Tony’s Trail is an award-winning, ADA trail in Maury County Park, TN. Tony Scott, former director of Maury County Parks and Recreation Department, conceived and pursued this ambitious project with the same steadfast determination he lived his life. Tony served as director of Maury County Parks & Recreation until he lost his battle with ALS, December 16, 2004. Tony’s love of the outdoors, the beauty and tranquility of nature, his respect for wildlife, and his unique perspective on the everyday challenges faced by those with special needs lead to the concept of this very special trail. Tony’s Trail was funded under an agreement with the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation and the Federal Highway Administration. Tony wanted everyone to enjoy and experience that which he loved. He knew, only then, can we develop and foster a greater respect for our natural environment
Tony’s Trail is unique and innovative. The trail is designed to accommodate a variety of mobility assistance devices including traditional and motorized wheelchairs and “Power Wheels” designed for very young children. It is the only trail in the region designed to accommodate the special needs of these groups. Tony’s Trail provides visitors an opportunity to enjoy quality leisure activities and interpretive learning in a safe and non-threatening environment designed to meet their needs.
Tony’s Trail provides a one of its kind educational opportunity. The trail was designed for a specific group with diverse members, and because the intent of the trail was not necessarily to provide exercise but to enhance the quality of lives, it provides the perfect opportunity for positive intergenerational activities and programs. Plans for creative arts and interpretive gardening projects are currently being developed.
Cooperation and collaboration between Maury County Parks & Recreation and numerous community groups was crucial in the realization of Tony’s Trail. Groups such as Kings Daughters, Maury County Sr. Citizens, Independent Opportunities, National Caregivers Support Group and the Maury County ESE Teachers served as advisors on the project. Culleoka School DECA Club, Maury County Bridle & Saddle Club, Maury County ALS Walk and Friends of Maury County Parks have contributed to trail enhancements. The wheelchair accessible portion of the playground was made possible by the Mount Pleasant and Columbia Civitan Clubs. The ADA accessible playground equipment was purchased by Leadership Maury.
Tony’s Trail offers both social and environmental benefits. A Maury Alliance community input study identified more facilities for the disabled, playgrounds specifically designed for persons with special needs, additional leisure facilities for persons with special needs, and additional leisure facilities for young children as high priority items. According to statistics released by the Centers for Independent Living, more than 19% of Maury County’s population is disabled, and 28% of these citizens are over the age of 65. According to statistics gathered by the Maury County Imagination Library, 6.7% of our population is under five years old. The Tennessee State Recreation Plan identified “making recreation trails available for people with disabilities” as a first priority in the South Central Division of the Middle Tennessee Planning Region, with “walking for pleasure” and “viewing natural scenery” identified as high demand activities in Tennessee. Tony’s Trail provides opportunities for these persons, their caregivers, assistants, family members and friends to enjoy quality leisure activities in a safe and non-threatening environment designed to meet their specific needs.
Tony Scott was not defeated by that which confined him. ALS could not hamper his spirit! His faith did not falter! He left us all better for having known him and his legacy of perseverance; therefore, it is to that legacy that Tony’s Trail is dedicated.
- A curbed, ten foot wide paved motorized accessible trail
- Accessible playground
- Accessible Restroom
Phase II will include several thematic, multi-sensory gardens to be located around the trail.
These gardens will include:
- A water garden – Stimulating the sense of sound/hearing
- A hanging/fragrance garden- Stimulating the sense of smell
- A raised garden planting/harvesting- Stimulating the sense of taste
- An art/texture garden- Stimulating the sense of touch
- A deck/nature garden- Stimulating the sense of sight
Assessable picnic tables and benches will be placed at strategic sites of interest and a new accessible restroom will be constructed.
They are still working on The Gardens surrounding The Trail…..Persons Or Groups Interested In assisting with the Accessible Gardens are encouraged to call or email Sonjalyn Dickson Rine at (931) 375-6103 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article was reprinted with permission. From Maury County Parks and Recreation