New all-terrain trackchairs improve Hormel nature center trail use

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(ABC 6 News) – For 50 years, the Hormel nature center in Austin has made an effort to make sure everyone can enjoy nature.

Thanks to some donations, the center now has all-terrain trackchairs available for free use. Donors and the Friends made a nearly $41,000 investment in three trackchairs – an idea proposed by Jon Kittleson of Austin – to allow those with cognitive or physical disabilities limiting their mobility to have better access at the center’s nearly 530 acres of woods, prairie and creeks. Just under one mile of the center’s trails have a paved surface.

They’re made for those who have limited mobility so they can explore more than ten miles of trails. The user can control the chair or have someone walk with them controlling it.

"We all know somebody who could benefit from something like this and that’s why I think the fundraising for this was so easy and went so well the community stepped up. I’m just so proud of Austin and excited to see how much these things get used," Jay C. Hormel nature center director Luke Reese.

The chairs will also be available to students who come to the center for a field trip.