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NWP Global Registry of Apprentice Ecologists - Tillie K. Fowler Regional Park, Jacksonville, Florida, USA

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Tillie K. Fowler Regional Park, Jacksonville, Florida, USA
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Registered: December 2008
City/Town/Province: Jacksonville
Posts: 1
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Tillie K. Fowler Park in Jacksonville, Florida, had a wheelchair ramp from an elevated boardwalk to a historic road which did not meet current Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) regulations. The old wheelchair ramp, which met only the width and handrail regulations, was deconstructed and a new ramp was built that met all of the ADA requirements.

I was looking for an Eagle Scout project. All of my volunteer work up to that point had been environmental in nature. I wanted to do a project that would contribute to the community in such a way as to allow for a greater experience of nature by all.

I worked with several agencies, including the city parks system, the Navy at NAS/JAX, my troop leader, and the scouting council, to get approval. I recruited and coordinated volunteers from my troop, from other scout troops and from the St. Johns River Water Management District’s Watershed Action Volunteer program. Then, with the help of my father and the volunteers, we constructed a 25-feet long ADA-approved wheelchair ramp.

Tillie Fowler Park features wetlands, native vegetation, nature trails, picnic areas, a playground, a butterfly garden and a nature center. An elevated boardwalk runs through the park with an opening to the park’s ½-mile brick historic road trail, which was heavily used during troop training in World War I. The old ramp, which connected the boardwalk to the road, did not meet current ADA guidelines; it was too steep, making it difficult for those in wheelchairs to access the historic brick road and some of the nature trails in the park. The project served to benefit the park in that the new ramp was brought into ADA compliance, allowing the park to officially (and practically) be “wheelchair accessible”. This has brought awareness to, and helped to open the park up to those who could not access or enjoy the park before.

The activity began as search to find an Eagle Scout project beyond the regular call of duty. Because of my love and appreciation for the outdoors, and my desire for others to appreciate it as well, building a new wheelchair ramp worked out to be the perfect project.
· Date: December 31, 2008 · Views: 4888 · File size: 65.1kb, 439.2kb · : 1500 x 1125 ·
Hours Volunteered: 288
Volunteers: 11
Authors Age & Age Range of Volunteers: 13 to 56
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