NCA does not sell, promote, or endorse any product, service, or vendor listed in the Products Directory. Nor does NCA assume any responsibility or liability related to the accessibility, usability, or application of the products, services, and vendors listed. More info >>
A2R Webinar Series Transcript: Interpretive Trails
Submitted by Anonymous on September 2, 2009 - 12:00pm.
ACCESS TO RECREATION WEBINAR SERIES
NATIONAL CENTER ON ACCESSIBILITY
THURSDAY, AUGUST 27, 2009
2:00 â€‘ 3:40 p.m. Eastern
CAPTIONING (CART) PROVIDED BY:
VOICE TO PRINT CAPTIONING
1511 E. Valley Place.
Dyer IN 46311
* * * * *
This is being provided in a roughâ€‘draft format. Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) is provided in Order to facilitate communication accessibility and may not be a totally verbatim record of the proceedings.
* * * * *
Hello and welcome to the Access to Recreation webinar series hosted by the National Center on Accessibility. We are excited to have you with us for the next 90 minutes as we talk about some of the innovative products and beneficiaries of the W. K. Kelloggs Foundation Access to Recreation initiative. We have about 47 people online right now, oh, 48. I think we have close to 100 or so that are going to be joining us. So we'll expect more to be logging in shortly.
I'm Jennifer Skulski, and I will serve as your facilitator for this session. And joining me are Mary Beth Thaman, hi, Mary Beth.
MARY BETH THAMAN
Mary Beth is the Director of Cultural Arts Department, City of Kettering, Ohio. Todd Wales, hi, Todd?
Todd is a landscape architect at Vivian Llambi & Associates in Cincinnati.
Diane Mathis is a Director of Marketing and Development for the Springfield Park District in Springfield, Illinois.
Also joining us to provide technical support to you is Jacob Gube and Lauren Sandmann. If you have any technical questions on the webinar function, you can send any of them a private message through the chat function here in Adobe connect or you can call Lauren at the NCA office.
This session is being realtime captioned by Voice to Print Captioning. Whether you're deaf, hardâ€‘ofâ€‘hearing, think I talk too fast or need to mute your audio to take a phone call, in addition the audio, you can also use the captioning simply by opening another window in your browser and pasting the URL for the captioning which is down in the notes pod of the screen. If you've never used Internet captioning before, this is a great opportunity for you to see it in action in order to plan for your next event.
Following today's session, you'll receive an email request to complete an evaluation of the session. We ask that you take a couple minutes to complete the evaluation as your feedback is very important to us. We especially would like to hear from people that have participated on this session and the previous sessions about how we might be able to improve on the learning opportunity and sharing of information.
Nancy, I can already see has asked if there's CEUs available for this particular session, no, there are not. But we are investigating that for future sessions.
This is the third and final session of a threeâ€‘part series that has been brought to you this summer by the Michigan Recreation and Park Association Foundation. Let me just take a minute here, too, while this is our last session of the series, we received great feedback from people that have participated this summer, and we're very interested in setting up future sessions. So if you have suggestions on topics related to accessibility and universal design and parks and recreation that you think should be covered for the future, please feel free to mention them in the session evaluation or you could send an email on suggested topics to email@example.com. The format for today's session will give each of our three panelists time to talk about their projects, and planning process and the input, that they received from different disability community groups, how they've come by their design decisions and outcomes; and then following each speaker we will have time to take some questions. And then toward the end of the session, we will open it up for more question and answer, which you can either submit through the chat pod or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For those of you joining us for the first time during the session, let me give you a little background on the Access to Recreation initiative. Over the last three years, the Kellogg Foundation has provided more than $15 million in funding to 40 projects in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana and Illinois. Projects were selected based on their concepts for embracing universal design, opportunity to facilitate inclusion of people of all abilities, and opportunity to serve as an exemplar of universal design to community planners, recreation practitioners and advocates. The initiative mission is to be a catalyst for change enabling communities to create greater access and inclusiveness in recreation facilities, programs and services for people of all ages and all abilities. As such, proposals were only accepted from community foundations that had formed partnerships with park and recreation agencies. Funding required a 50/50 match, community convening to provide outreach promoting the benefits of universal design. And a stipulation that an endowment be established to support ongoing maintenance of the facility once construction was completed. Projects include playgrounds and spray parks, scenic trails for walking and biking, kayak and canoe launches and more. You can read more about the projects at accesstorecreation.org.
Over the last year, the National Center on Accessibility has provided technical consultation to some of the projects; and for those of you that are not familiar with NCA, we're located at Indiana University in Bloomington and provide training, technical assistance and research on the inclusion of people with disabilities in parks, recreation, and tourism. This really has been a great opportunity to work with the project teams and go through their planning process; and in particular, I'm very excited to have our panelists with us here today because of the innovation that they have been working to plan in their projects.
Our previous two sessions, between June and July, covered some of the playground, boating and fishing projects. And so these two were really concentrating on interpretive trail projects, one in Kettering, Ohio, and the other in Springfield, Illinois.
I'd also like to say that it should be noted that the Access to Recreation projects are still in various stages of construction. And this is the case with the two projects that you're going to see today. In our previous sessions, you've been able to clearly see the before and the after. For this session, you're likely to see more of the before and the during or the inâ€‘progress stages, while our presenters will put a greater emphasis on the scope and planning details that will continue to take shape over more phases of construction, installation, implementation and evaluation. So I have done enough talking and we are going to go over to Ohio for our first project where we go to Pondview Park, which is a quaint little neighborhood park in Kettering, Ohio. Mary Beth Thaman and Todd Wales are here to talk more about the project. So I'm going to turn it over to both of you.
MARY BETH THAMAN
Just to get everybody oriented. Kettering, Ohio, is in southwestern Ohio. It's about 1 hour from the west side of Columbus and about 35 minutes from the northern part of Cincinnati. And it is a suburb of Dayton, Ohio, which is on cross roads of Iâ€‘70 and 75.
And so that gives you an orientation. Kettering is a population of about 55,000 people, primarily was â€‘â€‘ I would say was General Motors hub. Many factories have closed since then, but Kettering has had a very, very strong parks and recreation department for decades. And we're very pleased to get this particular grant.
We have about 800 acres of park property, two of which are natural areas. And how this project actually was oriented, we're going to talk a little bit about the project approach. I gave a little history, so everyone kind of understands how we kind of picked this project.
Again, we have 22 actual design parks in the city. We also take care of all the government and medians and that kind of thing which gives us more acreage, but we do have two natural parks in our portfolio of parks, two of which are used â€‘â€‘ the two are used for a very extensive educational program with our school district. It's a land lab program, which we actually the school district pays for 50 percent of our naturalist, so it's an educational outreach program that we jointly support.
One of the â€‘â€‘ about five years ago, our foundation board actually, our park foundation board did a â€‘â€‘ hired someone actually from Michigan, John Broverka to do a study on our parks and to give us a master plan for our outdoor parks, which was kind of a precursor to this project.
With that master plan, we actually started to do some infrastructure improvements in our park. When the Dayton foundation, Joe Baldesar, which I have to say, Jennifer, he apologizes, his son is getting married I think tomorrow in Utah, so he was unable to participate today, but when the Dayton Foundation came to Kettering and asked us if we were interested in participating, this project just kind of jumped out at us as one that we felt, number one, would provide an incredible opportunity to give a selfâ€‘guided educational experience for all abilities. And it kind of fit in perfectly, I believe, with what the Access to Recreation grant requested of us.
