Aquatica to Build Serenity Garden at the Oak Creek Civic Center
Below is an article published in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on August 7th written by Erik S. Hanley:
The Oak Creek Civic Center is about to become more serene. The south-plaza garden outside the public library’s multi-purpose room will be transformed into a serenity garden complete with recirculating water, quiet seating areas and flowers.
Aquatica, a leader in the water garden industry based in Oconomowoc, will construct the space. Dean Pipito, owner/founder of Aquatica, said the water feature could include between five and six waterfalls.
What is being termed a “social terrace” will include tables and seating and is envisioned as an extension of the library, allowing a spot outside for people to read or meet with friends. Additionally, a professional landscaper will plant a perennial garden.
“It looks very good,” said Mayor Dan Bukiewicz, “It should have been built when we built the place.”
Alderman Rich Duchniak called the garden is a “significant improvement to the facility” during an informational presentation of the plan to the common council Aug. 6.
Construction is planned to begin in September and should be completed by November. The four trees currently located there will be relocated with other trees planned for the area.
Cost and maintenance
The total cost for the project is $55,500 — the majority of that covers the serenity stream, which itself costs $32,500. The remainder of the money will go to electrical work for pumps, landscaping, benches, signage and more.
Alderman Steve Kurkowski stressed signage be created to show the serenity garden feature was not taxpayer-funded, but was instead built through donations.
At this point, $23,000 has been raised for the project according to city documents. Library Director Jill Lininger said the Library Foundation will cover the remainder while fundraising continues with the end goal for the fundraising to cover the full cost.
The city will be responsible for maintenance of the site, which will include a monthly treatment of the water feature. The annual cost is expected to be approximately $900 per year, which is expected to come either from donations or library money. Additionally, the pumps and other features are expected to cost $50 in electricity each month.
Following the past plan
The original plan for the civic center included something similar. In 2012, the Oak Creek Public Library Foundation received various donor pledges of totaling $5,000 for the south-plaza garden, which was to include a water feature. However, due to budget constraints, landscaping was downgraded for the south-plaza garden.
Since then, a sub-committee of the Library Foundation formed to develop a plan to landscape the area outside the library’s multi-purpose room in a similar fashion to the original plan which became the proposed serenity garden.