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Foundation grants boost Woodstock, library

WOODSTOCK – The McHenry County Community Foundation has awarded three grants to the city of Woodstock and two more to the city's library.

For the city, the money will help build a new garden and meditative area, support a police department program, and celebrate the Woodstock City Band.

The Woodstock Public Library will boost access to local history and supply books for Woodstock Christmas Clearing House with their grant funding, which totals $7,000.

The library will use the $5,000 local history grant to continue their efforts toward moving digital archives online. The money will also go toward making materials more readily accessible within the library, Library Director Nick Weber said.

"There's a lot of things that will come out of being able to make this material a little more visible," Weber said. "There's some wonderful resources in here."

A second, $2,000 grant from the foundation will help the library supply the Christmas Clearing House with books for children during the holidays. It will help make up for an increase in demand and the fact that the library's top fundraiser for the event, the Scholastic Book Fair, has seen less participation in recent years, Weber said.

The city will build what it calls a "natural educational attraction" with a $10,000 grant from the foundation. Children's Peace Park & Paths will combine a "global/social awareness garden" with professionally landscaped network of walking paths, according to a news release from Woodstock.

The area will be located adjacent to Dick Tracy Way Park playground and near the Woodstock Police Department.

The police department also, for the third year in a row, received funding toward the Police Explorers Program – a $5,000 grant this year.

A final grant will be on display Wednesday night, when noted composer Michael Sweeney performs a special composition put together to honor the 130th anniversary of the Woodstock City Band. The $4,000 grant was used to commission Sweeney.

The piece debuts at the band's annual patriotic concert – 7:30 p.m. at the Woodstock Square Park.

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