Todd's going to have some pictures of the facilities. I'm going to give a little bit about a project approach and get through that quicker because Todd's information is much more interesting than mine, unless someone out there is a director and has had a lot of public meetings, so you'll understand this, as well.
One of the first things that we did was tried to involve all of the stakeholders, with the help of the Dayton foundation and the neighbors, we had to do a joint relationship conversation because this project, because it sits nestled in a neighborhood, actually the park is surrounded by homes. And so we had to be sure that there was kind of a sensitivity to what we were doing. So we actually putting to both a regional stakeholder board, which was made up of all the disability groups throughout the greater metropolitan area of Dayton as well as an ad hoc committee in Kettering who was made up of the neighborhood groups and our group, our disability group here in Kettering.
Our school district, just to note, is probably one of the largest districts in the greater Dayton area that has an accelerated or very strong special education program for students. In fact, they have a preschool program. They have a kindergarten program. Very, very â€‘â€‘ a lot of times people come to live in Kettering just for the school district's program. So we already have a very good understanding of universal and inclusion already built into our city system or our school system.
One of the aspects in terms of the balance between the environment and park design â€‘â€‘ and the reason why I want to talk about this is because what we're really doing is the park in which we are renovating to be universally designed was extremely natural. We had chip trails and all of our educational designs were such that, quite frankly, could not be â€‘â€‘ you know, if someone had a wheelchair or a senior who couldn't walk was very difficult to navigate. But some of the purest, and some of you probably work in the natural areas, but some of the purest were vehemently against this project; i.e, why we involved so many stakeholders and why it took us a little bit longer to navigate our political system here in Kettering because of the pushback from our real purists. They felt like adding any kind of hard surface trail or putting any kind of object in the park that would deface the park in a natural area.
So thanks to Todd and his wonderful work, we were able to navigate the design and demonstrate how we can create this universal piece without defacing the purist environment.
I'm not sure if we're going to capture everyone. And I know that people are listening understand that. But we do feel that we have a really good design on this. And very, very conscientious about not defacing the pure environmental piece of the park. It's a 15â€‘acre, very heavily wooded area, very beautiful setting with a pond. And we'll get into that when Todd gets into the actual design.
One of the major, major goals of this project was to create an educational value and a selfâ€‘guided experience, meaning that we already have a very, very extensive school program right now. We service over 4,000 kids on a yearly basis. The school district's 100 percent bought into the program. So we already have an existing educational program, but we also wanted to be sure that the outcome of this project would provide anyone with a selfâ€‘guided experience without a teacher and a naturalist and that kind of thing. So that was a great opportunity for us to meld these two goals together.
The other piece, which has been actually very, very fun and we're not quite done with it is the development of the audio/visual and tactile applications to this project. We actually worked with â€‘â€‘ and Todd, who is the company we worked with with the audio? Do you remember?
MARY BETH THAMAN
Tour Mate. There is a selfâ€‘propelled audio piece that we brought from Tour Mate. They shipped us one. We actually did focus groups with all of the disability groups around the greater Dayton area to try to figure out how we can modify this to work as a universal design. It's a digital piece, but we did use that in some of our focus groups. And right now it's in production.
Our actual visual aids and tactile aids, our interpretive signs, we're right now in the process of developing those. Jennifer had a conference call with a variety of people about â€‘â€‘ was that about a month ago, Jennifer? And it was excellent. And what we are doing is actually we have seven pods, learning stations, Todd will talk a little bit more about this, but we're actually building these interpretive signs and developing a content, color and a tactile piece actually with focus groups here in the Kettering area, both using our disability group and our teachers. So it's going to be really an interesting mix. We're right now in the first phase of the content development. And also the tactile development of each learning pod. And that, once we get the content of all seven pods designed, we'll actually go to a fabricator and then actually have the signs fabricated.
So it's been a very interesting process so far. I'm sure there will be a lot of questions about that and we can answer those, as well.
Just another â€‘â€‘ I probably have already talked about this, but we didn't identify the scope location, unique opportunities. I think I alluded a little bit to that in the first slide, but we did know that we wanted to create an outdoor project within the environment because we know that â€‘â€‘ I'll tell a personal story on this. And I told this to Joe when he came. My brother passed away about seven years ago from Lou Gehrig's disease in two years and he was very, very active, incredibly active hiker, biker, climber, all those kind of things. And as we were talking about projects and you talk about people that don't know about ALS, it's a neurological disease, that you go from ableâ€‘bodied to disabled bodied very, very quickly and are wheelchair bound very quickly. So as I watched him progress through this, I realized how much he loved the outdoors. And he lived in Champagneâ€‘Urbana area, there was no place you could take him to be out, experience the outdoors that his wheelchair could get through. So that was a personal experience that I personally went through. And when we had an opportunity to say "hey, do you know what? What a wonderful situation where we could get someone that has any ability or whatever, get them out in the outdoors, what a wonderful experience that would be."
When we met with the Alzheimer's groups and the blind and the deaf and our mental health groups, they also realized that getting people outside is one of the most important things. So to really narrow this down, it was pretty easy for us. And we had the unique opportunity, like I talked before, of marrying our educational program and our schools with a self guided opportunity, as well, or experience.
Focus groups with local and regional stakeholders I talked about and the ad hoc committee. Very, very important. Because I know one of the goals of the grant was to provide community education. And I can tell you, on most â€‘â€‘ I don't know if all of you on this phone call understand that, but a lot of times people, if you don't have someone in your family or someone that you know that has a disability, they almost become invisible in the community. So this gave us an opportunity to really broaden the education of our own public, especially through these public process. And I can tell you that it was a great learning experience from everyone. And our local ad hoc committee, working in concert with our neighborhood, there was a lot of sharing, because there was some reluctance by the neighborhood for this park to go in. But once they understood the greater good and what it would do, it was a marvelous, marvelous learning experience for everybody. And I think achieved one of those goals. And I guess involvement of resident stakeholders in the design of the park, Todd, that's kind of a segway into yours, because we did, once we hired Todd Llambi & Associates to help us, we got everybody involved in the process. And kudos to your firm for orchestrating the process and being very patient with some of our purists that wanted it to be kept this way.
I do want to mention, too â€‘â€‘ and this may be an aside, but on the one side of the park is a privately owned swim club. And we worked with them to actually put in an accessible parking lot. If that wouldn't have happened â€‘â€‘ and that's not part of Todd's project, but there is a parking lot â€‘â€‘ maybe, Todd, you can allude to it that we actually were able to get a lease to access our property so that we wouldn't deface the park. So there was a real cooperative â€‘â€‘ this is really cooperative community project. We're hoping to champion that when we open it. And that even gives the project even more credence with everyone's involvement. So with that, Todd, I'm going to segway to you. I believe you have the slides. I'll jump in whenever you want and we can go from there.
