PC – Special photo

Gwinnett County unveiled a sensory treehouse on March 22 along a 340-foot accessible walkway at the Gwinnett Environmental and Heritage Center.

The project, which used $4.5 million from the county’s SPLOST fund, had the intent of serving residents and visitors with intellectual and physical disabilities. The entire structure is ADA-accessible, which allows for wheelchair users to access an area in the forest that couldn’t be reached within conventional footpaths. 

“With inclusivity at the forefront of our initiatives, the treehouse enables our residents to connect with peers and develop lifelong skills related to science and nature,” Gwinnett County chairwoman Nicole Love Hendrickson said. “We strive to ensure that every member of our community can access resources without unnecessary barriers.”

The 20-foot-tall treehouse is surrounded by a viewing and activity platform with a high-hanging hammock. Visitors can use a circular audio-visual experience with a domed ceiling, which can be used for various teaching and entertainment purposes.. 

In addition, collaborations with the Gwinnett County Public School system will offer exhibits displayed along the walking trail. These provide multisensory environmental experiences for all ages with focuses on habitat, pollinators, animal adaptations and more.

“Gwinnett County is committed to the ongoing development of quality resources and programming that support our community,” District 4 Commissioner Matthew Holtkamp said. “These valued partnerships are essential to cultivating the well-being of our residents.”

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