Years ago, I had been dismayed to hear Takoma Park’s Tool Library had closed – as I thought it was such a cool thing, even though I had never actually been (typical me). So why am I so excited now to hear of a tool library in DC? Because I have come to realize as I am renovating my house, how many tools I need – once. Sure, I occasionally borrow one through a neighbor, including via the Buy Nothing Facebook group (try it!); other times I despaired over spending money to buy one.
Turns out, I don’t have to for a LOT of things. DC’s Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) has a previously little known tool library with a great variety of things. Need to borrow a keyhole saw? How about a paper shredder? Hedge trimmers, shovels, soil-testing kits, a ladder, wheelbarrows, some camping equipment(!), power-washers, solar ovens, gardening books, or other? Check them out this spring – literally.
The tool library is called DPR’s Garden Tool Share, but consists of more than garden tools. Hard hats, for instance. Just in case.
Green Neighbors DC folks have been helping Joshua Singer, of DC’s DPR and District Urban Gardeners, sort and inventory the tools and clean the area in preparation for the spring opening (date to be announced). And we are about to put the full list online in a tool library platform. [Done. You can now find out how to join and look at the tools via http://www.greenneighborsdc.org/projects. You can also contact Josh at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com to inquire about what we have and how to sign up.]
DPR’s Garden Tool Share is located at Twin Oaks Community Garden, which is owned by DPR, at 14th and Taylor, NW.
We’re also seeking volunteers to help staff the library. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if interested in helping out – we’ve offered to help DPR coordinate volunteers.
Finally, if interested, here’s an article about how tool libraries help bring communities together, reduce consumption, and build resilience for a neighborhood. This article is why GNDC started researching tool libraries and now is helping out. https://climatesteps.org/2020/09/03/a-tool-library-is-a-seed/.