Thank you very much, Mary Beth. Yeah, we were very honored to be selected by the city of Kettering to work on this. And we certainly embraced and appreciated all the effort behind this. We were dealing with a number of things from accessibility to neighbors to aesthetics and working with the schools and even budgets came into play, obviously. So we had a lot to deal with. But it was a great group involvement. I'm going to start show some of the pictures here. This is a before condition. You can see it's a lovely natural park. Some nice woods and trails. These trails, again, were mulch. There's a little foot bridge there. Beyond the foot bridge there's grade that was, quite frankly, a little too steep to be accessible. So in part of our planning of the park, we looked at a number of things, including working on the parts of the site that would embrace accessibility. So we developed a number of loops and things that avoided this steep grade.
Here's a picture of the pond. It's used extensively for fishing. There's a deck out there, a nice little island. A lot of people in the neighborhood really claim it as their own. Here is another angle of somebody fishing out there.
MARY BETH THAMAN
Let me jump in there. The money for that bridge or that dock was given to us by service club. They actually raised about $20,000 and put that in.
Moving forward, another trail through the park. This log is one of the areas where the schools do a land lab and actually sit the kids down and they have programs there. So we wanted to take this site and expand on it and develop a number of others for expanding this land lab program for the schools.
There's also a prairie area out there. This picture was taken early in the season before everything had come up, but they had developed an existing nice wild flower prairie. That type of environment got integrated into the project, as well.
There is a prairie when it's a summer picture. Okay. Moving on, this is the site plan that was developed up on the project and around these three sides the north, west and east of the project is the neighborhoods, houses. And then on the south side of the project is an interstate. But it is primarily wooded with a pond in the middle. And then on the south west corner is the wild flower prairie.
Kind of as an approach to this up in the upper right area, that's the parking lot that Mary Beth referred to that was worked in coordination with the swim club. We brought people in off of a short drive and into a parking lot and used that area to become the front door to the park.
MARY BETH THAMAN
And that was the flattest area of the park, as well, which gave us an opportunity, then, the slope on that entry way and sidewalk is all appropriate ratio.
One thing we created in that area, this is dealing more with the esthetics than accessibility, we didn't want to overrun the park with vehicular paving. So we limited it to the necessary parking spots and to a drop off where buses with tours or visitors could drop off. But when they exit the park, they would drive on a loop through these grass pavers, which were actually stabilized lawn that can handle a bus weight. But it keeps the natural character of the park a lot more green and limits the amount of vehicular paving that had to be put in.
And then right at that point I was talking about a dropâ€‘off, we developed a gateway right at that point. And the idea for the gateway was to build a very low wooden deck, kind of within the trees, to embrace that natural feel and actually have a couple trees coming through the deck. It's sided in such a way that it has a very nice view to that pond.
One of the interesting things we did on this deck, rather than building a traditional digging and footers and putting in concrete for the supports for a deck, we used these, they're called helio piers, they're literally like huge screws that are screwed into the ground. And there is no excavation. They literally drill down until they're anchored and then that supplies a base of the deck. And there is no excavation. And we're really doing the extra effort to try and save and minimize the impact on the trees and the tree roots.
MARY BETH THAMAN
Todd, can you clarify there? The picture you're showing there, that's actually at the park?
This is the concept that deck is under construction. I'll show a picture of that near the end of this.
Mary Beth talked about the signage. This was kind of the intent to have something graphic and located to not only for directions but for education. Mary Beth, do you want to talk anymore about the â€‘â€‘
MARY BETH THAMAN
Yeah, I will. That's a good point. We have seven interpretive areas designated in the park. And I think, Todd, are you going to walk us through those?
MARY BETH THAMAN
And each area will have an audio box, a tactile board, and a text interpretive board. The tactile board will have representation of the educational experience that you will find in that particular pod. For example, if at the pond, we'll have some fish and some wild â€‘â€‘ or the water plants. And then we'll have some text that will be associated with that area. And then the audio box. And all three will work in harmony together to provide that self guided experience. We are not going to really rely on one of the three to provide the experience.
So that what you see is not the interpretive sign. From what we have been told, it has too much color on it. So we know that it won't be that brilliant in terms of color.
We also know that we need to have it such that when our classrooms come out there, it provides the same experience.
With the audio box, we know we can change it seasonally with our interpretive signs over time, we're trying to get a seasonal interpretive sign that we can use for winter, fall or spring/summer, something like that. So we're still working on that. But these learning stations will actually be the self guided opportunity for us. The interpretive signs haven't been fabricated yet, but we will be doing that with the content development working with our focus groups around the greater Dayton area. I don't know if that answers the question.
I just wanted to share the input of how a number of people and groups were involved in fabricating these signs. This is an image to indicate an intent, but it's not it. Exactly.
Now, this is the audio box. The picture on the left was the standard prototype with this company called Tour Mate. It's really interesting. It's an outdoor box that you can prerecord a number of messages on. And it doesn't require electricity. You can see there that it's powered by a hand crank. So it would have been expensive and disruptive to run electricity through to all these learning pods, so we came up with this idea. And you can mount these things, and they have the hand crank. And by spinning that, it provides the audio message. And if you look real closely on that picture, you'll see four buttons. And that gives you the opportunity to record four different messages. And in our case, we talked about having that be kind of a spring and a summer and a winter and a fall message that helps explain the changes of what's going on.
But the interesting thing about this is that the group of Tour Mate, we told them what this was for the accessibility, and we were concerned that people without the dexterity might not be able to spin that knob, so the picture on the right is a prototype that they developed working with us, and the people that had limited mobility, we actually had a plywood mockup and a number of things for them to test. And what they came up with you see there it still allows you to do the crank mechanism but you don't need the dexterity of the fingers. You could use the palm of your hand or even the side of your arm to help crank that. So it really expanded the ability for people to use that product.
Now, I mentioned before about the different types of trails we had in here. This graphic shows the plan. We developed three loops within the park that provided three different types of experiences. Theres a small inner loop is the pond loop, which is basically the loop around the lake. The bulk of that has direct views to the water. A lot of it is through lawn interacting a little bit in and out with the trees. And it's a very short, flat, easy walk.
Outside of that there's the woodland loop. And that loop literally goes through those existing woods. And it has a whole different experience. And then coming to the southwest, it's linked to the prairie loop, and that walks through the prairie. So through the use of trails and signage and whatnot, we provide these different opportunities, which was one of the real amenities of this park as it was.
Now the walk systems within the park, you can see the pictures here, they indicate the look we were going for. We want to try and keep it very natural, very earth tone looking. And we came up with a product, worked with a group it's called Staylock. And to oversimplify it, the walkways are going to be installed with kind of a standard stone base underneath it and then there's a top being of the Staylock, it's similar to traditional black asphalt but it's not that at all. It's a colored aggregate with colored sand and it's got a polymer that links it together. And the finished product is not quite as hard as asphalt, but it provides a very stable trail system. The color we chose is tan and it blends in exceptionally well with the woods. And it almost looks like a wellâ€‘worn but very stable and accessible path.
And the city will have to go through and maintain and clean up dropped branches and things like that, but the intent of this was to get the esthetics as well as the function. And we're pretty excited about that project.
MARY BETH THAMAN
Let me jump in, too, Todd. I wanted to mention that as we were designing this park, we were also looking at maintenance costs. So as we, especially the trail piece, this product seemed to be the best for us as far as an initial, what was it, chip and â€‘â€‘
Chip and dust.
