The South Carolina Department of Disabilities and Special Needs recently marked a milestone with a groundbreaking ceremony for its upcoming interactive sensory garden at the Whitten Center in Clinton.
With a budget of $730,000, this transformative project is set to revolutionize the way individuals with disabilities and special needs experience outdoor spaces.
The innovative sensory garden will feature a range of carefully planned elements to engage the senses and create an inclusive environment. Envisioned components include a fountain, outdoor musical instruments, swing benches equipped for wheelchair access, water misters to provide relief on hot days, and various other interactive features designed to enhance the sensory experience for all participants.
Constance Holloway, the State Director of DDSN, emphasized the importance of dispelling assumptions that may limit the opportunities for people with disabilities or special needs. Holloway highlighted how this garden will showcase their abilities and demonstrate their potential to engage in a wide array of activities. She emphasized the joy of connecting with nature and partaking in the enriching experiences the interactive sensory park will offer.
Linda Lee, a key contributor to this long-anticipated project, shared her enthusiasm for the diverse sensory features that will cater to different residents’ needs, including her daughter Chrissy, a long-time resident at the Whitten Center. The aim is to enhance the residents’ quality of life and create an inclusive space where the community can come together and share in these enriching experiences.
Eddie Miller, the chairman of DDSN, reiterated the agency’s dedication to assisting those who need support, underscoring their commitment to ensuring the welfare and empowerment of individuals with disabilities and special needs.
The Whitten Center’s groundbreaking ceremony was attended by Senator Danny Verdin, who expressed his support for the initiative stating, “This sensory garden is a testament to the progress we’re making in enhancing the lives of individuals with disabilities and special needs. It’s a step forward in creating a more accessible environment for the residents as well as the greater community.”
Amidst celebrating the Whitten Center’s 103rd birthday, the garden is expected to be fully completed by February 2024.