Parnell Library officially opened the Library Learning Enrichment Garden on Sept. 19. Mayor Hollie Cost, who spoke at the garden’s opening ceremony, had high praise for the project.

“I feel that we all strive for identity. We strive for ideas like collaboration, beautification and environmental respect. This garden is where all those ideas converge.”

Established in an attempt to preserve the land surrounding the library, the garden features high-tech irrigation and management systems intended to prevent erosion and to increase water conservation.

The system stores rainwater in an attempt to lessen the impact of traditional gardening on the environment. It does so by channeling the water into two large storage tanks that sit below ground, allowing it to be used at a later date and preventing it from washing away topsoil.

Another integral part of the system is the Rasmusson Bioswale system. This technology works to limit the effect of storms on the land, reducing erosion by channeling the run-off water through filters and slowly returning it to Shoal Creek.

The garden was in part funded by a $9,000 grant from the Coca Cola Company and Cahaba River Foundation. Other funding came from local gardening clubs and individual donors.