awhile now,” she said Thursday.
“We have free WiFi, and have noticed for a few years people would sit on the grass outside the building to try and pick up the free WiFi. It got us thinking about how we could create a space outside to engage the community and draw them in.”
The planned space was pitched to TD Canada, who gifted the HPL with $500,000 to create the space in an effort to support green spaces across Canada.
“So many varied activities take place in the public library,” said Kachan.
“The idea was to take all that rich diversity, and for as many seasons as possible, find a way to make that happen in the fresh air through beautiful green spaces.”
The rejuvenation of the library’s green space will cost $1 million, and is currently in the planning process, with construction set to begin this summer.
The library is asking the community what they would like to see the space become, said Crystal Mulder, Branch Supervisor for the Dartmouth North Public Library.
“Because we are still in the concept stage, the space’s outcome is still wide open,” she said.
“What we will create will be based off what the community tells us to do. Whatever they say they want, we will make it work for us.”
Current plans for the space will include a naturalized playground for kids, an outdoor library which will be accessible from both inside and outside, and outdoor spaces for movie nights, picnics and other library activities.
“It’s an exciting opportunity to expand the programming space that we have,” said Mulder.
“It’s also an opportunity for the community to have access stuff like our WiFi after hours, and also to have a place to come relax and enjoy nature to all its glory.”
The HPL are also planning to extend library hours, giving people later access to their services.
“There will be some more hours of opening coming,” said Kachan.
“We know we have great resources and great spaces, and we want to make sure we are doing our best to make those available and open to the community.”