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Saving the Spirit of Jones Library’s Kinsey Memorial Garden

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Kinsey Garden at Jones Library

In 1999, long-time Kestrel Land Trust member Carol Pope designed and installed the Kinsey Memorial Garden at the Jones Library in Amherst, in memory of her late husband, educator David Chapin Kinsey. Now, as the planned expansion of the Jones Library moves forward, the space to the north of the building where the Kinsey Garden is located is needed to accommodate the building addition.

The library’s expansion plan coincided with Kestrel’s move to our new headquarters on Bay Road in South Amherst, with a large yard in need of sprucing up. Carol suggested to Kestrel that a collaboration might help to save some of the memorial garden. A proposal was prepared for transplanting some of the plants, shrubs and small trees to Kestrel’s new location and the Jones Library trustees approved the plan in 2022. The Amherst Garden Club is also supporting this effort.

Jane Bryden, who is also an avid gardener and formerly served on Kestrel’s board, has led the effort to relocate plantings from the library to Kestrel. “Moving selected plants, and possibly some stone benches and Goshen stones, from the garden to Kestrel’s headquarters in late 2023 will help to maintain the loving spirit of this garden created by Carol in memory of her husband,” said Jane. She noted that transplanting mature plants and trees is costly and that it will be practical to move only a selection of plants from the existing garden.

Kestrel is looking to the community for support of this special project. As part of the effort, Carol Pope will open her own Amherst garden, which has been a highlight of many spring tours over the years. On May 13, from 10am – 5pm, visitors have an opportunity to explore Pope’s garden on High Street in Amherst and, if inspired, contribute in support of the effort to move selected plantings from the Jones Library garden to Kestrel.

Local garden columnist and Kestrel member Mickey Rathbun has described Pope’s garden as “a verdant, shaded sanctuary with winding paths, a bridge over a swale lined with huge pieces of Ashfield stone, a Japanese-inspired gazebo and arbor, and a vast collection of unusual trees, shrubs, and other plants.” For more about Carol’s garden, see Rathbun’s 2016 story for the Amherst Bulletin here.

Donations in support of moving plantings from the Jones Library to Kestrel’s headquarters may be made online through Kestrel’s Special Projects Donation page: Please select “Jones Library Garden Project” from the dropdown menu.

Learn more about the May 13 garden tour benefit event here.

Photo collage Jones Library Kinsey Garden flowers shrubs trees
Some of the plantings and other features of the Kinsey Memorial Garden at Jones Library. Photo by
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