Providing access to nature, Red Mountain Park opens Butler Snow Sensory Trail

Red Mountain Park
Red Mountain Park
Ribbon cutting at Red Mountain Park’s Butler Snow Sensory Trail. Photo by Pat Byington for Bham Now

Today, Red Mountain Park held a ribbon cutting at its new Butler Snow Sensory Trail located on the grounds of the 1500 acre nature preserve.

Red Mountain
Photo by Pat Byington for Bham Now.

The Butler Snow Sensory Trail is designed for children and adults with developmental differences, people with low vision and/or low hearing and for those who use wheelchairs. The trail provides easy access to nature that is inclusive and welcoming to all.

The .14 miles trail is located near the entrance of Red Mountain Park along the Birmingham Mineral Railroad South Trail. It includes 14 activities, a comfort zone, and a pergola with swinging benches, along with sensory bags that contain items to help with sensory over-stimulation and include ear buds, sunglasses, and fidget toys.

Red Mountain Park’s Butler Snow Sensory Trail. Photo by Pat Byington for Bham Now

For guests who use wheelchairs, the sensory trail was designed to be accessed with the Park’s off-road NOMAD wheelchair, available for reservation at no cost.

Before cutting the ribbon on the trail this morning, Angie McEwen with Butler Snow shared, “The Butler Snow Foundation was able to provide the seed funding for the Butler Snow Sensory Trail. The foundation is the charitable arm of the Butler Snow law firm and we have been fortunate to provide support for several projects in communities where our partners live and work. We have had the privilege of awarding over $1 million in grants for projects like the one you’ll see today.”

Along with Butler Snow’s financial support  numerous local Birmingham organizations were involved in the development of the trail.

Red Mountain Park’s Butler Snow Sensory Trail. Photo by Pat Byington for Bham Now

They included:

Lakeshore Foundation, Autism Society of Alabama, Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind, Red Barn, Exceptional Foundation, United Ability, Alabama Pediatric Therapy Services, Mitchell’s Place, Triumph Services, UAB Occupational Therapy, CAWACO, Samford University and the Boy Scouts of America.

Red Mountain Park’s Butler Snow Sensory Trail. Photo by Pat Byington for Bham Now

Monica Romano, Director of Philanthropy for the Park, said, “Red Mountain Park is built by the community, for the community, and this trail is a perfect example of that.  It was through the generosity of the Butler Snow Foundation that the spark ignited, but then the community got to work!”

Open today

The new trail is open during Red Mountain Park operating hours. Contact Red Mountain at http://www.redmountainpark.org if you have any questions.

Author: Pat Byington

Longtime conservationist. Former Executive Director at the Alabama Environmental Council and Wild South. Publisher of the Bama Environmental News for more than 18 years. Career highlights include playing an active role in the creation of Alabama's Forever Wild program, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Dugger Mountain Wilderness, preservation of special places throughout the East through the Wilderness Society and the strengthening (making more stringent) the state of Alabama's cancer risk and mercury standards.