The Moline Public Library hosted an informational session to discuss and showcase the library garden project.

Bryon Lear, the Moline Library Director, provided background on the garden’s origins, unique features and the timeline for completion. “The project really kicked off in about 2021,” Lear said. “We were able to purchase the land right next to the library, and from then we were able to clear off structures that were on the property.”

Lear remembered the start of the project and when the library started making preparations for construction. “This past year, we’ve ben spending some time with our design team,” Lear said. “We did some schematic designs, to figure out what the project could look like.”

That design team was part of Shive-Hattery, a local architecture firm. “We kind of threw a ton of ideas at them about what we wanted,” Callahan Herrig, the Moline Library Development Manager, said. “They played around with a few sketches. We kind of looked at five designs where we chose a few of them. We then made a Frankenstein version of it until it eventually grew into what it is now.”

This is the third library garden that the design team at Shive-Hattery has worked on. “This idea of a reading loop, is the ability to have pages of a story along a pathway,” Garret Munch, a Landscape Architect with Shive-Hattery, said. “Families can do it on their own or they can do it as an activity.”

Munch also worked with the City of Moline. “They also didn’t want to compete with other parks in the community,” Much said. “But really be an outdoor extension of their library where they could have kids play, but they’re not necessarily playing on large playground equipment.”

With the project costing around $1.4 million, the library is hopeful to obtain more donations from Moline residents who want to see the garden come to life. “It’s been a very rapid process,” Herrig said. “Usually things with the city are a bit slower moving, but it’s been really exciting. It’s just all very quick.”

Construction on the library garden is expected to start in 2024.