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Mr. Smarty Plants - Wheelchair access to the Wildflower Center from Converse TX

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Saturday - March 09, 2013

From: Converse, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Wildflower Center
Title: Wheelchair access to the Wildflower Center from Converse TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Hi. I hope you can help. I've written two emails to the Contact Dept but to no avail in receiving a response. I wanted to know if wheelchairs can access the flower fields and the trails? I get the feeling from your website that the fields and trails are not easily travelled by wheelchair. Thank you.

ANSWER:

We are sorry you have been unable to get your questions answered. On our main page wildflower.org, look under the "Visit"  tab.

You might first want to look at an interactive map of the Gardens. You will, of course, get a map of the gardens when you enter the Center. You can get an online tour by clicking on the Audio Tour on that page. Still under the "Visit" tab on the Home Page of the Center, click on Gardens. This will give you a series of small articles about each segment of the Center. You can click on the Learn More tab under each of those articles to get more information on that portion of the Gardens.  Here are Pictures of regular trails through the various portion of the Gardens. Another picture shows you the Display Gardens.

Now, all that being said, it is always our goal to make every part of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center accessible to everyone. There are Handicapped parking spaces near the front entrance. There is then a rock walkway (which is quite accessible by wheelchairs) from the entrance into the Courtyard, also rock paved. If you follow the walkway around to either your right or your left you will come to ramp entrances to the Courtyard, the Store, the Gallery, the Cafe and restrooms. From there, most of our trails are decomposed granite, well kept up and wide. As you go into the Display Gardens, there is a paved ramp to your left that will take you to the Homeowners Gardens. There are paved walkways on both sides of the Display Gardens but not between the individual gardens themselves.

Frankly, movement on those decomposed granite walkways is a function of the design of the wheelchair, the weight of its occupant and the strength of the attendant pushing the wheelchair. If it has been raining a lot (sadly, not very likely) the non-paved trails could be difficult. There are trails through the meadows themselves, but the meadows are also visible from various points around the Center, including the Oculis (close to the Gallery) as well as inside the Gallery. We believe the wheelchair occupant could get easily to points where he or she could easily see all portions of the property, if not actually close enough to touch every single one.

One more word: we are presently entering our Wildflower Days, when the Center is open 7 days a week. You would be well-advised to come during the week, if possible, and early in the day because of the tremendous numbers of visitors we entertain  during the beautiful Texas Spring. Parking can be a problem.

We have to tell you this is not an expert opinion of the accessibility, but from a volunteer who has pushed a heavy man in a wheelchair many places (though not the Center itself) and has worked and led tours in the Center for 8 years. We hope you will find your visit to the Wildflower Center as welcoming as we do, all the time!

 

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