Rocky Mountain Land Library has over 35,000 volumes of books in South Park | VailDaily.com

Rocky Mountain Land Library has over 35,000 volumes of books in South Park

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In 2017, the first residential library in the United States — located in Colorado — gained 1,000 supporters, raising more than $140,000 with a Kickstarter campaign. These virtual donators were supporting the vision of Jeff Lee and Ann Marie Martin that was inspired by a visit to the Gladstone Residential Library in Wales.

"We came back to Colorado with the beginning of a dream: Wouldn't it be wonderful to establish a residential library in Colorado, one that would focus on the importance of place in people's lives," recalls Jeff Lee, director of the Rocky Mountain Land Library.

Located on South Park's Buffalo Peaks Ranch, a historic settlement along the bands of the Middle Fork of the South Platte River, sits the Rocky Mountain Land Library — a multitude of buildings housing more than 35,000 volumes of books, all focused on the land and the people.

"At Buffalo Peaks Ranch, we'll have the books to help you better understand your relationship to the land," Lee said. "Plus, you'll be surrounded at all times by the working landscape of the ranch, and beyond that, with the remarkable ecological diversity of South Park."

Beacon of 'Literary Hope'

At The Bookworm of Edwards, hear from the team behind the library. The Land Library panel will host Jeff Lee, director and co-founder of the Rocky Mountain Land Library; Christine Parker, editor-in-chief of Garo magazine; Jim Daus, executive director of Eagle Valley Land Trust; Jodi Hollander, poet and poetry editor of Garo Magazine; and Wendy Videlock, poet, who will be reading from her new published poetry book.

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"For me, the Land Library is a beacon of literary hope not only for the state of Colorado, but for our entire nation," Hollander said.

This diverse panel of people and organizations will showcase their connection to the library, answer questions and share how to get involved or plan your trip to the library.

"It's rare to have the chance to help build something from scratch," Parker said. "The ranch's beauty combined with the creative potential offers a sense of home and belonging."

Learning Space

The Land Library has been established on conserved land, offering real opportunity for guests to connect with the land.

"Conserved land like the land library property is rare," Daus said. "Often conserved land is private, offering wildlife habitat in scenic views but no ability for you to actually get on the land and touch and feel its earth, wind and sky."

The Land Library is also a learning space with seminars, hands-on restoration projects and more.

"People can participate in workshops, submit writing and artwork to Garo, our online journal, donate to help us grow, attend our events and, most importantly, spread the word about this exciting opportunity for Colorado," Hollander said.

IF YOU GO …

What: Land Library information event.

When: Thursday, Aug. 10, 6 p.m.

Where: The Bookworm of Edwards, The Riverwalk at Edwards.

Cost: Free, with a suggested donation of $10.

More information: Call 970-926-READ or visit http://www.bookwormofedwards.com.

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