Sprinkler system to save water at Story Garden

By Steph Machado

April 21, 2013 Updated Apr 22, 2013 at 10:29 AM EDT

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) The garden that holds the tales of countless children's books has always been watered by hand, until now.

The Story Garden at the Discovery Center in Binghamton is finally getting a sprinkler system, and it's all thanks to countless volunteers.

Nancy Hargrave, the Story Garden Coordinator, has been dreaming of an irrigation system since 2004.

"Volunteers are here today to install miles of drip line and make a dream into a reality," she said on Sunday.

Workers from the En-Joie Golf Club, the Binghamton University Rugby Club and the Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity volunteered their time to install the system.

Without the free labor, Hargrave says the cost of the project would have more than doubled. The materials alone totaled $4,500. If they had to hire installers, it would have been about $10,000.

"The sprinkler system will be operated manually rather than on a timer," Hargrave explained. "So we'll be saving water as well as time that we can use to do other fun things with the children that come."

The Story Garden is open to the public for free 24/7, and its main focus is literacy. The entire garden is made up of scenes from popular storybooks, bringing the characters and words to life for children.

Until now, the center has watered the garden by hand with a hose, which Hargrave said wasted water. The irrigation system will be finished by Sunday, April 28.