It didn't just rain on the morning of the Reading Garden ribbon cutting—it poured.
"Mother nature knows that you need water to grow trees and shrubs and plants native to Maryland, so it's almost appropriate that it's raining today," said Baltimore County Executive Jim Smith, speaking from a podium inside of the children's section of the Perry Hall Library Wednesday morning.
Located on the southwest corner of the library, filled with trees, shrubs, plants and flowers, the garden features six benches that rest on a blue stone walkway, constructed from recycled materials. At the garden's focal point are two bronze sculptures—one of a child reading while lying on his chest, and another of a boy and girl sharing an open book.
A plaque at its entrance recognizes donations from the Rosedale Federal Savings & Loan Association and members of the Perry Hall community. It also dedicates the garden to the memory of George W. Barrett, Jr., a long-time president of the association and Perry Hall resident.
"The plaque is absolutely gorgeous. It shines bright and I think Mr. Barrett would be certainly proud to have his name on this garden," said Thomas S. Wintz, Sr., president and chief executive of the Rosedale Federal Savings & Loan Association, while addressing the crowd of local political leaders, business representatives and community members.
The Rosedale Federal Savings & Loan Association donated $25,000 for the garden's construction, said Jeffrey Smith, president of the Foundation for Baltimore County Public Library. An additional $10,000 was donated by the foundation and members of the community, Smith said.
Several political and community leaders were recognized for their assistance in planning the garden. Jim Fish, director of the Baltimore County Public Library, called Smith the "visionary of the garden." Smith, in turn, recognized Baltimore County Councilman-elect David Marks for his involvement in the construction of the library, finished in March 2009. Dennis M. Robinson Jr., president of the Perry Hall Improvement Association, was recognized for the organization's assistance in the planning and fund-raising. State Senator Kathy Klausmeier also presented two citations from the state in honor of the new garden.
"This garden is a great example of how business, government and volunteer organizations can cooperate to build a stronger community," said Robinson.