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Marcy Marchello

Marcy Marchello

Universal Access Program Coordinator, Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR)

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Harris family

Come out and kicksled, ski, snowshoe and ice skate with DCR’s Universal Access Programs this winter!

These opportunities make it possible for people with disabilities to participate independently or with their friends and families in a wide variety of activities, making our state and urban park recreation programs more inclusive. Each program offers assistance from friendly DCR staff and free use of recreation equipment.

We recently heard from the Harris family of Greenfield who said they had a great time at Wendell State Forest with their son, Nathan, who has autism. Nathan, his sister Autumn, and his parents Lisa and Steve Harris are pictured above and below.

“Our first Universal Access Program was the best day our family has ever had playing together,” said Nathan’s mother, Lisa. “We were able to sled skate and play hockey, and we had a great time. We were even able to have some rare family photographs taken with all smiles!”

Lisa said she never thought the family would snowmobile together. “Zooming along out on the trails, I looked back to see everyone smiling and Nathan, looking with saucer-shaped eyes, putting his two little mittens together signing ‘More’,” she said. “The Universal Access Program provides exactly the opportunity our family needs to bond and create some positive and happy experiences together. Believe me when I say these are treasured moments for us.”

Harris family snowmobiling

Upcoming events include cross country skiing, kicksledding and snowshoeing at the Weston Ski Track in Weston on January 31 and February 7 and 14. Mt. Tom State Reservation in Holyoke is hosting winter activities events on January 16, and February 17 and 27. Activities are also scheduled this winter at Wendell State Forest in Wendell, Asiaf Rink in Brockton and Cronin Rink in Revere. Click here for a complete activities schedule.

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