Musical Play Garden
Kiwanis-inspired music ‘garden’ makes Jordan Park more accessible, fun for all
To advance the City of Atlantic Beach's Parks Master Plan objective to improve accessibility in parks for individuals of all ages with disabilities, the City partnered with Beaches Kiwanis Club in 2022 to install an outdoor musical garden accompanied by park benches at Jordan Park for everyone to use regardless of ability. Jordan Park serves a diverse, mixed-income neighborhood in the heart of the community.
The musical garden is designed for use by wheelchair users and other people with or without disabilities to explore the excitement of making music. The "garden bed ensemble" was installed atop concrete pads, and a new concrete path ensures accessibility from a parking space for people with disabilities. The ensemble includes flowers, butterflies and a tenor tree that emit bright sustaining notes from their petals, wings and aluminum leaves.
Incorporating musical exploration in playgrounds enables all people – young or old – to express themselves musically in nature and interact with one another. Musical gardens are unifiers, therapeutic and fun. The vibrations of outdoor musical instruments can be felt as well as heard, adding new dimensions for deaf people and people with hearing disabilities. They are a beautiful expression of what the world can give us, and can play an important role in physical health and mental health. Whether they are performing solo or playing collaboratively, people with access to musical gardens learn, experience and grow – often without even realizing it is happening!
Partially funded by Atlantic Beach taxpayers, the Jordan Park Musical Play Garden is the outcome of a thoughtfully collaborative effort of Beaches Kiwanis Club, local residents with disabilities, local people who serve people with disabilities, and the City of Atlantic Bach. The primary funding for the project was via Beaches Kiwanis Club's successful application for a $10,000 Florida Kiwanis Batelaan Foundation grant. Additionally, Mayor Ellen Glasser secured a $1,500 Florida League of Mayors' grant.