MARY BETH THAMAN
And we do have that in another park in our city system. And we preferred not to use that. This really provided us with the strongest opportunity for maintenance and actually low maintenance. And for folks, that was a real hot button for some of our purists. They thought that we were going to asphalt everything. And this really â€‘â€‘ I don't know if people are putting in trails, this product looks really nice. I'm sure there's other products out there. This is just the one that we happened to use.
And I'll also point out there, too, we're doing a trail surface study here at the National Center on Accessibility that has sites throughout the country that includes different types of soil stabilization products and Staylock is one of the products. And so I know that I can see there's a couple questions about asking about how it's going to hold up over time and that. And we're also hoping between this site and some of the other sites that have their product that will be able to report back on more of that through this research study.
MARY BETH THAMAN
Jennifer, I will mention that the product is produced out of town north of Pittsburgh. And there's a lot of applications in the Midwest. In fact, Todd, we probably can get that to Jennifer to put online somewhere and they can call this company direct. But Slippery Rock, PA, I believe that's where their company is.
I'd be happy to give that to Jennifer for both the Tour Mate and the Staylock product. Maybe some interest out there.
It is not â€‘â€‘ it doesn't allow percolation. It will run off because of the way the polymer is used. But the way we laid it out, it's on pretty flat locations. And we kept a very natural edge to it. So we anticipate not too much impact to the permeability of the site.
But my understanding is it's been fine through prestall cycles. It's real easy to manipulate.
MARY BETH THAMAN
Yes. And some of the other things that we have along trails is there's a picture of a bench there. We wanted that to keep the esthetic and the natural scene actually used. Cut benches. This one just as an example. The real one will be designed with accessibility guidelines with a proper angled back and a rail. But that's the kind of look we want. And those will be placed intermittently along the path. Also we have on the picture on the right just an idea of a post that I'll show you a picture of this under construction, but that will be almost like a trail marker set along the way. It's to help guide you through you're say on the wetland loop may be one color. The pond loop or the woodland might be in another color. But they provide that visual access. And it's also a place to stop and lean up against for maybe the elderly that need to take a break and lean on something.
Next slide shows some of the stations that are developed through there. This is a typical one. Each one has a theme. There's a pond station. This one I'm showing is a wetland station. We're actually creating a wetland by damming up a very low portion of the stream that goes through there and creates a bowl to allow us to establish wetland plants. There are also some along the edge of the pond on this side of the pond. So it's going to be a very low lying deck. I have a picture here. Kind of like you see on the left that actually allows you to be very â€‘â€‘ just barely hovers above the wetlands and allows you to be interactive with that type of environment.
Also incorporated is a sensory garden. The point of the sensory garden is â€‘â€‘ you'll see some images here â€‘â€‘ it's really a landscape treatment that allows people to smell or touch. Certainly see the types of â€‘â€‘ different types of flowers. It's laid out in such a way that we're going to have some raised planters. For example, the bottom left is an idea that we incorporated. It even shows a cantilevered portion of a planter that sticks out and would allow wheelchairs and the knees to go under that. And people could actually interact and dig and reach and touch some of the plants as they're maneuvering through the sensory garden.
We did some things with the pond stabilization to try to treat the edges and clean it up and help the erosion factors that can occur with ponds. Between aquatic plants and stones, pretty well takes care of that.
The other thing about this stone treatment, with the gravel, it provides some places for minnows and small fish to maybe next and be protected and different types of environments for the aquatic life.
The interactive viewing station, this is another one that happens to be in the pod, the learning pods we talked about. Mary Beth mentioned before each of the pods will have signage and an audio exhibit. We'll also have benches and then some natural stones. You'll see a gentleman sitting there on a large flat stone. We will have those at varying heights from tall ones to ones a lot closer to the ground to accommodate either small children or people with limited mobility can kind of choose the site, the elevation they need to sit at. We will also do some few fun things. Take a small area that we'll have some concrete. We're going to color the concrete and integrate some leaf patterns and footprints and those kind of things.
The prairie station, same kind of thing. It's going to be focused on the prairie environment. We're even going to add some bird boxes for nesting and a whole different type of experience there.
Mentioned before the project is under construction. This is coming up off the main entry off the road to the parking that's being installed just to the left of this picture is the swim club. And straight ahead is where the pile of gravel is will be the dropâ€‘off for the bus.
Here's that entry deck that's under construction. We're going to be adding some trees through the deck. And you can see the metal things that came up, those helio piers that will be used for footings of that, for the food.
This is the pathways through there. The base material of the stone is down. And the raw trail markers are off to the right there. This will all be topped with the Staylock. It will be the tan color. So you can start to get a feel for what the finished product should look like. It should be a very nice walkthrough a beautiful environment.
This happens to be a little jet off of the walkway system that takes you down to the edge of the lake. And, again, this will all get topped with the Staylock material.
And with that, that's my run through. Mary Beth?
Thanks, Todd. I just want to clarify for people and we do have time for a couple questions and we'll talk about the Springfield project and then we'll open it up for more questions at the end.
But I just want to clarify for people because I think there's a little confusion that all of the slides that you saw in materials of the photos up until the point of construction, those were all photos that were used as examples or concepts that wanted to be used so that when you were going out doing your fundraising, trying to get backing for the project, you could kind of use those as concepts to convey what exactly it was that you wanted in the project. Because I think there was a little confusion between some of the stones down in the water area and that. So basically the project right now has got construction there, right?
MARY BETH THAMAN
So this is your sub base right here. That's your subsurface. And then your top surface is going to be going on top of that with the Staylock, right?
MARY BETH THAMAN
And so we have a couple more questions here. Mary Beth, the total cost of the project?
MARY BETH THAMAN
$750,000 was the total project cost. The city â€‘â€‘ there's a 60/40. 60/40 match. 40 percent from the city, 60 percent from the Kellogg Foundation. Of that entire project cost, there's administration cost, project management cost, the Dayton foundation had some administration costs, as well. The whole project budget for just the park was $400,000. With the remaining dollars, one going into an endowment fund that the city matched. And so that endowment fund will be invested in the foundation, the Dayton Foundation and the interest off the investment will then be brought back to the City of Kettering to be used for maintenance of this facility and any other universal design project that we have.
So I guess it's the hard costs for the project is $400,000. That includes all fees.
And where would you say the majority in terms of the construction costs and that, that a good chunk of your budget is going to? Is it the surfacing or the signage or the planning?
MARY BETH THAMAN
I'll let Todd answer that one.
The bulk of the cost is in the preparation of all the walkways, putting down the stone and then the Staylock. Planting budget was pretty limited in that we were blessed with a very full and dense park. So we did add some supplements. But â€‘â€‘
MARY BETH THAMAN
Well then our department's budget will then augment what â€‘â€‘ because we have a pretty robust park department budget even in these days â€‘â€‘ this day and age. But we will augment what the project will not be able to fund. So we'll be doing some inâ€‘house application, as well.
And the parking lot was actually handled as a separate project.
MARY BETH THAMAN
Yeah, CIP project through our engineering department. That was about $110,000 for the parking lot, and we didn't have to pay for the land lease with the swim club. So it was about 110. And then it actually ran sewer and electric to a shelter that we will be putting in next year.
We had very little excavation, as well. We were very careful. We walked the site. Kind of conceptually laid it out on the plan and then walked out specifically where it goes so that the walks would save all the trees and be on very accessible slopes. So there's very little earth work, which certainly helped on the budget.
