New Mexicans with disabilities can enjoy their backyards with accessible landscaping
Now that the weather is improving, there is nothing better than putting some steaks or burgers on the grill and sitting out the back patio taking in the beauty of our gardens. Nothing beats the taste of a tomato or squash that has been grown, tended and picked by your own hand.
But for some people in New Mexico, their backyard is an obstacle course, and a handpicked tomato, no more than a dream. Many people with disabilities cannot enjoy their backyard, because they are simply not accessible. Things as simple as gardening, barbequing or even playing with their children in their own backyard become insurmountable tasks.
The Hilltop can help disabled veterans and others with disabilities with an accessible low maintenance landscape in which they can enjoy their families and pursue other outdoor activities. These outdoor activities improve quality of life and have intrinsic therapeutic value. Existing landscapes can be renovated to include these areas, but it is much easier to design these areas in the initial development of the project, whether it is commercial or residential.
Some of the things that can be included in an accessible landscape:
Making paths into the garden areas
- Paths must be wide enough to accommodate wheelchairs
- Made of concrete or pavers to facilitate movement
Building an accessible barbeque grill area
- A built in BBQ at the correct height will make it easy to grill
Building raised gardening areas
- Raise planting beds allow easy access to garden areas
- Raised provide visual stimulation at eye level
- Can be part of sensory garden
Providing a synthetic turf area where they can play with their children
- Synthetic turf areas are wheelchair-friendly and easy to maneuver
- Synthetic turf areas can be multi-functional, accommodating a putting green, croquet field, or outdoor physical therapy area
Other entertainment areas:
- Accessible fire pit
- Outdoor patio area
- Outdoor kitchens
- Accessible Horseshoe pit
- Sensory Garden
- Fountain area
- Therapeutic hot tub
The purpose of accessible landscape areas for people with disabilities is that they can have the same quality of life that is available to others. Whether it’s playing with their children or barbequing with their friends, accessible landscapes and gardens provide disabled persons with rich therapeutic environments.