The preserve has 125,000 visitors a year, 15 miles of trails and is the first residential environmental learning facility in the Midwest and Ohio’s first facility for education and rehabilitation of birds of prey, its application stated.
“For wheelchair riders, senior citizens, parents with small children, and many others, the scenic and historical resources of Glen Helen are out of reach,” the association stated in its application. “The COVID pandemic highlighted the need for, and importance of, more access to natural areas like Glen Helen. Not only do those with limited mobility deserve the opportunity to access nature, state and community groups are asking for this access. … Through our accessible trails project, we can welcome visitors with limited mobility who will gain improved access to the preserve’s trail system.”
The accessibility project goals are to:
- Improve accessibility at all points
- Designate an Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant trail
- Construct new ADA-compliant parking area off state Route 343
- Improve parking areas at Corry Street and the Raptor Center to make it ADA-compliant
- Install ramps to provide access to the Yellow Spring and Birch Creek Cascades
- Install or update bridges and boardwalks throughout the preserve
- Develop maps and signage to label accessibility barriers.