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Library park brings music outdoors

Michael Hutchins
Herald Democrat
Sherman Mayor David Plyler speaks during a ribbon cutting ceremony for Harmony Music Park Wednesday morning.

City leaders and community members came together Wednesday to celebrate the opening of the newest addition to the Sherman Public Library.

The city and library held a ribbon cutting ceremony to officially open the Harmony Music Park, located just outside the library. The park features outdoor seat under a gazeboo along with musical instruments along with a garden filled with native Texas plant species.

“Many of you have heard me speak about the importance of a shared community space and think this is what makes this place so great,” Library Services Administrator Melissa Eason said. “It is a place where people can connect and share interests and bring people together and make them feel good about the community.”

Visitors to the Harmony Music Park play the installed instruments Wednesday morning as a part of the ribbon cutting ceremony.

The park has been a dream of Eason’s dating back to the library’s remodel a few years ago following a fire. At the time, Eason said she wanted to find a use for the field directly adjacent to the library’s parking lot.

Initially, the project focused on the addition of the Gazebo and musical instruments, which were budgeted for $100,000.

“Adding the pavilion seemed a natural thing,” Eason said. “We also didn’t have the musical instruments anywhere else, so then the instruments came to mind.”

However, this expanded over time due to partnerships with Grayson County Master Gardeners and the Grayson County AgriLife Extension Service.

During the renovation project, the library collaborated with the extension service to provide educational programs for children, which extended into the park partnership.

Eason said the park represents the second of three phases of projects with the master gardeners, who initially planted a garden on the Travis Street side of the library in the past year. In that time, the small seedlings and plants have grown several feet in size and have filled in the space.

“It started out with small plants like these and now they are huge, so it won’t be long before this garden looks like that as well,” Eason said.

The park itself includes many species and specimens that were donated by members of the master gardeners, Master Gardener Donna Nesbit said. These are focused on native species, but does include two species that have since naturalized to the area.

The third phase will come in two parts, with the first section coming this spring. The gardeners plan to open a new garden near the parking lot that will be will feature rose trials and experiments to see how well they adapt to North Texas soils, Nesbit said.

"Ecologically speaking, it is too late for us to do a fall planting,“ said Marshall Tolleson, representing the extension office. ”So the earliest we could do would be a spring planting.“

Visitors to the Harmony Music Park play instruments as a part of Sherman's ribbon-cutting ceremony.

The other segment will include the construction of raised beds just outside of the new park. However, the gardeners are still working out a timetable and how to finance this portion of the project, Nesbit said.

Eason said she hopes the park will become a popular place for community events and for educational opportunities through library programming. However, many of the library’s in-person programs have been put on hold currently due to the pandemic.