Planning has begun for a festive community celebration to mark the opening in just a few short months of the new Felton Branch Library and Felton Discovery Park.
Felton Library Friends has announced that the doors will open in late January or early February, and that its two-year campaign to raise $350,000 for the project has yielded more than $500,000, mostly from individuals and businesses in the San Lorenzo Valley.
“We are thrilled that our donors, volunteers, and project champions pulled together so spectacularly to make our new library and park the best they can be,” said campaign co-chair Nancy Gerdt, president of Felton Library Friends, a chapter of the Friends of the Santa Cruz Public Libraries.
“It would have been a very different project if not for the generosity of our community,” added Michele Mosher, FLF’s treasurer and campaign co-chair. “We can’t wait to celebrate together.”
As construction costs spiraled in both library and park, donors rallied to preserve key design features and enhancements to support the unique project’s emphasis on environmental education, Mosher said. “It illustrates not only our collective commitment to education and the environment, but to our resolve as a community.”
The library received a major boost last summer from a $1 million allocation shepherded through the 2018-19 State of California budget by Assemblymember Mark Stone, and a timely grant last year of $395,000 from the State Parks budget helped keep construction of the adjacent nature park on track.
Major donors whose gifts were made by September 30, 2019 will be honored on an artist-designed recognition piece in the library entrance. Major donors who have sponsored special park features will be honored on the library entrance piece and also in the park. Contributions are still being accepted at feltonlibraryfriends.org/donate. In addition to capital improvements, the Felton campaign will help fund library and park programs now and into the future, Gerdt said.
“Every donor of every gift, large or small, had a hand in creating Felton’s new library and park,” she said. It will be a symbol of community pride for generations to come.” Official information about the library and park opening will be forthcoming from Santa Cruz Public Libraries and County Parks as soon as the date is confirmed.