The Audio-Reader Sensory Garden
The garden on the grounds of the Baehr Audio-Reader Center in Lawrence is filled with flowers, herbs, and accessories to delight the senses. Plants with interesting textures, such as Lamb's Ear, intermingle with fragrant leaves of mint and lavender. The sounds of wind chimes join the chirping of birds visiting the feeders. Plants are in raised beds, making a hands-on experience easy for pedestrians and wheelchair users. A winding brick pathway leads from the house, past the raised beds, to the pavilion. The garden is open to the public, and groups are welcome. Please contact us to make an appointment for a tour, or to find out more about the garden.
Baker University Wetlands Discovery Center
The Baker Wetlands features a 927-acre nature area on the south side of Lawrence, Kansas. It has over 10 miles of trails, and the Baker Wetlands Discovery Center includes a boardwalk that is wheelchair-accessible and provides a great opportunity for nature lovers with mobility limitations to view natural habitats. The indoor Discovery Center is fully accessible with a viewing area, exhibitions, a meeting room, and restrooms.
Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department Community Garden
The Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department Community Garden focuses on providing healthy food options for the local community. There are four large 2-foot-tall raised beds, two wheelchair-accessible raised beds, and accessible signage that includes large, clear pictures, ADA-approved text, and Braille label. These features are designed to accommodate people with limited mobility, such as wheelchair users, as well as people with visual impairments.
Information about using the garden is available on Lawrence HD Community Garden Facebook or by calling the Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department at 785-843-3060.
Address: 200 Maine St, Lawrence, Kansas
Website: Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department Community Garden
The Lawrence Loop is a project that, when completed, will provide a continuous 22-mile trail around the city limits. The Public Works and the Parks and Recreation Department are working together to develop the Lawrence Loop as an amenity for the community - as of spring of 2021, over 85% of the Loop is completed. The trail is wide and paved, and much of it is flat and easy to negotiate. Some of the best sections for people with mobility limitations are the Burcham Park segment near downtown, which runs along the Kaw River, and the Burroughs Creek Trail, on the east side of Lawrence. As of April, 2021, city staff are assessing the loop for slope and cross-slope and a digital map will be available later this year, noting the most accessible segments, as well as parking, water fountains, and other amenities. A map of the completed segments is posted on the website.
See you on the Loop!
Lawrence Rotary Arboretum
The arboretum includes a wide, flat, paved walking path that encircles a pond, several gazebos with accessible picnic tables, tree species that are marked and identified, and beautiful plantings. There is an area designated as a butterfly habitat, an opportunity to fish, and a nearby path through a grassy meadow that winds up at Clinton Lake (about 1.5 miles from the Arboretum parking lot to the lake). Three accessible parking spaces and an accessible restroom are available. This park is a wonderful addition to the Lawrence parks system.
Lone Star Lake Park is located approximately 10 miles southwest of the City of Lawrence. It has an accessible fishing dock with an adjacent accessible parking stall, and an accessible bathroom and shower with accessible parking area near a beach.
Rockefeller Prairie Trail
The Rockefeller Native Prairie is home to many field research projects, as well as the 0.4-mile, ADA-compliant Rockefeller Prairie Trail and the Kaw Valley Overlook deck, which was built by KU architecture students and provides a panoramic view of the Kansas River valley. The trail is paved with cement for accessibility, has benches and visual graphics/maps, and features an accessible restroom at about the halfway point.
Ryan Gray Playground for All Children
This playground is a fully accessible community playground located at Hillcrest Elementary in Lawrence, KS. It was built in honor of Ryan Gray, a former Hillcrest student with disabilities who passed away in 1990. The Ryan Gray Playground has the honor of also being the first fully accessible playground in the state of Kansas. It features a circular design and engaging play structures that enable children to play together. Signs and panels include directions in Braille.
Address: 1045 Hilltop Dr. | Lawrence, KS 66044
Website: Ryan Gray Playground for All Children
Special Populations Programs at Lawrence Parks and Recreation Department
This program provides adapted and integrated leisure recreational activities for all individuals with disabilities, particularly those with IDD. A monthly newsletter is available that describes a summer camp and special events such as coffeehouses, and trips. The special populations programs stive to make a positive impact be enhancing the lives of each participant and their families.
Contact Person: Annette Deghand
Address: 115 West 11th St. | Lawrence, KS 66044
Website: Special Populations Programs Information at the Lawrence Parks and Recreation
Sports Pavilion at Rock Chalk Park
This facility is a premier sports, fitness and recreation center owned by the City of Lawrence and operated by the Lawrence Parks and Recreation Department (LPRD). It features accessible parking, restrooms, and locker facilities. The health promotion area available to city residents includes a track for walking/wheeling, several pieces of accessible aerobic equipment, including a Scifit Upper Body Machine (arm crank) and two NuStep Recumbent Cross-Trainer (seated elliptical machine), and standard weight training equipment.