Naperville Rotary funds music instruments at park The idea of a 'harmony' park with durable outdoor xylophones, drums and chimes caught the interest of Rotary club members in June while they were at a Rotary convention in Atlanta.

Large instruments that could be played by children and adults would make up the “harmony” park that the Rotary Club of Naperville is interested in funding in the city. Photo: Erin Hegarty / Naperville Sun
Large instruments that could be played by children and adults would make up the “harmony” park that the Rotary Club of Naperville is interested in funding in the city. Photo: Erin Hegarty / Naperville Sun

A Naperville park at which people of all ages can play large percussion instruments and create outdoor harmonies has the financial backing of the Rotary Club of Naperville (Illinois, US — D 6450).

The idea of a “harmony” park — with durable outdoor xylophones, drums and chimes — caught the interest of Rotary club members in June while they were at a Rotary convention in Atlanta.

Organisations that often work with Rotary clubs were at the event, including one that makes the outdoor percussion instruments.

“It really piqued our interest and we thought it would be nice to fund something like that and make it a Rotary Harmony Park,” said Alma Jones, the club’s co-director of community service.

When Rotary Club members returned to Naperville, they began talking with the city and were directed to the Naperville Riverwalk Commission.

The club learned the commission had been considering a harmony park for a while, but lacked a funding source.

“We were thrilled,” said Jones, who is working on the project with President John Norman.

The Rotary Club plans on funding the park once a location is chosen.

“This really does tend to fall right in line with something that can benefit everyone, and it will have a lasting effect for sure,” Jones said.

The Riverwalk commission began scoping out a location for a potential harmony park a while ago, but fitting the instruments within Riverwalk boundaries has proven a challenge.

A space next to the Riverwalk Cafe would cause too much intrusion, placing instruments next to Moser Tower and the Millennium Carillon could disrupt other activities, and a spot near the amphitheater would put too many amenities in one spot, commissioners said.

“We’re really struggling right now to find that right home,” commission Chairman Geoff Roehll said.

“It’s not dead on the Riverwalk, but we want to see if there are other options that are appropriate.”

Commissioners are working with the park district to determine if there is park site that would suit the project.

Until a spot is chosen, it’s unclear what shape the park will take and what it could cost.

“Once we are able to see what the location will look like, this should really take off and we’ll know the number of instruments and what more needs to be done,” Jones said.

Members of the Riverwalk commission had visited a park with instruments similar to those that could be incorporated into a Naperville location.

The instruments would be similar to what’s found in the Sensory Garden Playground in Lisle.

Commissioners wanted to see how loud the instruments would be to ensure they wouldn’t disturb residents.

“It was more of a subtle noise, like wind chimes,” Roehll said.

Source: Chicago Tribune

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