(Streetsboro, OH) – The Portage Park District partnered with the Autism Society of Greater Akron this past Sunday to host the 3rd Annual Halloween in the Park at Trail Lake Park in Streetsboro. Over 250 youth and their families attended this event to trick-or-treat in a supportive and accessible environment.
Halloween can be a challenging time for some individuals and families living with Autism and other developmental disabilities. Bright lights, loud noises, having to say “trick or treat” if you are nonverbal, social cues, changes in routine, and costumes that may be uncomfortable for sensory reasons can keep families from enjoying the holiday experience. This annual Halloween in the Park event offers a safe, inclusive and welcoming experience along Trail Lake Park’s ADA-grade asphalt paved trail.
The majority of the 20 vendors that provided treats and activities for visitors were businesses and organizations that offer services for families and individuals with developmental disabilities. Visitors participated at their own pace and could stop at photo stations, play sensory games, listen to a spooky story, or simply enjoy the panoramic views of fall colors in the park!
Portage Park District strives to ensure that all citizens are able to enjoy parks, trails, and programs. 57% of the park trails are ADA-accessible! In 2020, our staff partnered with the Autism Society of Greater Akron to participate in training to assist visitors who may have autism or other developmental disabilities and ensure positive park experiences for all. Portage Park District has also created social stories that visually illustrate what park visitors can expect during their visit to some of the parks.
The Portage Park District’s mission is to conserve Portage County’s natural heritage and provide opportunities for its appreciation and enjoyment. The park manages nearly 2,800 acres and offers a variety of free education programs. For more information and to register for upcoming park programs, visit www.portageparkdistrict.org or call 330-297-7728. Learn more about the Autism Society of Greater Akron by visiting www.autismakron.org.