By Sheena Williams

Killeen Daily Herald

HARKER HEIGHTS – Even as Saturday started off with a crisp fall morning, volunteers decked out the garden of the city's new library with plenty of lush foliage.

The new facility is set to open its doors in the spring, but in the meantime, it will get all the trimmings, said Lisa Youngblood, the library's director.

With the library nestled in a prime location near the police department and Eastern Hills Middle School, Youngblood said one of the goals for the greenery around the new library is to create a welcoming atmosphere for the community.

"We've already had staff from the police department come over and ask us if we're putting tables and chairs out here because it's so beautiful," Youngblood said. "We want this to be the place to be. Right now I'm thinking of all the programming that we can do out here as a place for relaxation and learning."

Through the combined efforts and support from the library's board, staff, Friends of the Library organization, Harker Heights Parks and Recreation Department and Green Leaf Nursery & Garden Center, Youngblood said the facility's garden will be a wonderful spot to hang out and perhaps host children's garden parties.

"It has been a tremendous experience for me to be able to work with such dedicated volunteers," said Youngblood, as volunteers continued to add more trees and plants to the fresh turf.

Sue Dunlap has been involved with the library since she volunteered her time in building the current facility.

With thick gloves and warm layers, Dunlap said she may not be an avid gardener, but she knows how to dig a hole.

"I'm excited about this new library because this is a wonderful opportunity to do something for our community. But we're not anywhere near done. We've been thinking of putting steppingstones with leaf fossils out here, but that will take a little while," said Dunlap, a long-standing member of the Friends of the Library club.

"It is wonderful to be able to have the opportunity to do something like this in your community. This is my community, and I believe I should spend my time bettering it."

The new library is a spacious center, which includes an activity center with rooms for programs and meetings.

Youngblood said the structure's new design allows people to see almost everything going on from every vantage point.

Other additions include a study room, a young adult section and a drive-through book swap. No hamburgers or fries will be involved in those exchanges, Youngblood said, grinning.

For more information on the new library, call (254) 699-5008.

Contact Sheena Williams at or (254) 501-7553.

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