10/29/11 — Library garden dedicated to late supporter Bill Smith

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Library garden dedicated to late supporter Bill Smith

By Staff Reports
Published in News on October 29, 2011 11:28 PM

Friends and family of the late William Whitfield "Bill" Smith gathered Oct. 16 at the Wayne County Public Library for the dedication of the library's community garden in memory of Smith.

The dedication of the garden wa described as a fitting tribute to Smith's memory and was named by the Wayne County commissioners upon a recommendation from the library board of trustees, library officials said.

Smith, a long-time library supporter, served as a library trustee from 2000 to 2008 and as chairman of the board during his tenure.

In recognition of his meritorious service as a local library trustee, the governor appointed Smith to serve on the North Carolina State Library Commission in 2004, said Mary Bartlett, who served with Smith on the library board.

Library Director Donna Phillips said that the community garden was the dream of former children's librarian Shorlette Ammons.

"Ms. Ammons' desire for a community garden grew out of her recognition that a space needed to exist in our community where citizens could learn more about themselves and others they share the community with," Mrs. Phillips said.

Mrs. Phillips said that the library's goal is to cultivate both people and plants in its community garden.

Smith supported the community garden project because he valued the public library and understood that it was through reading and the exchange of ideas with others that individuals could grow and subsequently the community could be strengthened, Mrs. Phillips said.

The garden was constructed in 2006 in partnership with The Center for Environmental Farming Systems.

As evidence of his ongoing support of the community garden Smith donated the Peace Pole that stands at the center of the garden.

William Whitfield "Whit" Smith Jr. expressed the family's gratitude to the commissioners and library trustees for honoring the memory of his father by naming the garden after him.

Following Smith's remarks, a service of dedication was presented by the Rev. Drew Clark of First Presbyterian Church.