VernonReporter

Coon Creek Community Watershed Council makes donation to Knutson Memorial Library in Coon Valley


Coon Valley, Wis.
– The Coon Creek Community Watershed Council (CCCWC) recently donated $2,500 to the Knutson Memorial Library in Coon Valley to help increase awareness of conservation and agriculture. Library Director Chelsey Myhre Foster said the funds will be used to further expand the community garden project, and expand the libraries collection as it relates to conservation, gardening, and agriculture. Myhre Foster said the funds will also be combined with other grants they received to increase promote inclusion and support library services for people with disabilities.

Knutson Memorial Library Director Chelsey Myhre Foster accepts a donation from Coon Creek Community Watershed Council Vice-President Tucker Gretebeck.

“It gives us the freedom to purchase more materials that are not only disability specific for the watershed,” said Foster Myhre. “But also align with the project at large.” 

The CCCWC donation funding came through the Rural Climate Partnership, an organization whose mission is to “strengthen rural economies through clean energy and agriculture transitions that improve rural peoples’ lives and help them save money.”

“We are thrilled to be able to provide these resources to the library so they can help with our mission to bring more awareness about conservation to more people,” said CCCWC President Wedwick. “This area has a long tradition of solving issues on the landscape by coming together and tackling big problems, but it will take everyone to help with the changes happening in our watersheds, and educating the next generation through the library is one more thing to help get that message out.”

Myrhe Foster said the Knutson Memorial Library was selected as one of 310 libraries nationwide to participate in round two of Libraries Transforming Communities: Accessible Small and Rural Communities, an American Library Association (ALA) initiative that provides community engagement and accessibility resources to small and rural libraries to help them better serve people with disabilities.

The competitive award comes with a $20,000 grant that will help the library expand services, programs, and their collection as it relates to disability, accessibility, and inclusion, including the development of an accessible community gardening project.

“We are so excited to elevate our inclusive services and build on the strengths of our small village and  rural community,” said Myhre Foster, “This ALA grant follows a SPARKS grant from the Board for People with Developmental Disabilities awarded last fall for $5,000. Together these grants are being used to enhance our collection, provide education, and lift the voices of lived experience in programming.”  

As part of the grant, Knutson Memorial Library staff will take an online course in how to lead community conversations, a skill vital to library work today. Staff will then host community conversations with residents about how to better serve diverse populations including people impacted by disability and use the grant funds to carry out additional inclusive programs.

If you are interested in getting involved or taking part in the conversation, please contact Chelsey Myhre Foster at 608-452-3757 or visit  https://coonvalleylibrary.wrlsweb.org/  for more information.

For more information about the Coon Creek Community Watershed Council you got to their website or follow them on Facebook.

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