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Harvey completes Eagle Scout project at Solvay Public Library

Visitors to the Solvay Public Library will now enjoy a beautiful perennial garden as well as learn about storm water drainage, thanks to a the hard work of a Boy Scout earning his Eagle rank.

Paul Harvey, with Boy Scout Troop 220, selected Solvay Public Library as the site of his community service project, required to earn the scout's highest rank of Eagle Scout. Paul is a resident of Westvale and frequently uses the Library.

Paul approached Library Director Cara Burton, who suggested doing a rain garden, which she had learned about at an Onondaga Lake Partnership meeting. The Solvay Public Library has recently been renovated and was in need of landscaping. Renovations were to address drainage problems around the building that were affecting the foundation of this historic landmark. Rain gardens are specifically designed to prevent water pollution by soaking up rain water from roofs, patios, and driveways. The plants tolerate periodic flooding and absorb the runoff, thus minimizing it's pollution into the stormwater system. Additionally, runoff will be absorbed by plants and not left standing next to the library's foundation. The project's educational component is part of the Solvay Public Library's Onondaga Lake Awareness Initiative.

Scout Harvey contacted Cornell Cooperative Extension to learn about rain gardens and the design. He presented his proposal at meetings for both the Library Board and Village of Solvay Board to get approval. Funds were secured from Honeywell to purchase the plants. A bench was donated and his fellow troop members created mosaic tiles depicting Boy Scout values. The garden was installed near the new front entrance of the library by a drainage down spout. Educational signage will be placed in late summer. The demonstration rain garden truly enhances the exterior appearance of the library, while presenting an important environmental message.

For more information about the Solvay Public Library, call 468-2441.

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