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Playgarden Park

Artwork by a famous American sculptor creates a space for children and community tucked into downtown Fulton.

Written and Researched by Leslie Criss  |  Photographs Courtesy Emily Quinn

“When my children were small, I’d always think, ‘Man, if we had a place in Fulton for the kids to play and to bring the community together.’ And then this great gift was given to the city by the Waldorfs. We are so fortunate to have PlayGarden Park.” — Fulton Mayor Emily Quinn

Since 2009, the young — and young at heart — who find themselves in Fulton, Mississippi, have had the unique opportunity to spend magical moments in PlayGarden Park. Don’t expect acres and acres of space; this park is small in size, but its specialness is endless.

Located at the southeast corner of Wiygul and Clinton streets in downtown Fulton, the park features a handful of metal sculptures by Tom Otterness. The 72-year-old American sculptor hails from Kansas but lives in New York City. He’s one of the country’s most prolific public artists. His works are found not only in parks, but libraries, courthouses, museums and subway stations around the United States.

In Fulton’s PlayGarden Park, visitors will see a 12-foot-tall sculpture of a penny and a house, side by side in harmony. The sculpture serves as the centerpiece of the fountain, which cools kids off in the warmer months. Other smaller sculptures of pennies and small houses dot the park’s landscape.

PlayGarden Park is also home to a gazebo, green space and picnic tables for use by the community.

“It’s such a wonderful space for our children,” said Fulton Mayor Emily Quinn. “And it’s safe, with our surveillance cameras.”

The park was thought of and funded by Julie and Michael Waldorf. Julie is a Fulton native; her husband is a New Jersey native. They spend time in homes in Fulton and New York City. The Waldorfs hoped the creation of the park would draw attention back to the downtown area.

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