Autism Nature Trail Will Be the First of Its Kind in New York State
A nature trail especially for children on the autism spectrum is one step closer to reality at a New York state park.
Letchworth State Park is one of the most beautiful in all of New York. A retired school administrator from Batavia is heading up a group of people to make the park even more welcoming for children who are on the autism spectrum.
The administrator, Loren Penman, tells WXXI News that the ambitious project started years ago when she had a conversation with a neighbor, whose grandson, Ali, is autistic. “She went on to tell me that Ali had autism, and at 7 years old had no language and was almost always in a state of agitation except when she brought him to visit Letchworth State Park,” said Penman.
Penman drew on her years of experience as a school administrator, and built a coalition to begin to make the dream of an autism nature trail a reality.
The trail is a one-mile loop that is handicapped-accessible and contains paths, a maze, and a music circle, and among other inclusive options that encourage interaction with nature. The coalition has raised nearly $2 million dollars, and needs to raise another $2 million to complete the project.
To learn more about the project, or to contribute, you can visit AutismNatureTrail.com.