October 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 40

AUT I SM TRA I L
As the mother of a teenager on
the spectrum, this trail is a sign
of hope that the world will become
more inclusive for people
with disabilities that may not be
easy to see nor understand. Trail
Founder and Co-Chair Loren Penman
understands. " We aren't just
making a public place accessible,
we are making an accessible place
public, " she says. This small yet
significant idea is what makes this
private trail in a public space so
unique. From conception, the trail
has consistently been a celebration
of inclusivity, collaboration and
learning from others.
Eight sensory stations along the trail
help develop auditory, visual, tactile and
balance processing.
Why an Autism Trail?
Mountains of research prove the
benefits of nature in our lives.
Exposure
to
nature
cognitive development,
improves
increases
concentration and improves
working memory. Studies using
scientific
benefits
for
parameters prove the
of " nature
those
therapy "
with ASD (tinyurl.
com/2rns92hf). Incorporating
interactions with nature into daily
lives of those on the spectrum
can lead to better sleep, higher
tolerances of sensory stimulation
and elevated moods.
Family members of those on
the spectrum don't need scientific
research to convince us - we see
it
firsthand. Many parents report
that their children become more
Partnering to Make
the Trail a Reality
In 2014, Penman and her neighbor
spoke about the new Humphrey
Nature Center at Letchworth State
Park. During the discussion, the
neighbor
thought her grandson,
who is on the autism spectrum,
would love it. However, she was
concerned that his sensitivities and
behaviors might make a visit to the
verbal, curious and peaceful when
in nature. However, the presence
of parking lots, power lines, and/
or vending machines can all break
nature's spell. It's the complete immersion
of nature that helps. This
is what the founders and developers
of the ANT understood when
creating and designing the trail.
40 Parks & Recreation | O CTOBER 2 0 2 1
| PARK S ANDRECRE AT ION . OR G
PHOTO COURTESY OF JOHN KUCKO
https://www.tinyurl.com/2rns92hf https://www.tinyurl.com/2rns92hf

October 2021 - Parks & Recreation

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of October 2021 - Parks & Recreation

October 2021 - Parks & Recreation - Intro
October 2021 - Parks & Recreation - Cover1
October 2021 - Parks & Recreation - Cover2
October 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 1
October 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 2
October 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 3
October 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 4
October 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 5
October 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 6
October 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 7
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October 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 40
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October 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 50
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October 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 56
October 2021 - Parks & Recreation - Cover3
October 2021 - Parks & Recreation - Cover4
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/october-2021
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