Lending a Hand

Library activist engages her community
with an award-winning garden

Sheila Washington joined Friends of the Haddington Library after protesting to save it from closure in 2008. | Photo by Jared Gruenwald

On a typical Saturday morning, Sheila Washington can be found in the garden at the Haddington Branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia, watering flowers and teaching children about caring for plants. The garden opened in 2009 with a few rose bushes to beautify the neighborhood library, seated on top of a hill. As the President of the Friends of the Haddington Library, Washington organized volunteers to revitalize the acre and a quarter of land that the library sits on, and it is now filled with roses, azaleas and lilacs. The garden became the pride of the neighborhood when it was recognized by the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society with the Community Greening Honoree Award in 2011.

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