I have gotten many questions recently about the preservation of the herb garden at Bainbridge. It’s a good opportunity to share some history and answer this question.

The Chagrin Valley Herb Society began an herb garden on a portion of land between the current Bainbridge Branch and Snyder Rd almost 30 years ago. They have added a variety of lovely and fragrant herbs and perennial flowers as well as a tea house and memorial trees to the site over the decades. Many patrons have spent time in the gardens and in the nearby tea house. It’s a lovely part of the property at the Bainbridge site.

Upon passage of the bond issue in early 2018, we reviewed the likely layout of a building on the site. We have looked at the situation with the herb garden from every angle, through every possible scenario. This isn’t a rash decision nor was it made in a vacuum. The architect team, the construction team, the administration team and even the library board trustees have all worked very hard to find a solution. We have been in discussion with the herb society from the beginning of planning. They have attended every community meeting we have had and are frequent guests at regular monthly board meetings.

We are not “destroying” the herb garden. It’s going to be relocated. It has to be relocated.

The whole process of planning a site for a 30,000 square foot building is incredibly complex. There is a requirement for parking by code, by rules set forth in Bainbridge Township and in building regulation, that require a certain number of parking spaces per square foot of a building. Every last square foot of that property is being used to make room for the building and room for parking. Throughout the whole process, a plan was on the docket to make space for the herb garden. It will simply have to be moved.

I personally had to move when I became library director four years ago. We wanted to live in the taxing district in which I would be serving. We had a magnificent vegetable garden with lots of perennial herbs and vegetables. They had to be relocated from our farm in Pierpont to our new farm in Geauga County. It’s the nature of things that the world changes.

We understand that the Chagrin Valley Herb Society has worked hard and we appreciate it. That’s why we have gone to great lengths to ensure that a new space will be have room for a new garden.