Buffalo Ridge Elementary garden accessible for everyone
By Patte Smith; photos courtesy of BRE and The City of Castle Pines
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.
“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.