El Paso Community College

May 4th, 2012
El Paso, TX

Normally, we might consider wildlife to be restricted from a library environment — bookworms in particular come to mind — but at the Jenna Welch and Laura Bush Community Library of El Paso Community College’s Northwest Campus, TX, hummingbirds and butterflies are welcome.

Not indoors, of course, but right outside the library. The El Paso Community College Library’s neighboring Children Reading, Hummingbird and Butterfly Garden was created with native plants from a local nursery, and hummingbird feeders, and homemade feeders crafted from old bottles by students of the Val Verde Early College High School Environmental Club. El Paso volunteers also helped add more plants to the garden and create a living wall, and there are plans in place to install a fountain as well.

The Garden, and especially the Celebrate Urban Birds Event that took place there on May 4th in 2012, were designed, according to El Paso Community College Librarian Kathleen Whelen, “to create awareness that a little bit of consideration for habitat conservation can go a long way in helping the environment. I wanted to educate people in the types of plants that are native to the area and utilized by wildlife. We sought to establish a hummingbird garden as part of the library.”

Ms. Whelen writes:
“At the actual event, having the high school environmental club participate was the most rewarding part for me. The students were very much engaged in the activities and wanted to learn. Another cool thing was that an article was written in the college newspaper about the hummingbird garden and the event. In September, the Association of Women in the Community College requested a special presentation about the hummingbird garden and a tour.”

Below is a slideshow of photos of the garden and the educational event that took place in the library:

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