qathet athenaeum adapts its programming due to COVID-19


Public library connects to community gardens to bring summer reading club outside

COVID-19 and construction in the aftermath of a flood has created a conundrum over how the Powell River Public Library could deliver unique and engaging programming.

A free seven-week summer reading program, themed “Crack the Case!” will again be offered remotely, according to a press release, but library staff were looking for something a little different to spark attendees’ enthusiasm for books and reading and connect with the outdoors. The answer, of course, was to crash underwear.

“Planting underwear the same way you plant flowers sounds a bit awkward, but there’s some serious science behind it,” said teen services coordinator Mel Edgar. “The activity makes visible the hidden and mysterious processes and organisms that live in the soil.”

Participants are invited to “Plant their underwear! At the start of the Summer Reading Club and collect the results at the end of the program. A careful search of the planted underwear will reveal the work of nematodes and bacteria that live in the soil and break down organic material, including the underwear.

“For many of us, including children, the pandemic has meant a lot of time spent indoors around a computer; the library was looking to offer something a little different, ”said Edgar. “The activity is based on a campaign developed by the Soil Conservation Council of Canada and is a really fun way for kids to learn more about the world around and beneath us.

The Summer Reading Club is free and open to local youth aged five to 15. Registered participants receive a kit of materials and instructions.

This year, as well as invitations to virtual fingerprint and detective character forensics workshops and book clubs, which also includes a free pair of cotton underwear and connection to several community garden spaces. offering room for planted underwear, the statement said.

Blueberry Commons, Sycamore Commons, Family Place Sprouts at the Community Resource Center Garden, and the Garden at Powell River General Hospital have all signed up to provide space for planting underwear.

“What an exciting experience; we’re happy to be a part of it, ”said Ron Berezan, farm manager at Blueberry Commons and coordinator at Sycamore Commons. “I can’t wait to see what underwear trees we grow! “

The Summer Reading Club runs from July 2 to August 13 at the library. For more information or to register, visit or email Chloe Gruenhage at [email protected] Registration closes on June 14.

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