If the library grounds along Main Street are looking a bit nicer these days, it’s because we’ve embarked on an exciting landscaping project that will feature native flowers, plants, a flowering tree and a whimsical topiary shaped like a bookworm.

The library has been working with a host of partners since last summer with the goal of improving and enhancing the visibility of the library, which serves as an eastern gateway to Emmaus. The 2.6 acres of grounds feature many large deciduous trees and three garden areas, and are a vital piece of the borough’s open space.

Partners include Penn State Master Gardeners, Emmaus Borough and its Public Works team, Girl Scout Troop 63064, the Emmaus Garden Club, metal artist Greg Molder, Bartlett Tree Experts and Fernrock Landscapes. Library Director Lisa Underwood and the library’s board of trustees have been involved as well.

Working with the Emmaus Main Street Partners, the library received a $2,000 matching grant from the Chamber Foundation to help pay for the project. The library is contributing the other half.

Penn State Master Gardeners Becky Short, Audrey Erb, Lisa Walton, Leesa Wimmer, Paul Nahodyl and Gary Rohrbach worked on the design of the 500-square-foot space, including shaping an existing yew into a bookworm. Their early work also included a design for three trellises in front of the children’s wing and plants in front of the mosaic.

To get the project ready, Emmaus Public Works employees removed an aging pergola and pulled out old growth shrubs. They also added new fascia around the large picture window and repaired an outdoor faucet.

Members of Girl Scout Troop 63064, led by troop leader Lorna Flowers, prepared bedding with compost and helped Anthony Paolucci of Bartlett Tree Experts plant a flowering dogwood tree the company donated. The troop previously planted daffodils in front of the mosaic on the eastern side of the building. Landscaper Mike Kline of Fernrock Landscapes dug the large hole required for the tree.

Local metal artist Greg Molder created the facial features for the bookworm, which was shaped by Paul Nahodyl and Gary Rohrbach.

The Emmaus Garden Club will maintain the garden.

The project involves an educational component as well, with the library adding to its collection of native plant books and holding events during our popular summer reading program — such as the Gardening Adventure Workshop on June 13, hosted by Emmaus Community Garden.

Thanks to the hard work and support of so many great partners, the library grounds along Main Street are looking better than ever. With beautiful native plants, a new dogwood tree, bookworm topiary and more, this project is really sprucing up our space. Stop by and see the transformation!