New features recently added to a garden at the Pickerington Public Library will allow children – or adults – to experiment musically and provide a venue for outdoor programs.

Following a performance by Pickerington High School Central assistant band director and percussion instructor Timothy Gorgas and several of his percussion students, library officials cut the ribbon to the new Children's Music Garden on Nov. 20.

The outdoor garden sits in front of the library's main branch at 201 Opportunity Way and features a babel drum, rainbow sambas, a cavatina and tubular bells. The oversized instruments have been installed permanently and will be available for patrons year-round.

"We're charged with inspiring knowledge and connecting the community," library director Tony Howard said. "I think this fits both of that because music really ties into education, it ties into enjoyment."

The instruments cost $12,736.68 and were funded by the Friends of the Pickerington Library. The library picked up the $2,478.47 installation cost, bringing the total project to $15,215.15.

They're designed to be used by people of all ages, and Howard said he hopes they allow adults to embrace their inner child while giving children a new activity at the library.

"Our plans are to tie some of our early literacy classes and events to the instruments, bringing the children out and experiencing this in an educational way," he said.

The music garden is the latest project by the library intended to provide outdoor programming and relaxation spaces.

In May, officials unveiled two pollinator gardens rear the main branch that include native plants that attract birds and butterflies to help spread pollen, as well as birds that can circulate seeds.

Numerous small children were on hand at the music garden ribbon-cutting and were invited to test the installments following last week's ceremony.

Among them were 3-year-old Gigi Carpenter and her 2-year-old her sister, Lucy. As the girls tried out the instruments, their mother, Anna, said she thinks the music garden is an enhancement to a library that offers collections and programs that already bring her to Pickerington from her home in Canal Winchester.

"I think it's great," Anna Carpenter said. "We come to Story Time, like, once a week and they love the Story Time. Pickerington has the library, the best Kids Section, the best Story Section. So, the fact they brought this music into this - it is great.

"Any way to burn their energy is great and this is music and dancing," Carpenter added. "My girls love dancing to music and if they can play around and it's bright and colorful, it's even better."

Lisa Drerup also was on hand with her 5-year-old son, Caleb, and said the music garden is a "great addition to the library."

"It will introduce instruments and music to kids at a young age," Drerup said. "It's another reason to come to the library."

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