From Our Garden to Yours


Library staff member Carrie Cummings uses a paper-making screen to make seed paper

It seemed like an ordinary day at the library, but behind the scenes a group of staff members from all over the building were busy … making paper.

In fact, members of our Green Team were making seed paper – paper embedded with seeds from the library’s Monarch Waystation and Pollinator Garden (located at the southwest corner of the building near the flagpole).

Because of certain agricultural practices, bees and Monarchs have lost their habitats and the plants they rely on for food. Now their populations are shrinking.

Library staff planted the Monarch Waystation in the spring of 2014 and expanded it in 2015. It’s full of milkweed, the only plant that Monarch butterflies use as a host for reproduction. Flowering plants in the garden provide nectar and pollen for bees as well as butterflies.


Library staff member Julie Carpenter tends to the Monarch Waystation.

As we worked in the garden, we noticed the plants were producing scads of seeds, and we thought it would be great if we could share our seeds with other people.

Betsy Roe, the Alice C. Sabatini Gallery’s Educator, and I put our heads together, and an idea really began to germinate. We made two types of papers: Milkweed seed paper and mixed nectar flowers seed paper. The seed paper will be distributed to community members at the Green Fair April 16.

seed paper_landscape_webMaking paper is fun, inexpensive and pretty easy. We made our recycled paper from clean shredded paper trash. If you want to learn how to make paper, the library’s Arts & Crafts Neighborhood has great books to help you get started. The library will also present a free Recycled Papermaking workshop 1 – 2:30 p.m. April 6 at Crestview Community Center. Register by calling Crestview at 785-251-2960.

Be sure to visit the library’s Waystation and Pollinator Garden during the spring and summer when the plants are in bloom – or view photos in our Flickr album,  Monarch Waystation.

If you are interested in seed-saving and/or using native plants to benefit bees and butterflies, you will find resources in our Lawn & Garden Neighborhood. Here are some excellent books to get you started:

Jill Mickel is a Public Services Specialist and a member of the Arts and Crafts team. Her passions are art and community, and she believes that art is for everyone! When she is not at the library or working in her studio, she can be found gardening, cooking, reading, or bird-watching.