Pathways Park: Demonstrating the Power of Diversity and Nature

Mobile Workshop

Explore the newly opened Pathways Park, a park that began with a dream to build a space that celebrates the power of diversity and nature.
Meet the community organizers and teen advisors behind The Eli’s Park Project (renamed Pathways Park in May 2022), who recognized that too many people of all ages, backgrounds, abilities, and identities feel excluded. From the beginning, their goal was to engage the people whose voices are often not heard and to lead an authentic and genuine community engagement process. The journey to bring Pathways Park to reality has captivated a diverse group of people all working for the same thing – a place where we all belong.
Explore the two pathways that encircle the park, winding together in parallel experiences of places and play. One path remains easily accessible for those who need smooth surfaces to navigate the park safely, while the other meanders off and loops back to offer various experiences for those seeking challenges as they explore. Sensory experiences and play pockets will invite children and adults of all abilities to strengthen their bodies, expand their minds, and enrich their senses. Nature weaves throughout the park with trees, gardens, and natural materials, with a ravine overlook providing an accessible perch for an immersive nature-based experience.
The approximate $5 million project was funded through a combination of private and public contributions. Imagine what’s possible in your community when you strive to be inclusive for all.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

  • Identify the inclusive engagement & design process that centered the voices of those who have the least access to nature and inclusive places in this community.
  • Recognize the difference between ADA-designed spaces and spaces designed to be truly accessible and inclusive for all ages, abilities, and identities.
  • Recognize how engaging a diverse range of perspectives helped design elements that offered the greatest inclusion, ensuring that every park user feels safe and enjoys a high-quality experience. 
  • Discuss strategies to involve individuals whose voices are frequently overlooked, how to lead an authentic and genuine community engagement process, and examine the significance of amplifying underrepresented voices and fostering inclusivity within community initiatives.