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Removing Financial Barriers to Bok Tower Gardens Inspires Innovative Pass Program

Lake Wales Public Library Offers Family Passes to Check Out

"Removing the barriers" and financial impediments for families wishing to visit Bok Tower Gardens was a primary motivation for a program that has proven immensely popular with patrons of Lake Wales Public Library, according to Trisha Martin Morrison, Director of Education at Bok Tower Gardens.

Four week-long "Garden Lane Passes" are available to be checked out to allow guests to visit the gardens without fee. "There's a waiting list," said Head Librarian Tina Peak of the program. The passes are only available through the local library.

"We wanted to make Bok Tower Gardens accessible for all," Martin told the LakeWalesNews.Net. "We started this with a pilot program last year and a week later the Gardens closed" due to Covid. With the re-opening the passes have become very popular. Martin says a grant is being requested that will expand the program from four passes to ten.

"We wanted something that could be checked out just like a book," Martin said.

Each pass will admit up to four adults and six children to the Gardens, making them a great tool for disadvantaged family groups who may otherwise be unable to afford the admissions. The pass features a simple scan code and is good all week for unlimited returns.

"Other than one or two passes that weren't returned to the library, we haven't had any difficulties," Martin said. "It's super-easy from our end. We just de-activated those and gave the library replacements."

The initial project was funded by a $250 donation from the Lake Wales Library Association. Peak said the GiveWell grant they are seeking will pay for the program expansion, calling it "very successful."

The passes do not allow visits to the Pinewood House, or Bok Tower Gardens’ classes, camps, concerts, and other ticketed events. They do allow for a 10% discount at the Garden Café and gift shop.


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