Officials at Woodrow Wilson Rehabilitation Center are hoping a special project is finished by year's end. It's the "Accessible Trail Project" and it promises to keep you from ever again taking nature for granted.
WWRC Director Rick Sizemore says, "Once it's fully developed, the community, as well as our students with disabilities, will be able to benefit from the accessibility and the nature and the opportunity for personal growth."
And there's already plenty of buzz among patients about the project.
"This trail means to me freedom, to be able to go out into the woods and go for a walk, or in my case a roll," says patient Tony Acevedo.
The trail is nearly halfway completed, but John Connelly says that's not stopping him from using what's already finished to help with his therapy.
"It gives me the ability to actually walk off road and enjoy nature the way God meant it to be. It's a tremendous benefit for me."
With roughly 2,100 more linear feet to go, Thursday was a special day for the rehab center. The Department of Conservation and Recreation committed to a $49,000 dollar grant that will help bridge a portion of the trail.
And Ms. Wheelchair Virginia, Buddy Hayes, was in town from Chesapeake to test her wheels on the new terrain.
"Anybody would enjoy this. But for someone with a disability who may not get out that often, it's even that much more important because they don't have a place to go to enjoy the outdoors that's accessible and this is going to be totally accessible and that will break down yet one more barrier."
Sizemore hopes the Accessible Trail Project will wrap up within the year. When it is all said and done, the community and Woodrow Wilson students will have a 3,500 foot linear trail, complete with fishing, boating, exercise and picnic facilities.