In April 2021, our small strata community of 14 townhouses decided to improve the appearance of the boulevard by planting 10 ferns and hostas. We added four fairy doors for the four young children living in our complex. Since then, we had such a positive response from neighbours and people walking by, that the garden has evolved almost into a fairy village.

Thanks to a passerby, I was informed of the Vancouver Foundation and its program of Neighbourhood small grants which led me to apply for a grant for a Fairy & Gnome Garden Kids Little Free Library which was in the planning stage.

I was able to purchase a little library box through a woodworker in Alberta via Etsy. I painted, stencilled, and decorated the library with some help from Lilah, Katie, Mary, Millie, and Vida. Neighbours in the complex donated children’s books, and our local bookstore Book Warehouse gave some wonderful suggestions for kid’s book, so we had a full library on the day we opened it. The books range from infants to young teens and include amongst other subjects’ adventure, activities, science, cookie making, graphic novels, series, and mystery. As the steward of the library, I’ll ensure we include books that reflect the interests, and cultural diversity of all our neighbourhood young people.

Because we were limited in where and how we could place the little library and ensure it would be stable, my brother-in-law Bob, and friend Peter helped source, make, and put together the library box to its holder, post brace, and double pavers. I did learn that there is a right and a wrong side to a door as I painted the wrong side, but Bob came to the rescue and drilled holes where needed. Stickers help cover holes that shouldn’t have been there.

On June 5th, the little library’s ribbon was undone by Laila, Katie, and Jib and within minutes the kids were engrossed in reading. The library has been a hit with many people expressing appreciation for it and promising to add to the collection. More than half the books are already gone within three days, so it appears we had a good selection, and our young neighbours are happy with the newest addition to the Fairy & Gnome boulevard garden. Thank you so much Neighbourhood Small Grants! We’re so appreciative of your help.

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