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bgoss nature library

Creators of Nature “Little Free” Library, from left, Cindy McKenna, artist; Hans Veenvliet, carpenter and builder; Beverly Carlisle, Pod Squad Ambassador; Barb Weissman, Nature Library Ambassador; and Melitta Smole, BGOSS executive.

Story and image by Kerry Jarvis

On Wednesday, June 6, Butterfly Gardens of Saugeen Shores (BGOSS) officially unveiled a Nature “Little Free” Library, located at Pod S-6 near the big flag in Southampton.

“The library’s nature themed collection celebrates the exploration and enjoyment of nature and encourages the preservation of natural habitats,” said Barb Weissman, Pod Squad Ambassador and Nature Library co-ordinator. “Residents and visitors will find books for all ages about North American plants, birds, insects and animals, with a special focus on monarch butterflies and gardening for pollinators.”

This beautiful piece of community art was designed by Weissman and built by master carpenter, Hans Veenvliet. Cindy McKenna, renowned local artist, adorned the library with nature themes of butterflies, a bee, a bird’s nest, flowers, and a toad.

BGOSS welcomes the community to read and borrow books from the Nature Library and to return them for others to enjoy. A free bookmark is included inside each book for readers to keep. In addition, there is a yellow guest book for you to write and share your observations as you stroll along the Captain Spence path visiting the various butterfly pods.

“The Nature ‘little free’ Library is great for community engagement,” said Melitta Smole, BGOSS executive. “Visitors and locals can enjoy nature related books on the nearby park benches while taking in the sights and sounds of the Lake Huron shoreline.”

For more information about Butterfly Gardens of Saugeen Shores, visit their web site at


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