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Buffalo Ridge Elementary garden accessible for everyone

By Patte Smith; photos courtesy of BRE and The City of Castle Pines

Principal Jen Murdock-Jacoway talks with BRE students

Principal Jen Murdock-Jacoway explains the meaning to the students of Americans with Disabilities Act and the importance of ADA accessibility for all individuals.

The City of Castle Pines partnered with Buffalo Ridge Elementary (BRE) in upgrading the school’s garden pathways. Students were welcomed with a surprise when they returned to the classroom on August 9. Working over the summer, the City had the outdoor garden walkway areas refurbished to provide better access for all students.

City staff submitted a grant application to LiveWell Colorado for healthy lifestyle activities and was awarded $5,000 to use toward making Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)accessible improvements to the school garden.

Photo ADA accessible paths

ADA accessible paths throughout the BRE garden ensure that everyone gets to enjoy the nature of gardening.

“The garden is an excellent asset for Buffalo Ridge Elementary students, but there was a clear barrier to participation for disabled individuals,” noted Megan Palizzi, management analyst for the City. “It was important to improve the interior with ADA accessible paths so all students can enjoy the garden and learn about nutrition and stewardship. These improvements provide equitable access and ownership for all students, regardless of physical ability,” Palizzi continued.

The garden now features a light grey crushed stone path that replaced the previously dirt pathways. The path is much smoother and complements the natural aesthetic within the garden beds and overall area. The most important element of the path is that it meets current ADA regulations and requirements, and it makes the garden accessible to all students.

Photoo of the BRE garden prior to being renovated

The BRE garden prior to being renovated with access limited to some.



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