The Bok Tower Gardens is located in the central Florida town of Lake Wales, halfway between Tampa and Orlando. The grounds are open every day from 8 am until 6 pm and the visitor center is open from 9 am until 5 pm. The history of the tower began in 1921 when Edward W. Bok decided to preserve the hilltop where he took his evening walks. His original intention was to create a bird sanctuary in the area that would be peaceful and serene. The space was originally a sandhill, but after buying the land, Bok commissioned architect Frederick Law Olmsted Jr. to dig trenches, lay pipe for irrigation, add rich soil and bring his vision to life. The tropical plantings installed in the early Twentieth century are still on site today and home to more than 100 bird species and several families of squirrels. The Reflection Pool and Singing Tower were added to enhance the space. Bok believed the Singing Tower would bring the sound of his native Netherlands to the area. The gardens and tower offer educational opportunities for children and adults through field trips, classes, workshops, excursions and programs for Girl Scouts. The educational programs are designed to help visitors explore history and culture, art, the environment, social studies and music, and are successful because they are interactive and fun. Bok Tower is a popular destination for weddings.