A music garden is coming to Laurens

-Messenger photo by Peter Kaspari
The West Main Street improvement project in Laurens is done.

LAURENS — In Pocahontas County, the Laurens Public Library is looking to add some melodies for its patrons to enjoy.

Library staff are in the process of raising funds to create a music garden, which will be located just outside the entrance of the library.

Glenda Mulder, the library’s director, said the instruments are open for anyone to use.

“They are large, outdoor, permanent instruments,” she said. “They can be played solo, in a group. You don’t have to have any lessons, you don’t need musical training.”

The library hopes to install the instruments in the summer.

-Messenger photo by Peter Kaspari
Sebastian Guice-Mandel, 4, of Laurens, plays with a toy alligator at the Laurens Public Library. The library is in the process of raising money for a musical instrument garden that will be available for anyone to use.

“The frost has to be out of the ground,” Mulder said. “We’re hoping (to have them installed) by the time we start our summer reading program, which is the first or second week of June. That’s the goal.”

The local Kiwanis group announced that it would sponsor one of the instruments; another instrument will be sponsored by a person in memory of a couple who passed away.

“We’re pretty excited,” Mulder said.

In addition to sponsorships, the director said others have stepped up to help pay for the instruments.

“We’ve got a grant from the Pocahontas County Foundation, which should pay for all the installation,” she said. “And the Hometown Pride Committee is going to be helping us out with some labor.”

-Messenger photo by Peter Kaspari
The Laurens city pool sits empty and filled with snow during the winter months. An ongoing project seeks to remodel the pool.

Funds have also been raised with the help of a pancake supper last fall, as well as another supper coming up later this month.

“We have some really good community support,” Mulder said. “It’s good to know that I’m not the only one excited about this.”

There will be six instruments in the garden: contrabass chimes, drums, a swirl, an imbarimba, a lilypad and a Pegasus.

In addition to the music garden, the library has been busy working with students at the Laurens-Marathon Community School.

“The younger ones, the preschool through fifth grade, come up for storytime at least once a month,” Mulder said. “And I go up and do a middle school book talk to the sixth- through eighth-graders once a month. We have a good partnership with the school. It helps that it’s only two blocks away.”

The library also offers a monthly book club and a monthly card-making activity. And there’s also an activity once a month where people can participate in a craft project.