Sarasota County's Oscar Scherer State Park is opening a lakeside nature
trail that meets the needs of those who require special accommodations
to enjoy its eco-amenities.
The half-mile trail
circles Osprey Lake and provides ADA-compliant
that include six-foot-wide trails big enough for two passing
wheelchairs, guide rails for the visually impaired and a gentle slope
that is free of obstructions. The trail itself is laid with marl, a
substance comprised of clay and calcium carbonate, that provides the
stability of asphalt with the flexibility of sand. The trail also
features ADA-friendly benches placed at locations around the lake that
provide the best view of the lake and wildlife such as the endangered
According to Russell Delaney,
president of the Friends of Oscar State
, the trail is the first of a four-part series of
redevelopment throughout the park
includes installing a littoral shelf along the lake's circumference to
enhance shore-bird fishing and survival, a fishing pier and a boardwalk.
When the park received a gift of $50,000 from Lee Wetherington Homes
the decision was made to go forward with the trail.
"We could not have done this without Wetherington," explains
Delaney. "Their gift allowed us to start making plans. We already had
one ADA-compliant trail. It generated so much interest and gets so much
use we decided to tackle this to provide another ADA opportunity for the
community. Florida has a lot of sandy trails. And they are not just
hard on wheelchairs. They are hard for people with bad knees and young
families with strollers. This new trail makes it possible to provide a
much larger population with access to the park."
Writer: Missy Kavanaugh
Source: Russell Delaney, Friends of Oscar Scherer State Park