Ryan Tubongbanua / The Collegian
While the Henry Madden Library is being expanded and renovated inside, tireless work is being down to make sure it looks appealing on the outside.
The Peace Garden, which can be seen just outside the north wing windows, has been getting a makeover of its own.
Ground-breaking began on June 20 for the improvements that were designed to enhance the beauty of the area and make it more inviting to visitors. According to Lori Pardi, assistant planner for the universityâ€™s Office of Facilities Planning, the project is expected to complement the look and feel of the new library.
â€œWe wanted to revitalize it and make it an area people really enjoy coming to,â€ Pardi said. â€œWe really see this as necessary in helping bring [the Peace Garden] back to the communityâ€™s awareness.â€
Among the improvements are wider walkways throughout the garden, several grassy mounds for texture and a bicycle lane running along the Psychology/Human Services building and the Family Food and Science building. As well, the existing statues in the area will be arranged in such a way that they will be closer to the viewing public.
Students, staff anticipate more peaceful garden
At the time it opened in 1990, the Peace Garden housed a 1,500 pound bronze bust of Gandhi.
Eventually, additional statues were put in place to honor great proponents of peace like Cesar Chavez, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Jane Addams.
As new statues and foliage were added to the garden, a definite plan as to how to configure the area has been delayed until now. Aside from visual layout, Facilities Management hopes that it will be an ideal place for group experiences and quiet meditation.
While students may be unaware of what exactly is going in front of the library, they do have some basic expectations.
â€œBefore, it was just a lawn with statues in it,â€ said sophomore RJ Pallari. â€œI hope itâ€™ll have more of a garden-y feel to it.â€
Sophomore Ge Xiong was pleased to hear about the new trees and all the shade it would provide in the warmer months.
Native American-inspired respite from the sun
As part of the entire library development, the Peace Garden was financed in part by a $10 million donation by the Table Mountain Rancheria. In lieu of the gift, a triangular area at the east end of the Peace Garden will showcase plants and activities that acknowledge Native American traditions. This was also the concept behind the woven basket-like lattice that will wrap around the libraryâ€™s entrance and cut-granite benches that will display plant names in native languages.
In the next few months, work will continue on basic utilities such as lighting for some newly installed street lamps and an irrigation system. After which, more attention can be focused on landscaping. Upon completion, visitors should expect to see freshly planted grass and park benches surrounding the garden.
Ryan McCaughey, manager of grounds at Fresno State, said that in addition to some new plants in the garden, 10 to 14 Canary Island Pines will be put in alongside the existing trees, further distinguishing the campus as a certified arboretum.
â€œOur goal is to give those mounds as much shade as possible,â€ McCaughey said. He explained that the Hydroseed lawns should take only seven to 10 days to grow and the trees should go in fairly quickly as well.
The Peace Garden will remain inaccessible to the public until it is opened on January 1 to coincide with the completion of the library.