October 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 43

The trail features reflection points and
" alone zones, " where people can go to
reflect, calm down, if necessary, and
relax in a quiet environment.
body in space.
Doug Kelly, park manager of
Letchworth State Park, says, " This
project is unique in that we were
given the blueprints but had weekly
meetings to discuss improvements
and changes. Everybody was invested
in the mission of the project.
People could come to us with
ideas, and then our engineers could
find a way to make it happen or explain
why it couldn't. As families
with autism have learned about the
project, they have offered information
and suggestions that can be
incorporated into the trail as well. "
Another aspect designed for
those on the spectrum are reflection
points and " alone zones, "
where people can go to reflect,
calm down, if necessary, and relax
in a quiet environment. One
element of these zones is cuddle
swings, which are great for sensory
integration therapy. Swinging
back and forth can stimulate the
vestibular system and improve
proprioception.
What's more, the potential for
global impact should not be diminished.
McLaughlin is excited to
see how the thoughtfulness of the
design promotes change outside of
the park. He wonders: If other businesses
took part in training those
with various cognitive challenges,
how could businesses become more
inclusive? For example, the hand
dryers at the Humphry Nature Center
are loud. Could quieter hand
dryers exist? Could area restaurants
begin to change for a more
sensory-friendly experience, such
as providing menus with picture
cues for those with communication
challenges?
While interviewing the many
partners involved in bringing the
trail to life, one theme was clear:
Everyone was inspired, motivated
and wanted to be a part of it.
What's more, each person claims
it was someone else who made
the ANT happen. The aunts attribute
the success to the partners
they found. Others state it was the
aunts' excitement and drive that
made it happen. Erik Kulleseid,
commissioner at New York State
Office of Parks, Recreation and
Historic Preservation, agrees. " The
trail happens to be in a park, but
autism is not the specialty of the
those that work at the park, " he
says. " This had to be done through
the volunteers. The Autism Nature
Trail is proof that a community of
people can come together when
they are inspired. My hope is that
it is a successful template, a model
used to inspire larger and smaller
parks. "
According to Penman, " In a
time of division, the Autism Nature
Trail was a unifying project. "
This
mother, who happened
upon the trail just before construction
began, could not be more excited,
or more hopeful, that the
world is headed in the right direction.
Autism awareness is not just a
phrase, it is something concrete -
and thanks to the Autism Nature
Trail, it is happening!
Julia Garstecki is a Freelance Writer based in
Buffalo, New York (julia@juliagarstecki.com).
PARK S ANDRECRE AT ION . OR G | O CTOBER 2 0 2 1
| Parks & Recreation
43
PHOTO COURTESY OF JOHN KUCKO

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
October 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 8
October 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 9
October 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 10
October 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 11
October 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 12
October 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 13
October 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 14
October 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 15
October 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 16
October 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 17
October 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 18
October 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 19
October 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 20
October 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 21
October 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 22
October 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 23
October 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 24
October 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 25
October 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 26
October 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 27
October 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 28
October 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 29
October 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 30
October 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 31
October 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 32
October 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 33
October 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 34
October 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 35
October 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 36
October 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 37
October 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 38
October 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 39
October 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 40
October 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 41
October 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 42
October 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 43
October 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 44
October 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 45
October 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 46
October 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 47
October 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 48
October 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 49
October 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 50
October 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 51
October 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 52
October 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 53
October 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 54
October 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 55
October 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 56
October 2021 - Parks & Recreation - Cover3
October 2021 - Parks & Recreation - Cover4
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/october-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/september-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/august-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/july-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/june-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/may-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/april-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/march-2021
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com