Residents, appalled at the site of the Navarre Library’s desecrated flower beds, flooded social media outlets and news organizations demanding answers.
“I’m pretty sure it was not done by county employees since I was there Friday afternoon and everything looked fine,” wrote Mike Sandler in an email to Linda Hendrix, Santa Rosa County Library administrator. “Additionally, whoever did it did a very poor and unprofessional job, obviously did not know what they were doing.”
Sandler, a member of the county library board of directors, and Friends of the Navarre Library group, expressed dissatisfaction over the shrubbery being removed, dragged and dumped behind the library.
“It is unconscionable that an individual can destroy, in one fell swoop the efforts of many, many people interested in beautifying the place in which we live,” wrote Navarre resident Lenore Nicholson, in an email to Navarre Press.
“The pile of all the shrubbery and trees that were pulled out have been dragged to the back of the property,” Nicholson continued. “You might acknowledge this part as illegal dumping. You should see the size of the crepe myrtles that were pulled out. They should have been about ready to bloom.”
The landscaping was created by Friends of the Navarre Library and the Navarre Garden Club. Both groups help maintain the vegetation and finance new plants through grants and donations from the community.
Hendrix told Sandler that the intention of library administration was not to remove any vegetation and instead, “cut the scraggly shrubs to the ground,” on the west side of the library.
Hendrix said that many library patrons had complained about those shrubs and that by cutting them back, the shrubs would return healthy.
“There was a lack of communication and a misunderstanding by the crew who did this work,” Hendrix wrote. “We’ve always appreciated the work the garden club performs and your financial contribution to their work.
“Please be assured that we will have a crew on the grounds Monday morning to clean up and we will restore the front beds, working with our extension office master gardener’s group to ensure appropriate plants and planting.”
Hendrix has not yet returned phone calls for an interview by Navarre Press. We will publish more information as it is made available to us.