The Watertown Riverfront Park and Braille Trail is part of an initiative to increase recreational opportunities for people of all abilities.
WATERTOWN, MA – The Watertown Riverfront Park and Braille Trail held its grand opening Thursday, as part of the governor’s initiative to increase access to the state park system.
The park was designed by Sasaki Associates and Chester Engineers, who were supervised by the Department of Conservation and Recreation with the assistance of Perkins School for the Blind, and connects the community to the waterfront.
The Braille Trail is a quarter-mile loop within the park that wraps around a sensory garden, incorporating elements that emphasize touch, hearing and smell. The garden includes benches, stone walls, a canoe-like Mishoon boat and a musical marimba bench designed to look like a xylophone, where visitors can play music through the wooden slats.
The Braille Trail also has a guide wire to assist visitors with impaired vision. Different types of beads are placed along the wire to indicate the location of both Braille panels and seating; there are ten interpretive features along the trail written on granite posts in both English and Braille.
“Increasing access to the Commonwealth’s natural, cultural and recreational resources for people of all abilities to enjoy remains a high priority of our administration,” Gov. Charlie Baker said in a press release prior to the park’s opening. “I am excited for the opening of the Watertown Riverfront Park and Braille Trail, where visitors can appreciate the seamless blending of the park’s features with the natural surroundings for years to come.”