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Garden Club helps landscape newly expanded Library Park
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When you see the new planters full of annuals and perennials at the newly dedicated Library Park expansion downtown, think of the Manteca Garden Club.

Former club president Linda Silverman pointed out that the plants seen at “one entire section of the park” were made possible by a donation to the city from the garden club.

Current president Rita Canales was happy to note that since the city bought the plants placed at the new planters, the $700 funds that came from club made it possible for the city to buy more than what they could have gotten at retail.

“We were happy to do it,” Canales said.

Silverman said she and her husband Richard attended the dedication of the new and improved Library Park on Monday and said, “it is beautiful.

“It’s always (nice) to see the funds that we work so hard to earn put to such good use,” Silverman said in an e-mail to club members.

She also urged everyone in the group to “stop by the Library Park and see what a great job they have done with it. Considering that they started the project after the Street Fair in April and they were able to dedicate today right before the Pumpkin Festival, it looks fantastic. It looks better in person than it did on the plans. They still need to do the murals, but otherwise it is really something of beauty.”

The donation for the Library Park expansion was just the latest that the club gave to the city through the years. Among the most recent ones were trees planted in front of the library on Center Street, at the Manteca Golf Course, the Woodward Park on Woodward Avenue, not to mention perennial plantings at the Civic Center and along the Tidewater Bikepath at Yosemite Avenue and Center Street. This year, the club also donated the money that the city used to remove the “scraggly-looking” blue spruce in the middle of the Rose Memorial Garden in front of the Manteca Senior Center on Cherry Lane and replace it with an English Hawthorne. The rose garden was planted by the garden club and is maintained year-round by the club members. Canales said that along with the tree replacement, the city also planted new perennials such as society garlic and ground roses in the median strip at the entrance to the senior center using money donated by the club.

Some statistics about the new and improved Library Park:

•It cost $894,000 to double the size of the Library Park.

•Over the past eight years, the city has poured close to $2 million into the park improvements. That total cost includes the construction of the interactive water feature, new playground equipment and lighting, restrooms, the land swap with Verizon and relocation of utility which doubled the park size to 1.33 acres.

•The city’s total investment so far in the last 10 years in helping improve downtown is to the tune of $5M. That is taking into consideration the Tidewater-style street lights, benches, traffic signals, the improvements and facelift done to the Legion Hall Plaza on East Yosemite Avenue, and the mini-park with water feature at the Maple Avenue Plaza across from the post office.

•Expected annual cost to maintain the expanded Library Park - $18,000.

The newly expanded Library Park includes the following new features:

•A 28-foot-wide new gazebo to replace the old wood structure next to the library parking lot. The gazebo is the centerpiece of landscaping that is a combination concrete-grass and amphitheater-style seating for about 75 people. The new gazebo is located close to the Tidewater Bikepath.

•A history walk on the west side of the Library Park where a series of five murals will be put up, with the biggest to be a 105-foot-long and eight-foot high mural facing the Tidewater Bikepath where a baseball history plaza will be located.

•A new bocce ball court.

•A second playground for older children.

•A new baseball plaza decorated with commemorative tiles and seats where the old gazebo was located.

Contact Rose Albano Risso at or call (209) 249-3536.