Great. We'll take more questions at the end, too. And I'm sure that more questions will come up from people. I do have to say that I was with Todd and the planning team, and we walked to the site. I'm trying to think about how long ago that was. Was it last year?
MARY BETH THAMAN
It probably was.
Long ago. But it's such a beautiful area. It's such a beautiful park. It's very quaint. And it just reminds me of one of those kind of Walden pond or "on golden pond" type moments. I think it will be your most popular park for marriage proposals, because it's just so nice and quaint. And so it's going to be so exciting to go back and see the final project completed.
And what is your completion timeline? If people wanted to visit.
MARY BETH THAMAN
I would say spring of next year, Jennifer. Probably the dedication spring of next year, because our interpretive signs were just in the beginning design of those. And they'll have to be fabricated. And by the time they're fabricated, they probably will not be able to be installed in the winter. So I would say if people want to come visit, it's always a beautiful time to come visit good old Kettering, Ohio, so don't let that hold you back, but I would say March/April of next year it will be hopefully fully functioning.
Great. Well, I'll save more questions for you at the end, too. I'm from Ohio. I'll jump over to Illinois.
You know, I think the difference between these two projects, when I think of them, because I've been fortunate enough to visit both sites, the Pondview Park really is when we think about how you would design or the traditionally what you would think of in terms of an interpretive trail in a community or regional or national park setting. And the project as we go over to Springfield chose to expand upon this approach by looking at how they could use technology to improve the visitor experience in a large regional park setting. And Diane Mathis is here to tell us more about the new Southwind Park in Springfield. I'll let you take over. I'll turn it over to you.
Thank you, Jennifer. The Springfield park district is near Springfield the state capitol. Also the home of Abraham Lincoln. So we have a lot of tourism in our community because of the Lincoln history.
The Southwind Park project started with a donation of 80 acres of farmland. It's located in the southwestern area of Springfield, of which our population is right around 120,000. And the private donors wanted to preserve green space. The plan of expanding the community, everything is heading southwest. The owners of this farmland could see that with a lot of that kind of building and development and communities that what's forgotten is green space. So their number one intent was to preserve green space.
Secondly, one of the owners is in a wheelchair, and so the second request was that it would be ADAâ€‘compliant.
Well, so what we did is we took this farmland, we took this opportunity, which is very, very unique, and we decided that the goal of our overall park design was to create a park that people with all levels of abilities and disabilities can enjoy their leisure timing to without any barriers.
We have always hoped that this park will set an example for others that with our careful thought and visionary leadership that will help improve recreational venues and activities and expand people's opportunities to enjoy the outdoors.
So with that, and having a flat piece of land, it has been a very exciting adventure to creating all of this. And the only limits that we have ever had, like all of you, I'm sure, can attest to, are financial. The overall project is about a $16 million project, of which 7 million of that the Springfield park district has dedicated through general revenue bonds, general obligation bonds and then also some SRA tax funding. The remaining dollar amount had to be fund raised through private donations, corporate donations and grant writing. And that's kind of where I came in on the project is I was brought in to do the marketing and the fundraising.
But as many of us all know, there's that bottom line in our job description of "all other duties as assigned".
And in my scenario, I feel very fortunate that was there because I've been able to be kind of in the eye of all of this and really learn and know and understand what the needs of the community are.
This is a picture of how we started. It is farmland. It is prime farmland. On the north, we are looking south going north. And on the north, there is a small subdivision community. On the left and behind us is all farmland. And to the right, we have two areas. One is farmland and the other is another small residential community.
What we did is we started with our excavation. And you can see on this one that this was about nine months after we started. And we started in the fall of 2006. One of the things that we did is create a lake. And we did that by â€‘â€‘ there's a very high water table out there. We determined how deep we had to go to have this a natural fed lake, and we dug out with all of the dirt that we dug out to create the lake, we put on the opposite side, created a great big hill and an amphitheatre. And, again, one of the challenges of flat land, farmland to transform it into a park land is a challenge in itself. We have a lot of berms and things that we've created. But that was the start of it. This was June, a year ago. And that was the project that we had made in one â€‘â€‘ progress that we had made in one year. You can see that what we have is actually two big areas. We have an area where we have one large building that will serve kind of as the information center for the entire park as well as a venue for rentals and programs. And then on the opposite end â€‘â€‘ and it overlooks the lake. On the opposite end, we have more of a calming area, which we have five different types of gardens. And the only sports that we have are bocci ball, horseshoe and shuffle board.
One of the big things that we had to do in this planning was figure out a trail system. And that's what brings us to the Access to Recreation grant and the opportunity that that allowed us.
What we had to think about was: We do have and we did have in the beginning a 2â€‘1/2 mile urban trail way. And what we did is we made those walkways concrete to navigate this entire 80 acres. There's many factors that needed consideration in our planning, and that was not only to provide a means of getting from one park feature to the next, but in addition was to unite all of the accessibility aspects.
So not only are we providing a means of getting from one place to another, but we also need to be able to inform and educate our park guests of all of the park features that are in the park for them to explore and enjoy.
Diane, I'm sorry to interrupt, could we go back to your overall site plan so that you could point out and give people an idea of all of the things in the master plan? The site visit that I had there was so amazing to see how many unique recreational activities that you're going to have out there. So could you kind of walk people through the site plan real quickly?
Sure. I just slipped back to that slide. What we've â€‘â€‘ this is our lake, which you saw the photographs of. Right here is our first building, which is pavilion. That's 15,000 square feet. And then on the exterior right out in here, we've got an outdoor terrace. All of this overlooks the lake. And it's really beautiful.
What we did, this is where we took all of the dirt from here and built a very large hill here that serves as our amphitheatre. We had intended to have an outdoor amphitheatre. We ran into some challenges. And that's been adjusted and our outdoor amphitheatre now will be relocated back to this area.
This is the future site of the Springfield children's museum, of which we do not have one in our town. And their focus is they, of course, will be universally accessible. And then their focus of all of their exhibits is health and wellness. This is our maintenance facility, which is built and full and already dirty.
We have one of the unique things about our building is is what we did is I wasn't really going to get off on this so I'm not going to elaborate on it but I'll just tell you that we're trying to serve as a national model twofold. One is in our universal design and secondly is in our environmental sustainability efforts. Our first building there, Aaron's pavilion is targeted to receive a platinum certification with LEEDs. And for those of you that don't know it, the nutshell explanation of that is that is the greenest commercial building you can have, of which there are less than 80 in the entire world.
One of the things that we did, just like with the original owners of the property, said what we would like this to be ADAâ€‘compliant, one of the things we thought about was: If we're going to have a building that's LEEDâ€‘certified, then why don't we set a precedent and carry out our sustainability efforts across the entire 80 acres, of which we have done in many ways.
As you come along here, this is a particular garden that is an honor garden. We have a very large playground system here. It's actually the largest system in the city. This is the future site of a recreation center which would include indoor swimming. The last indoor 50â€‘meter pool that was built in Springfield, Illinois, was 41 years ago, so there's a definite need there. This is not included in that original $16 million. And we have not â€‘â€‘ we have no funding for this whatsoever. And something that we intend to work on later. But we do have all of the infrastructure set in place for that.
