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TCF Newsletter May 2023

Dear Friend,

Spring is finally here. Wow, we’ve had some spectacular days in Marin. And it’s a great time for The Commons Foundation (TCF) to collaborate with Larkspur City staff and councilmembers on a new 21st Century Library!

Did you know our Larkspur Library has a mascot named Larky?

Larky is a cheerful, yellow, plump hippo that loves to read books. In 1970, over 300 schoolchildren from Larkspur and Greenbrae participated in a contest to name Larkspur’s hippopotamus as our mascot.

In addition to marching in the annual 4th of July parade, Larky appears at community events throughout the year, including the recent Touch Trucks fund-raising event. Larky loves to be around people and is great with kids!

Larky with volunteers at the Touch Trucks event hosted by Friends of the Larkspur Library.
Larky with volunteers at the Touch Trucks event hosted by Friends of the Larkspur Library.

Landscaping Campaign

After raising $5.2 million in private funds in 2022, which was matched by a state grant, we surpassed our initial goal of raising $5 million to fund a new Larkspur library building. However, the grant cannot be used for exterior elements such as landscaping and outdoor meeting spaces.

We are committed to ensuring that the outdoor areas at The Commons are as beautiful and inviting as the new fabulous library building itself. To raise critical funds for these outdoor areas, we are embarking on a new fundraising campaign to raise $1 million.

Your contribution to TCF today will help create exterior features such as patios, walkways, raised beds, arbors, vegetation, amenities for cyclists and pedestrians, inviting seated areas, benches, water features, lighting, and a public square.

Join us in creating a welcoming and joyful outdoor space for the community by donating to our Landscaping Campaign.

Touch Trucks Event a Huge Success!

The Friends of the Larkspur Library just pulled off its second successful Touch Trucks fundraising event on May 7, netting $15,000 for The Commons Foundation Landscaping Campaign!

With help from a dedicated set of volunteers, and support from the City of Larkspur, over 3,400 truck lovers of all ages attended this fun family event at Redwood High School.

In addition to providing an opportunity to get up close and personal with 30 trucks from local businesses and support groups, this year’s festivities also included a play area where kids could color, build puzzles, run through bubbles, and enjoy story time with Larkspur Library’s very own beloved Ms. Teresa.

Our heartfelt thanks go out to all the volunteers, truck owners, and Friends of the Larkspur Library for this wonderful show of support and community!

Family looking at a tractor with El Coyote food truck in the background

Building Update

On May 4, TCF board members Jeanne Friedel and Brock Wagstaff and I met with Larkspur City Manager Dan Schwarz, Public Works Director Julian Skinner, and councilmembers Scott Candell and Kevin Haroff to discuss the new library building timeline:

  • The RFQ was slightly delayed and was posted on May 11. The city advertised in the local newspapers and social media platforms to spread a wide net.
  • Once proposals are received, the Larkspur Library project team will narrow it down to three finalists, who will be given time to provide expanded plans of their proposed exterior and interior designs.
  • The July 15 public presentations by the finalists for the design-build award will be postponed to September or October.  
  • The postponement will not impact the city’s ability to meet the deadlines in the state grant.

The city’s goal is to have the new library structure completed in 2025.  We are thrilled that we are moving forward at such a fast pace. The TCF Board and I look forward to working with the city and our donors to make this project a success!  

Wishing you a Happy Spring,

ann signature

Ann Morrison
President, The Commons Foundation

P.S. Support the TCF Landscaping Campaign to help build beautiful outdoor spaces surrounding our new Larkspur Library!