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By the Numbers: Gardening

Photo of Salt Lake City Public Library's community garden.
Salt Lake City Public Library’s community garden. Photo: Jeri Gravlin

Number of institutions recognized by the Council on Botanical and Horticultural Libraries. These libraries are often housed within public gardens, arboretums, or universities around the world.

Year the first seed library opened in a public library. Hudson Valley Seed Library—which has since evolved into Hudson Valley Seed Company, selling seeds and garden-themed art—got its start at Gardiner (N.Y.) Public Library thanks to librarian Ken Greene. Today, there are hundreds of seed libraries across the US.

Number of photos and records available through the Archives of American Gardens. The archive, located at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., includes photographs and documents for more than 10,000 historic and extant green spaces.

Number of plots in Salt Lake City Public Library’s (SLCPL) community garden. The produce and herb garden, located at SLCPL’s Main Library and known simply as The Plot, is considered a learning laboratory for individuals and organizations who apply to plant and maintain a plot through a lottery system

Number of chapters in Libraries and Gardens: Growing Together (ALA Editions). The 2019 title, coauthored by Carrie Scott Banks and Cindy Mediavilla, provides examples of successful library gardens and tips for library workers to start their own.

Number of square feet in dedicated green space on the roof of the Milwaukee (Wis.) Public Library (MPL). MPL’s Green Roof, opened in 2010 and available seasonally for tours, is home to several varieties of chives, grass, and flowering plants. The roof also helps reduce the city’s carbon footprint, absorbing rainwater and converting sunlight into electricity.

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