To advance the City’s Parks Master Plan objective to improve ADA accessibility in parks, the City has partnered with Beaches Kiwanis and the Florida League of Mayors to install and provide accessibility to an outdoor musical sensory garden and park benches for everyone to use regardless of ability. This project was installed May 26 at Jordan Park on Francis Avenue.
The project is designed for wheelchair users and other people with or without disabilities to explore the excitement of making music. They are installed atop a concrete pad, and a concrete path will ensure accessibility from a new parking space for people with disabilities. The “garden bed ensemble” offers a colorful melodic collection for smaller, compact spaces. 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!
The inspiration and vision for this project is the outcome of the collaborative effort of Beaches Kiwanis, local residents with disabilities, local people who serve people with disabilities, Mayor Glasser and the Florida League of Mayors, and City of Atlantic Beach staff.