After seven long years of planning, the Autism Nature Trail was finally opened to the public (October 1, 2021).

The ANT (Autism Nature Trail) is the first self-guided tour of its kind in the United States. It was designed to address the sensory needs of people with an autism spectrum disorder with its 7 interactive stations.

The idea for the ANT was started by Loren Penman, Gail Serventi, and Susan Herrnstein. The 3 women helped raise $3.3 million, closing in on its $3.7-million goal. Sadly, Herrnstein passed away last Sept 5, 2021, which was just over 3 weeks before the ANT’s opening day.

Support for the ANT came from the nearby Perry Central School and Rochester’s Camp Puzzle Peace.

Meanwhile, some people came to the opening not to celebrate but to protest against Gov. Hochul’s COVID-19 mandates. They further clarified that they were not there to protest the Autism Trail opening.

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Photo Credit: Max Schulte – WXXI News