Elmhurst Library Garden

QPL Cuts the Ribbon on Its Transformed Elmhurst Library Garden 

National Grid Grant Supports Beautification of Elmhurst and Five Other Library Gardens

ELMHURST, NY _ Queens Public Library President and CEO Dennis M. Walcott was joined today by National Grid representatives and community members at a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the beautification of Elmhurst Library’s garden (86-07 Broadway) with shrubs, plants and flowers, providing a habitat for butterflies, bees and other beneficial insects. In addition, significant improvements have been recently completed at five other library gardens - at the Windsor Park, Langston Hughes, Ridgewood, East Elmhurst and Glendale branches.

The upgrades were funded through a $140,000 grant from National Grid’s Project C, the company’s program designed to inspire and strengthen local communities, making a difference for years to come. The Queens Public Library Foundation (QPLF) was awarded a Project C clean energy and sustainability grant two years ago. Each of these gardens is now open to the public.

“Our revitalized gardens are truly precious spaces where people can enjoy our resources and the outdoors at the same time,” said Queens Public Library President and CEO Dennis M. Walcott. “We are grateful to National Grid for their partnership and generous support to help us develop and maintain these oases that are open and accessible to all.”

“We are thrilled to partner with the Queens Public Library to help preserve and sustain these beautiful gardens,” said Eileen Cifone, Director of Stakeholder Engagement for National Grid. “This initiative not only enhances the library grounds but also provides invaluable spaces for Elmhurst community members to connect, learn, and enjoy nature. Supporting projects like these aligns with our continuing commitment, through Project C, to fostering sustainable and vibrant communities.”

Elmhurst Library Gardens Ribbon Cutting

Left to right: Juan Santiago, National Grid External Affairs Manager and QPLF Board Secretary, Eileen Cifone, National Grid Director of Stakeholder Engagement, Wanda Chin, President of the QPLF Board of Directors, Dennis M. Walcott, QPL President and CEO, Richard Mezic, National Grid Lead Engineer and Susan Latham, QPLF Executive Director 

The 1,800-square-foot Elmhurst Library garden, located in the rear of the branch, used to consist primarily of a dry, weedy lawn. With support from National Grid, a butterfly garden was planted behind the Library, with a new garden planted along the side of the library to beautify its street presence. In addition, two smaller gardens were situated immediately outside the rear entrance of the Library. An irrigation system was also installed, a new vermin-proof garden shed replaced the old wooden shed, and new trash receptacles replaced broken ones.

Thanks to the grant, the overgrown shrubs and weedy lawn at Windsor Park Library, at 79-50 Bell Blvd., in Hollis Hills, were removed to open up the space in the garden, located between the library building and a bus stop. A meadow of native shrubs and perennials was planted, creating a healthy environment for butterflies and other insects. An irrigation system was also installed to preserve the plants. 

The funding also paid for the makeover of the exterior courtyard at the Langston Hughes Library and Cultural Center at 100-01 Northern Blvd., in Corona, which is heavily used for events and programs. The once barren and paved courtyard with only a few planters, now features a container garden along the back wall, filled with an assortment of native perennials to provide color and flowers from spring through fall. The back retaining wall of the courtyard was repainted and a new drip irrigation system was installed to conserve water. New trash containers were purchased, and the shrubs and trees in the front of the library were pruned, fertilized and mulched. 

In addition, National Grid’s grant has helped install irrigation systems at the Ridgewood  and East Elmhurst libraries, located at 20-12 Madison St. and 95-06 Astoria Blvd. respectively. Both of these library gardens were upgraded last year thanks to a grant from the Revson Foundation, and the installation of irrigation systems will sustain the new plantings.

New plants and shrubs were also planted at Glendale Library at 78-60 73rd Pl., with planting and maintenance provided by volunteers from National Grid.

The gardens at Elmhurst and East Elmhurst are being maintained by corporate volunteer groups from Bloomberg and Bank of America.


Contact: Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska, ekern@queenslibrary.org

Elmhurst Library Garden