On Saturday, September 21st, patrons at our Coolidge location celebrated Peace Day with a Family Storytime Event that kicked off with a tree-planting ceremony at the satellite library in Bethlehem Township. The tree was generously donated by the Bethlehem Township Municipal Authority, a financing authority which Director Steve Hunsberger says “is all about community.”
For an exceptionally hot September day, there were smiles and shovels all around, as the BTMA’s Chairman David Thomsen dug in right beside the families to help plant a beautiful American Dogwood on the library’s front lawn.
Since this year’s Peace Day theme draws attention to the importance of combating climate change as a way to protect and promote peace throughout the world, planting a native species was important to both BAPL and the BTMA. Outreach Librarian Regina Kochmaruk was thrilled when she learned that an American Dogwood, an indigenous species, would grace the property. The ceremony was followed up by the story of Wangari Maathai, a woman who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004 for her work in helping to plant millions of indigenous trees in her native Kenya to combat deforestation.
“I loved being able to point out the connection between Wangari’s story and the children’s simple action of planting a tree,” said Kochmaruk. And Thomsen smiled as he added “just think about how those kids will return some day and say ‘I helped to plant that tree.'”