In this area, we have planned 15 picnic shelters throughout the entire park, but there's a very large one right here which is a family picnic shelter, has a fireplace. All of our picnic shelters have electricity, water and ceiling fans in them. We have the shuffle board, bocci ball and horseshoe pits over here. One of our gardens is a butterfly garden. We have actually three play areas. We have the one that I mentioned here, which has already been installed, and then we have two more. This one is going to be a community build and financed through the downtown Kiwanis club. And then we have a third one over in this area which is going to be an accessible tree house, which we have received a grant for that. But that will happen within the next 18 to 24 months.
As you come around here, we have four different gardens, all focused on different things and all, of course, completely accessible. We have two different restroom areas out in this area. There's one here, which is a smaller restroom and then there's one over here which we refer to as a respite center. So it's all heated and air conditioned so that anybody that â€‘â€‘ 80 acres is quite a hike to walk from one end to the other. And a lot of people with different levels of disability, specifically spinal cord injuries, we learned from one of our convenings that there's only a certain amount of time that this gentleman can be outside and his body won't tell him but he knows okay, it's 85 degrees, there's not a cloud in the sky, there isn't any breeze, I can last 15 minutes and I have to be into air conditioning. And so that's why we put that out in this area. And so it's kind of like a rest stop area in that you come in an and there's a little rest area that is there that you can get out of the elements, whether it be hot or cold.
This entire area here is just 8 acres of a great lawn, just open space, green grass and just an area for everybody to just go fly a kite, hang out, do whatever.
As you come around here, we have another area, this map shows that there's a wind turbine there, but actually our wind turbine has been relocated to this area. And that wind turbine, it is projected that it will create enough electricity, all of the electricity that we will need for Aaron's pavilion right here.
By relocating our amphitheatre to this back area, what we'll be able to do is have concerts and have â€‘â€‘ be able to seat â€‘â€‘ it's estimated at about 3,000 people in this area.
Now, for the trails, if you look at all of these like white lines that go around, that is our 2â€‘1/2 miles of urban trail. And that is the focus of this grant of trying to get people to navigate.
So that's an overview and a very condensed version, I will add.
So in our wayfinding element, in designing our navigation system, we've narrowed it down that what we need to do is incorporate signage, maps, some sort of directional devices as well as transportation because as I mentioned, getting from one end to the other can be quite a hike.
And also what we needed to do is be able to inform our park guests of where they are, where they want to go and how to get there.
And that's a big challenge.
In that, what we did is we held several convenings with community stakeholders through numerous different agencies as well as our future park guests. And our plan has â€‘â€‘ is now complete, and it includes the auditory directions, a wayfinding system, our pathway, that 2â€‘1/2 mile trailway is directional with color and texture. We do have some, a special transportation system and an emergency call system. And these things are all as a part of the Access to Recreation grant.
I'll start with our 2â€‘1/2 mile trailway system. This shows just the trailway. And it is color coded. The color coding is one of the really unique features that we came up with. And we learned that of all of the different features that need to be incorporated in our trailway, that if we did color coding, what that would do would really be assistive for individuals with any type of cognitive challenges to be able to navigate. And then in addition to that, when you look at this, that's a lot of trail. We sat back and evaluated it and thought when you get to certain thresholds of this, of the walkway, how are you going to know if you have a visual impairment, how are you going to know that you could go right or left? And so what we did is we developed a system at these thresholds or the Y's in the road that include directional tiles. In the colors that we're using, we're using colors that are natural and pleasing. And then what we did is any of the pathways that lead out of the park that would go like to the parking lot for example, we left those all natural concrete. So you know if you're not on a beautiful color of concrete, then you're getting out of the safe zone.
What we did for our directional tiles is we used a combination of the universally used tactile tiles as warnings. And then followed by directional imprints that identify right and left.
For our transportation, what we have is we worked with different engineers, and they donated all of their services. We have speciallyâ€‘designed trams that will accommodate wheelchairs and seating to. And they also include a canopy top, which you can see here, and then also incorporated underneath that are water misters. Because, again, if you keep in mind that we're transforming farmland, the only trees that are out there are trees that we have planted, which we've made great strides in that and we've planted over 1,000, but it's going to take some time before they actually provide the shade needed. So we thought in the meantime, our tram needed not only a roof, but then also we added the misters on there.
In addition to that, again, to repeat myself but it's very important and something that just kept coming on the forefront of our planning stages is that 80 acres, that's quite a distance to go from one end to the other. So what we did is we incorporated like a code blue type system. It's located throughout the park. And all of these polls are strategically placed right near our park trail lighting. And in addition to the code blue type pole, our security, both of these being interactive and very highly visible. All of these are controlled in our main building back at Aaron's pavilion. Our communications system is designed so that with a single touch on the wireless voiceover, it's a wireless Voice over IP system that goes right back to Aaron's pavilion. And the call button simultaneously activates a blue strobe light on the top so that we know who is initiating the call.
Once we â€‘â€‘ once somebody hits that and alerts our staff, then we can talk with them and communicate and find out whether it is that they're just lost out there in the park or it is an emergency.
Another thing that we needed was a means of communicating. And when we originally wrote our grant, our original plan was to purchase TTY systems, which are electronic devices for text communication, but it's utilizing a telephone line. This means of communication is for individuals with hearing challenges or complete hearing loss and/or speech challenges.
We learned through our research that there are many more advanced and userâ€‘friendly systems on the market. So we narrowed our selection down to two products. And the two products are Interpretype and Ubi Duo. This is the picture of the Ubi Duo system. We had both of the companies ship us samples. And our staff experimented with them and also we went out to some of our key stakeholders. And we have made the decision that we will be purchasing the Ubi Duo system. It's portable. It's wireless. It's batteryâ€‘powered. It's a standâ€‘alone communication device that will facilitate faceâ€‘toâ€‘face communication with the two displays and the keyboards, but then also can help communicate â€‘â€‘ provide communication with two to four people at once.
There's also an additional feature that you can hook it up through a USB cord to someone using a telephone and having one at the other end, and you can communicate that way, as well.
So if somebody had one of these and they lived in Kettering, Ohio, they could contact us at Aaron's pavilion in Southwind Park and we could communicate that way. And then also, by both hooking up our USB cords, and also it could be printed out.
So we really liked all of those additional features.
The other thing that we did is our original plan was to purchase and install signage throughout the park that would include audio activation by a motion sensor. The signage also was to have incorporate "you are here" information as well as different descriptions of various park features.
After research, we learned that several of the Disney properties had similar signage like that. And we talked with Disney. And we really gained a lot of insight and knowledge that this type of signage is and can be effective; however, there are several things that existed at our physical location that could interfere. And one is the amount of wind in the area. And the volume, how are we going to control the volume? And then also you saw in our original plan that we have a lot of different activities that are going on and that it could potentially disturb the other activities at one time.
So what we did is we continued our research, and we came up with a solution that we believe is actually even more beneficial, more intuitive and informative and userâ€‘friendly than that and that's a handâ€‘held unit. What this does is provide a video tour guide that automatically delivers multimedia content to our park guests as they approach with preprogrammed GPS coordinates. And you also can manually access it. This will be â€‘â€‘ this handâ€‘held device is allowing our park guests to know where they are and also provides information about various features and educational components.
