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Saturday, February 27, 2021

Ground Breaking Completed:
Construction on the Autism Nature Trail has begun in Letchworth Park 
as 2021 Construction Season Starts

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that construction has started on a first-of-its kind nature trail at Letchworth State Park designed for people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and other developmental disabilities. The Autism Nature Trail is part of the Governor's 2021 State of the State agenda to reimagine, rebuild and renew New York State, including enhancing New York State Parks.

The Campaign to Build the ANT, with support from the State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, has raised $3 million toward a full $3.7 million goal. Fundraising will continue to establish and endowment for long term maintenance and programming on the mile-long trail which is designed to address the sensory needs of people with ASD, a range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and non-verbal communication.

"Isolation due to the coronavirus has taught us that being in nature is our saving grace, and New York State parks have remained open throughout the pandemic," said Campaign for The ANT co-chair and co-founder Loren Penman who spends her extended summers as a resident of Silver Lake. "But for those who feel uncomfortable, unwelcome or even unsafe in environments where certain behaviors are not understood and special needs cannot be met, the ADA-compliant and inclusive Autism Nature Trail at Letchworth State Park encourages all visitors to experience the benefits of being more fully engaged with nature and with each other."

For more information or to contribute to ongoing work to fund quality programming at the site, visit: 

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