Santori Library Opens Up Outdoors to Children and More

Santori Library, Aurora

Two gardens on the west side of the Richard and Gina Santori Public Library of Aurora will be dedicated at 11:15 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 15. The ceremony is open to the public.


The Parker Garden, which will be open to all but was designed especially for those affected by memory loss, is being donated to the Aurora Public Library through the library’s foundation by the family of Dr. M. Jack and Elaine Parker, formerly of Aurora.


Elaine Parker was a noted Aurora educator who was suffering from dementia when she died in June, 2012. Jack Parker, who died in March, 2012, was her husband for 60 years and took on the role of providing 24-hour care for Elaine in her later years so they could remain living independently in their home.


The garden will have a single gated entry/exit (on the exterior of the library) with a pleasant signal when the gate is opened. Other features of the garden will include thorn-free, nontoxic and easily replanted greenery and areas for caregivers to relax.


The Juvenile Protective Association Children’s Nature Garden will be a magical place for the children of Aurora to play, read, learn and discover nature. It will be accessible only through the interior of the library through the Kiwanis Children’s Center. Features of the garden are nature art tables, waterfalls with slate art walls, reading gazebos, a fairy garden, jumping stones, a “prairie” path, flower “beds,” and a gathering tree for storytimes, playing and much more.


Lane and Rebecca Allen of Allen + Pepa Architects donated the design of the space. Lane Allen serves on the Aurora Public Library Foundation Board.


The Juvenile Protective Association made a donation of $50,000 to the Aurora Public Library Foundation for the garden. Community members named individual features in both gardens. Additional namings are available. Call Laura Stoney at 630-264-4154 for more information or go to to see naming options.


Also to be dedicated on Aug. 15 are the Deus Ex Machina sculpture at the library’s west entrance and Jenkins Lane, the library’s drive-up lane on the south side of the building.

Jim Jenkins is the artist who created Deus ex Machina, funded by The Dunham Fund. Aurora Public Library Foundation Board Director Emeritus Sherman Jenkins named the drive-up lane.