Heritage Wellness Garden Experience Earns Bronze Medal for Public Space Design

The McGraw Family Garden of the Senses honored as sole winner in category by the International Association for Universal Design
Photo courtesy of Heritage Museums & Gardens

Sandwich, MA – The “McGraw Family Garden of the Senses,” at Heritage Museums & Gardens, the first wellness garden on Cape Cod, has been recognized with a bronze citation award by the International Association for Universal Design (IAUD) Awards Program. This award is given to raise awareness of Universal Design, and to showcase examples that push the boundaries of Universal Design in new and exciting directions while also prioritizing direct engagement with disabled users and others at risk of being excluded from the market. A total of fourteen bronze citations were awarded to companies and individuals, including Sony Corporation, The University of Tokyo and Mitsubishi Electric Corporation. The McGraw Family Garden of the Senses was the only one noted in the Public Space Design category.

Situated behind Heritage’s Old East Windmill, the garden was designed by the internationally recognized award winning firm Dirtworks Landscape Architecture PC in 2019.  The garden provides universal access and programs for those with a range of physical and mental disabilities. Stretching across two acres of property, the garden offers a rich, relaxing experience designed to appeal to the senses of every visitor, regardless of age or ability. Visitors can see, touch and smell the plants in a variety of garden spaces featuring over 25,000 plants, enjoy the peaceful sounds created by new water features, or gaze at the forest vistas from the accessible boardwalk. 

"It is truly an honor to receive this distinguished international award," notes Heritage President and CEO Anne Scott-Putney. “This recognition is a tribute to how beautifully David Kamp and the design team at DirtWork’s has translated Heritage’s goal of accessibility into a complete sensory experiences for people of all ages.”


David Kamp, a principal at Dirtworks, has dedicated his career to exploring how design with nature can improve health. David used the design in this garden to help people make a connection to nature. Using that personal connection as inspiration he also looked at larger scales of health - how design with nature can improve community health and environmental health. Sensitive to the discrete needs of each visitor, the garden provides important health and wellness benefits to all visitors. Heritage Museums & Gardens will be working with several Cape organizations serving people with disabilities and other health challenges to welcome their groups or individual clients to explore the McGraw Family Garden of the Senses at their own pace and in their own time.

Heritage is grateful for the support of the 2020 season sponsors, the Arbella Insurance Foundation. The 2020 season runs from April 25 through October 12. Open daily, 10 am-5 pm. More information is available online at heritagemuseumsandgardens.org or by calling 508-888-3300.

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