Beaumont Center for Exceptional Families receives grant for sensory garden

Photo by Zeinab Najm. Ford Motor Co. Fund and Community Services volunteers build the stand where wind chimes will be hung for the new sensory garden at the Beaumont Center for Exceptional Families.

Photo by Zeinab Najm. Ford Motor Co. Fund and Community Services volunteers build the stand where wind chimes will be hung for the new sensory garden at the Beaumont Center for Exceptional Families.

By ZEINAB NAJM
Times-Herald Newspapers

DEARBORN — Flowers, plants and wind chimes awaited their installation for the new sensory garden created for patients at the Beaumont Center for Exceptional Families, 18501 Rotunda Drive.

The garden was made possible by a grant received from Ford Motor Co. Fund and Community Services as part of its 2016 Capital Grant Program.

“We received an email from Ford about their community action days and submitted a proposal in April,” Beaumont Center for Exceptional Families Assistant Director Michelle O’Connor-Teklinski said. “Next, we were contacted by Ford informing us we were awarded funding for the project.”

Beaumont Center for Exceptional Families was one of few local organizations to receive Ford Motor Co. funds for special projects.

A group of Ford Motor Co. Fund and Community Services volunteers brought in the materials to arrange the garden on June 9.

“The sensory garden will enhance smell, touch, vision and hearing for patients,” O’Connor-Teklinski said. “Wind chimes will aid with hearing, flowers with smell and touch while mirrors and sun catcher reflect different colors for sight.”

Special needs patients who attend the center will find new ways of learning and managing emotions in a calming and focused environment.
“The garden allows patients to receive rehab or therapy in a natural environment,” O’Connor-Teklinski said. “They can water, play and interact with the different plants and elements.”

A bench, vegetables and steal flower cans with bright colors were also added to enhance the garden.

“This new sensory garden provides all patients we service with a therapeutic experience,” Beaumont Health System Foundation Associate Carmen Avramut said. “It is important to give patients a wide variety of treatment.”

The center is a partnership between Oakwood Healthcare and the University of Michigan Dearborn’s Early Childhood Education Center.

In addition to traditional child care and education, the center also serves children with multiple special needs and their families throughout metro Detroit, Oakland County and Ohio.

For more information on the center go to oakwood.org/cef.

(Zeinab Najm can be reached at zeinabnajm92@gmail.com.)