Initially presented to the Port Jefferson community in early 2021, BBS Landscape Architects proposed the Outdoor Nature Area at the Port Jefferson Free Library with the intent to provide the Library patrons with a complete nature experience and offer a well-designed outdoor area for Library programs. Upon entering what used to be a residential parcel adjacent directly east of the existing parking lot on Thompson Street, the patrons can experience a secluded, richly landscaped outdoor area carved into the existing slope.
Initially, the Craft Zone (1) provides an opportunity to create and display new artwork publicly or simply lounge on a chair in the sun. A couple of steps further up the meandering bluestone walkway, the sail-shaded Exercise Area (2) offers a wooden deck to practice yoga, light weight-lifting, or similar exercises. Across the path, a Reading Nook (3) is defined by a set of seating masonry walls hid in the shade of a flowering tree and low shrubbery.
The centerpiece of the Outdoor Nature Area is a large, paved Meditation Zone (4) situated in the upper portion of the upward sloping site. Decorative brick pavers and bluestones form a labyrinth, intended to relax and rejuvenate one’s body and mind. Further up the parcel, a hands-on discovery and experience of various natural materials and elements is delivered at the Nature Explore Zone (5).
Multiple seating types, decorative fencing, and the abundant use of vegetation complement the existing site features and create a well-balanced, tranquil setting for new outdoor (learning) experiences and provide passive recreation opportunities. Intended to be used by local residents of all age groups and abilities, the Library Outdoor Nature Area is located directly in the heart of the picturesque Port Jefferson Village.