The Coogan Farm Nature & Heritage Center is home to an official Little Free Library, thanks to the Gionet family of Mystic.
A ribbon cutting and reception to officially open the Little Free Library is 4 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 22 at Coogan Farm, 162 Greenmanville Ave., Mystic. The public is invited to attend.
This is the second Little Free Library to be opened on Denison Pequotsepos/Coogan Farm property – the Nature Preschool at 109 Pequotsepos Road has had one for several years.
A Little Free Library is a “take a book, return a book” free book exchange. They come in many shapes and sizes. Anyone may take a book or bring a book to share. The program began in 2009, and since then, 40,000 Little Free Libraries have opened worldwide.
Mary and Jay Gionet approached the Nature Center in May about constructing and overseeing a Little Free Library at Coogan Farm. They live in the neighborhood and have often hiked the farm’s trails – even before the Nature Center bought the property in 2013. Their 8-year-old daughter Olivia, a voracious reader, has attended Nature Center camps and programs over the years.
Over the summer, Jay found an old cabinet and retooled it to become a Little Free Library. They asked Mary Addison, a preschool teacher in Groton and an artist at Mystic Museum of Art, to decorate it in connection with the surrounding habitat. It is installed adjacent to the Carole Marks Scott Welcome Garden off the Coogan Farm parking lot. The Little Free Library is handicapped accessible.
In addition to building and installing the library, the Gionets have pledged to be the library’s stewards, or caretakers. They have already stocked it with books!