In honor of Earth Day, the Johnson Public Library dedicated and planted two very special trees Friday, April 20. Both trees were donated to the Library for the event. One, planted in the northwest quadrant of the block was dedicated to the children of Lincoln Elementary, located directly across the street from the library. Children and staff were invited to the event with a pre-selected child from each class participating in the actual planting. The library staff and trustees hope the children will enjoy watching the tree grow and flourish throughout their school years at Lincoln.

A second tree was planted in memory of former long time board member, Susie Derryberry and was no coincidence that the tree chosen will show pink blooms each spring. “Susie loved this library, and it is a pleasure to be able to honor her in this way”, said Jan Underwood, Chairman of the Board of Trustees.

The trees are just the beginning of a long term vision by the staff and trustees of the library to bring beauty back to the library grounds. Disease and weather has taken a toll on many of the trees that the people of Baxter Springs have admired for years.

With the support and donations of organizations, business, and individuals, the library hopes to add species to ensure four seasons of bloom featuring low maintenance perennials, native grasses, shrubs and trees. A copy of the proposed landscape vision is on display at the library. It features several separate areas based on the theme of “Our Time Square”, including an area named “Time Flies” featuring species that will attract butterflies and hummingbirds.

The ongoing project will be funded by donations only. If any group, business or individual would like to sponsor a tree, shrub or ground cover, please contact Betty Burrows at 620-856-5591.

The goal is to create a beautiful and serene atmosphere for citizens to walk, read or meditate and to promote inclusion of the library in more downtown and community events, as well as a destination for Route 66 travelers.