So in addition to that, what we will have are "you are here "map and signs that are located throughout the park and actually we were included on the signage conference call that Jennifer putting to with Kettering, Ohio. And we are both facing â€‘â€‘ asking a lot of the same questions of what our signage should include.
What we did that's really, really unique with this GPS handâ€‘held device, we have prepared the specs, and it is officially going to our board and will be going out for bid in mid September. So we have not purchased it yet. But one of the things that we did is our park is going to continually grow and we will add features.
Another thing that we were fearful of is although we're sitting here today and we think that these are the important parts of the park, once it gets into our guests' hands and they go out and use it, we may find that we missed something. Or this guest found that this feature actually is a lot more important than the one you have highlighted.
So what we wanted was the ability and flexibility to modify this video tour. So we teamed with University of Illinois Springfield and their multimedia group over there, and they are going to actually be producing our walking tours. And then what we can do â€‘â€‘ and that is the way we are resolving, as Kettering Ohio said they were suggesting that they had four different buttons, they're considering the four different seasons. What we are able to do is modify ours with the luxury of having this multimedia service over at the university.
This was our groundbreaking of our building. We really feel that overall, we have gone to great lengths to really think of everything. One of our biggest fears â€‘â€‘ and we literally lose sleep over it is that we forgot something. And we hope that's not the case. And if we did, that we have the flexibility to modify it.
The Access to Recreation grant funds have offered us a very unique opportunity to develop and purchase features that otherwise we would not have been funded. We would not have had the opportunity to add these features that we think are really, really going to be an attribute to our guests' experiences. We're extremely appreciative over the opportunity. And with all of our purchases, what we're doing is considering each component as a longâ€‘term investment. So our approach has been extremely comprehensive, not only in enriching for us but in turn we believe as a result will only benefit our park guests now and in the future as we continually update our system and add features to our park.
Great, thanks Diane. We're going to open it up for questions. I have a couple other examples regarding the signage conference call that we did a couple weeks ago.
One of the questions goes back to the GPS unit. And I just clicked back to that. Diane, and we've talked about this before, and some people might not be aware of this particular unit or the manufacturer. Can you talk about through your investigation what were some of the features that it didn't have in terms of accessibility? And I know you haven't actually officially selected it yet, but are you going to be working with the manufacturer to improve the access and use of it?
Yes. And it's a great question. And working with a municipality, we can't â€‘â€‘ any purchase over a certain dollar amount has to go out for bid. And I'm sure that a lot of people understand that that are on this conference. So the manufacturer that we have been working with is BarZ Adventures out of Texas. And they have been very, very cooperative. Very accommodating and have actually modified some of their hardware and software so that they are in complete compliance with ADA. And one of the things that we did is we have held several conference calls with them. And we included Jennifer in on one of those. And she actually discovered that one of our challenges was the hearing. And I can't remember, Jennifer, because that was over a year ago, but you were really specific about they didn't have an option to plug in a headset, as I recall.
Yeah. There are a couple. Because we've been working with the manufacturer, as well. Obviously people can see from the screen is that the GPS unit as it was originally described was a touch screen. So it didn't have any buttons on it. So our first concern when we evaluated it, the device, is that it didn't have any tactile buttons to indicate for a person with visual impairment or redundant buttons in order for a person with a visual impairment to use. Because for a person with low vision or no vision, obviously the GPS would be a great wayâ€‘finding tool for them. And so that was something that we talked about. And I think that your suggestion of how we could adapt it in the interim of the manufacturer, do you want to tell people what your idea was? Do you remember how we were going to make it accessible tactilely?
Yes. One of our suggestions is â€‘â€‘ and they're still exploring. There isn't a commitment yet from them that they can do this. But one of our suggestions was to take a plastic or a rubber overlay with the tactile. And it's similar to if you're at a checkout lane, you'll see, especially at an amusement park or a snow cone or dairy queen or something like that, a lot of those cash registers have a rubber overlay so that if there are any kind of spills or anything. And our thought to them and suggestion to them was to create something similar to that using that design as kind of a launching pad for how they could do it, opposed to individually remanufacturing every button there.
Right. And then the other things that we talked about with the manufacturer and we know they're still working on is that in order to comply with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act and the requirements for electronic and information technology, I think they're going to be adding a jack for a headset. That was one of the things we had talked about. And volume controls so that you could turn the volume up.
But one of the features that it does have the ability to do right now is the captioning. So if any audio that comes on the screen regarding the interpretive step that you're on provides both the captioning and it also has the ability to include a smaller video segment there that has the â€‘â€‘ I'm not sure who just did that, but I'm sorry, I just totally lost my train of thought â€‘â€‘ the sign language. If somebody were using sign language, I'm going to go back to Jacob, if you could go back and check out that chat, the attend he list there, make sure everybody is still there. If you go, I'm going to just skip ahead a couple to give people some more examples because, again, in your project is under construction, as well, is that we, because you guys were dealing with a lot of the same interpretive sign issues, that Kettering was dealing with, we had a conference call last month, and thanks, Jacob, and talked about how to use signage and how to plan for the signage because it's going to be such an integral part of both of the parks. And so what we did is a conference call similar to this where we showed some examples and both of your planning teams, between Kettering and Springfield, are working on this. And just to give you guys some examples, up in the leftâ€‘hand corner, we were talking about how can we give people an orientation about where they are in the park? And this first example up in the leftâ€‘hand corner. This is a raised line wall map that is out at Hawaii Volcanos national park. And the map here on the wall actually is raised line, very simple map. And it kind of gives a basic orientation of the island in this particular instance. It's trying to convey all of the different regions for the lava flow from the volcano there.
The next example here, this is a bronze raised map that was created for the Chicago botanic garden enabling garden. So that just basically gives a layout, a tactile layout of the enabling garden there so people can get an idea of where they enter the garden, what the different garden areas are, where the pavilion is. Especially for people with low vision or no vision, and again for people with cognitive impairments, it gives them another very simple way to get a greater orientation for the space that they're around and the wayfinding or route that they might take.
The last example â€‘â€‘
>> If I could interrupt there real quick. One of the things for us without mature trees, one of the things that we found is we're very intrigued by that type of signage, but we definitely would have to have a cover over the top of it because it would get so hot from the sun.
Excellent. I'm so glad you brought that up. That's obviously a concern for people, what kind of material in the outdoors and make it so that it withstands and is also still usable for people.
The other example that we have here on the lower left, this is an indoor example, but it's basically a floor plan. And this is out at the Cherokee heritage center in Oklahoma. And it's basically the visitors' center there. It gives the floor plan for the Trail of Tears exhibit. And so each exhibit there is labeled by the room, 1, 2, 3, 4. And then it also has an audioâ€‘described tour with the exhibit. So each sign, as you enter each exhibit room, has a number and a corresponding signage post that corresponds with this number of tracks on the audio tour. So that was another way that we were talking about including that information on the signage so that people would know where they were along the stop.
And then a couple other examples that we've talked about with the different parks is this is an example of another outdoor bronze raised threeâ€‘dimensional model here. And this is actually out at Yosemite. It's the lower Yosemite falls terrain there and it gives people where the valley lies in relationship to the falls.
