Welcome to the your Reading Garden! 

     In conjunction with the Mt. Carmel Area Public Library Board of Trustees, staff, and friends of the Library we are endeavoring to design, build, and maintain a Community Reading Garden in the abandoned lot adjacent to the Library on Oak Street in Mount Carmel.  A sustainable Green Space in the downtown is our answer to the unfortunate challenge presented first by a blighted building and then by the degradation of the lot after the edifice was razed.  The Community Reading Garden shall be our contribution to the wider effort to breathe a new life into downtown Mount Carmel.  We envision a transformation of a dead place, that through misuse and neglect had become a sink for filth and decay, into something new, alive and beautiful. Demonstrating that such change is possible is, perhaps, the single most important aspect of the project.  People (especially the youth) need to see, experience, and even engage processes of transformation rather than simply watching things fall apart.  It is entirely fitting  that this should come through the Library; for it is a 'gateway' to knowledge and its books and resources both spark our imaginations to dream things as yet unseen, and, inform our minds, empowering us to change the face of the world.

          It is true that the communities of the Anthracite Coal Fields have suffered for decades from the dissolution of the Industrial Economy and from declining population, and that these have left deep scars on our towns that leave many at a loss as to how to respond to negative changes.  It is also just as certain that we inherit a proud legacy of hard working people -mostly immigrants- who though strangers to one another, built this place together.  They brought with them knowledge, language, and traditions of distant lands and applied them in strange, difficult, and dangerous circumstances here in the coal regions, and they were rewarded very little for it.  Like them, we still find ourselves poor, but too often these days too much is made of the limitations imposed by too little money.  Like them, we must imagine a world we can afford, envision a place for ourselves in it, and work to build it with our own hands if need be.  It may be beyond our powers to resurrect all that has been lost, but we honor our heritage when we take this place we've inherited, and with a strong, clear sense of our special identity, mold it into something new.  There should be no mistaking where we are as we step into the Mount Carmel Area Reading Garden: it should be clear that we are in the Anthracite Coal Fields of Pennsylvania, in the Mount Carmel Area, but it should be a surprising and hopefully inspiring version of home that we may not have expected to see.  

Donate to the Reading Garden!

The Reading Garden is in need of funding for the following:

  • Tumbling Composter 

  • Security System, RECEIVED, THANK YOU!

  • Solar Charging Lamps  RECEIVED, THANK YOU! 

  • Patio Furniture RECEIVED, THANK YOU!

  • Long Garden Hose RECEIVED THANK YOU!

  • Hose Carrier RECEIVED THANK YOU!

  • Soaker Garden Hoses

  • Wall brackets for plants RECEIVED! THANK YOU!

  • Lumber for Gazebo RECEIVED! THANK YOU

  • Concrete for front stone wall ALMOST DONE!

  • Top Soil! Top Soil! Top Soil! Top Soil! We make our own soil but it is a long process.

  • Monetary donations tagged for Garden up-keep will always be welcomed

AND the GREATEST ASSET OF ALL IS YOU!  Your time, Your interest

  • People to help with the weeding of the garden

  • People to watch over and care for the garden

  • People to come and enjoy a garden in peace and safety

Thank You to Vought's Equipmental Rental and ACE Scicchitano Hardware for their support!
Fencing and gates~ MCA Public Library
Trees and Top Soil~ UGI through the Greater Susquehanna Valley United Way.  UGI employees provided the labor to install the fence and plant the trees through their Day of Service
Patio Tiles and Scallop Edging~ Mr. & Mrs. Michael Balichik
Granite Benches 2 gray~ Dr. P. Kozlowski
Granite Bench 1 black~ The Bolick Family
Rain Barrel~ James Gard & family
Rain Water Collection System and Hoses~ Frank & Rose Pecaitis
Tools~ John Rossi; Scicchitano Ace Hardware; McCracken Family
Wheelbarrow~ Maple Shade Sheep Farm
Bird Houses, Bird Feeders, & Bat Box~ Casey McCracken
Lawn Mower & Weedwacker~ Family of Louise Dando in memory of Louise Concrete~Rick Catino, Molly Rinker, many small donations
Security Cameras and WiFi Antenna~Greater Susquehanna Valley United Way
Rhodadendron (2) & Azaleas (2)~ Ellen Albertini Dow
Lilac~ Kathy Lutz and Heather Fishburn
Potentilla~ Maggie McCracken
Honey Suckle (2)~ Molly McCracken
Succulent Garden~ Manus McCracken
Hostas~ Kathy Besser
Rose of Sharon & violets~ Heather Fishburn
Pussy Willow & Rose~ Trina Bartel in honor of her parents!
Perennials & Bulbs~ Various Patrons
Soil, Soil Making Materials, & Equipment~McCracken Family
Top Soil~ John Skinner, James Callahan, Rose Hindmarch, Heather Fishburn
Redbud Tree~ McCracken family in honor of Louise Dando & James Callahan
Worm Farm
Wildflower Garden~Mr. & Mrs. W. Baxter
Friends of the Reading Garden:
UNB Bank officers and employees
MCA Education Association
PA Realtors
Geisinger Kulpmont Clinic
American Legion Aux.
Willow Cafe
Donna & Norbert Bonjo
Joanne Butz
Carta Family
Dr. Jeffrey Greco
Matthew Gunn
Betty Jarosevich
David Kleman
William Kuzo
Donna Lee
Shirley Madden Memorials from family & friends
Chris McLaughlin
Robert & Suzanne Menapace
Frank Morrison
Elaine Polinski
Molly Rinker
William Wagner Memorials from family & friends
and all Anonymous Gifts earmarked for the Reading Garden


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