BELFAST — The Belfast Garden Club has donated 22 new books to the community this year, expanding its library book donation program to include area schools for the first time.

“It is the hard work of our 100-plus members and the generosity of our community that allows us to give back in these ways,” President Barb Gage said. “Donating books to schools aligns with our goal to stimulate a knowledge and love of nature and it builds on our efforts to help support students in the school gardens.”

Books donated to Belfast Community Outreach Program in Education will be used to kick-start BCOPE’s plans to be market gardeners in 2022. Six new books include topics on flower farming, companion planting, tools and techniques for organic home and market gardening, small space gardening, and books on flowers and vegetable growing. BCOPE’s goal is to have a self-sustaining garden that provides the school’s kitchen with produce as well as enough left over for students and teachers to use at home.

East Belfast and Nickerson Elementary Schools also received two new books, “The Tree Book for Kids and Their Grownups” and “The Curious Garden,” in addition to a $200 check to purchase garden tools for their new garden program aimed at younger students.

Belfast Free Library received three new children’s books on such topics as foraging with kids and exploring the diversity of life through science activities. Thirteen new adult-oriented books cover a broad range of topics from garden design to garden allies (insects, birds and others) to the coming insect apocalypse, to art in the garden and a bee identification book. One focuses on creating felted flowers.

Favorites of book Co-Chairs Astrid Bowlby and Mary Davis are “Earth in Her hands” by Jennifer Jewell and “New Naturalism: Designing and Planting a Resilient, Ecologically Vibrant Home Garden” by Kelly D. Norris.

Check out the books (literally), which will be on display at the library until the end of January. A complete list of all books donated will be posted on the club website.

In addition to donating books and supporting school garden projects, Belfast Garden Club has planted trees and thousands of flowers in 12 public gardens around town and offers monthly horticultural and environmental programs that are open to all. Go to BelfastGardenClub.org to learn how you can participate.