The other thing we talked about in terms of signage is what's the content at the present time, what's the story you want to convey to people? And if you're going to go through the efforts of making something tactile or creating a tactile experience, how will it be meaningful and educational to people rather than just picking a pretty leaf or a pretty flower to make tactile, what is the story that you could also convey through a tactile experience?
And this is an example on the rightâ€‘hand side here. This is actually from the Indiana state museum where they have taken the educational content of talking about different frogs in the area and they've created frogs as a tactile experience where each species of frog is a three dimensional model. They're all placed next to each other so you have an idea of their relationship in terms of size and color. And then the audio component, each frog, if you press the button, you'll hear the croaking of each frog so that you can also hear how they're different from each other. So those were all the different types of ways to convey the information that we've talked about. And both of the projects are still working along in terms of what is the story they want to tell to get through the construction phases here to plan the signage element so that it's fully integrated into the park. But from there I'm going to open it up to questions if people have more questions do we have a few minutes to take more of those. The last slide here we have the contact information for the Kettering project in the Springfield projects. Scroll back here. I know that one of the questions, Todd, I'll go back to you is on your grass papers, people were wondering if you could run a snowplow over those. Do you have any information on that?
Yeah, you wouldn't really do that. A number of reasons. One it would be damaged just like a lawn. The other is there's really not going to be a lot of winter use out there as far as buses coming in with big programs and stuff. That was really just to turn around the bulk of the parking lot is traditional asphalt and that can be cleared like normal. But trying to plow that, that would damage any lawn.
And there was another question earlier, Diane, about I think it was with regard to your wind turbine, the kilowatts on the generator? Or how much power you think that that will run for?
Well, that also is out for bid right now. The engineers are projecting 10â€‘kilowatt.
And I have another one here, as well. I think this goes back to Todd. Can you talk a little about how the Staylock is applied? The question is whether it's tied to additional excavation or other surfacing required to be put down.
There's a little bit of excavation. There was primarily a woodland area with top layer of organic matter. Basically you cut down a few inches and get that heavy organic matter. I think we have four inches of subsoil and then about an inch and a half topping layer. So we'd want it a little bit high ever than just â€‘â€‘ higher, half an inch to an inch of grade. There's a little bit of excavating. But primarily organic matter but not getting into areas where you will be disrupting tree roots and stuff like that.
There is another question here, Diane, do you have pictures of the colored paths and the directional tiles? Or are you to that point yet?
We have about 75 percent of our walkways in. What they did is they waited to do the directional tiles last. So I do not have those. But as soon as we do, they will be up on our website. We anticipate that that would be â€‘â€‘ weather depending â€‘â€‘ would be within the next two to four weeks.
If anybody has anymore questions, we have time for a couple more. You can just submit those through the chatroom.
There's another question here between both projects, how wide are the pathways?
For Pondview, it was intended to be a little bit varying. We're shooting for an average of 6 feet. But we didn't like it to feel like it was a completely manicured path running through there. It may go from 5 to 7 and meandering a little bit through the trees of the but the bulk of it keeps it around 5â€‘1/2, 6 feet all the way through.
The majority of ours, ours are varied, also, but some are 10 feet and 15 feet wide. One of the reasons for that was that was required for emergency vehicles to be able to have access.
On some of the smaller arteries, just going from like off of one of the main trails to the restroom, for example, those are 8 feet.
And just before we wrap up here, closing questions to both of the projects. What's the single biggest lesson?
MARY BETH THAMAN
Biggest lesson? To adapt the park to be universally designed in an existing public park. I think there's the dynamics. And anyone who is on this call would understand the dynamics of the neighborhood parks are incredibly embraced here in our community. And changing even a natural area, I think perceptions of trails and accessible applications, I think there's a sense of the purist. I think I talked about this earlier. The purist that thinks that this is defacing nature versus trying to make a park universally designed that has, I guess, the applications that are necessary to do that.
So I think that was the biggest lesson I had learned with this project. And that may or may not be the case if you were trying to do an adaptive project in another type of park. But your naturalist park, that's what I feel. And also I think quite frankly, I think there is incredible continued need for education for universal design. And I think there's a lot of people, like I said before, if they have not been exposed to people with a disability, those people are invisible to them. That's my feeling on it. And so I think our project allowed for all of this to be incorporated into a beautiful story that will ultimately change everyone's lives in terms of accessibility.
Great. Thanks. Mary Beth. Diane, what about you over in Springfield?
Well, we've learned many, many lessons. I think the one that is most compelling to me personally is that because we're trying to be universal, even people on our planning committee, the need for everything to be accessible. Things that kind of frustrates me like if you go to a movie theater, if you are in a wheelchair, you are limited to go to one specific area. And if you're there with five of your friends, sorry, we only have room â€‘â€‘ two folding chairs. Just a minute, let me get the staff. Let me find the staff to find the key to get to the closet to bring the folding chair out. And, there, now we're ADA compliant. Well, that's not been our mind set. And so it amazes me how many people in the world today think that that's okay.
So by us having it all universally acceptable, one of the stigmas that have come with that and with our project that again is very frustrating is "oh it's a handicap park".
So what we are really trying to do is we are trying to modify human behavior. I agree with Mary Beth, I mean the more people we meet with, the more things we think about, it's just amazing to me and to our planning group of how many people don't think of these things and aren't really, even to this day, they say that they're ADAâ€‘compliant, but they really aren't. But then on the positive side, like what we learned with BarZ, is that once it was explained â€‘â€‘ and Jennifer, you were very instrumental in that â€‘â€‘ once it was explained, they want to modify and they want to be more universally acceptable.
But I think the overall lesson is just that it is a challenge to not only is it a challenge to try to modify human behavior, but there's a lot of fun and a lot of rewards in it, as well.
Great. Thanks. And Todd, I'm going to ask you as a design professional, what's been your biggest lesson out of this project other than the fact that I'm a pretty critical evaluator?
That critical eye was actually a great asset. It was great. I think the biggest thing I learned was you certainly got to look at design challenges through so many different eyes. And each one thing impacts another. For example, you may have a cantilevered planter that sticks out to allow someone in a wheelchair to roll under it, well, that cantilevered thing jetting out into a walk, then, may become a problem with someone visually impaired that could walk into the side of a planter. So you have to think about all of the layout of things and how to find the right compromise and provide accessibility throughout. So it was a great learning experience. Happy to be involved with it.
Great. Well, we hope that everyone enjoyed today's session. Unfortunately we're a little over and out of time for today. I'd like to take this time to thank our speakers, Mary Beth Thaman, Todd Wales and Diane Mathis for sharing their great projects with us. Their contact information is listed on this last slide. And a special thanks to the Michigan Recreation and Park Association Foundation for making the series available.
Today's session, the transcript and the archives for today's sessions will be posted both on the Access to Recreation.org website and on the ncaonline.org website later next week.
Again, we'd like to thank all of you that participated in either this session or our entire threeâ€‘part series. Again, you're going to be receiving an email shortly to complete the evaluation. And we hope that you'll also provide us with some suggestions for topics that we might consider for next year.
So in the meantime, thanks for joining us. Have a great rest of your day. And go play. Go find a trail to walk on. So thanks, everybody. 2:40 p.m. Central.
* * * * *
This is being provided in a roughâ€‘draft format. Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) is provided in Order to facilitate communication accessibility and may not be a totally verbatim record of the proceedings.
* * * * *