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Custom benches being auctioned off to benefit Autism Nature Trail at Letchworth

The benches have been announced to help fundraise the end of the trail's construction - which is planned for the fall of 2021.
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Posted at 11:33 AM, Aug 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-31 17:49:28-04

CASTILE, N.Y. (WKBW) — The Autism Nature Trail, or ANT, has announced its completion is set for the Fall of 2021 in Letchworth State Park.

The trail - which has been created to be a completely adaptive experience for all those struggling with any type of physical or mental challenge, includes stations scattered across the trail to experience nature in new ways - as well as wheelchair and stroller accessible ground. A full showcase of the features can be found here.

"We are so excited to bring this one-of-a-kind project to completion and have a space in Letchworth State Park that is uniquely suited to all individuals," said Loren Penman, Co-Founder of The Autism Nature Trail.

In order to add a final touch to the work, and to assist in final fundraising, custom hand-made benches are being auctioned off to benefit the Autism Nature Trail.

Officials say that while the Austim Nature Trail at Letchworth is close to completion but you still have a chance to be part of its legacy.

From August 27 to September 2, The Campaign to Build The Autism Nature Trail (The ANT), will host an online auction seeking bids for six artist-created custom benches. The benches will be placed along the completed trail and each one features a carving of a different forest creature and storytelling element. They were created by artist Rick Pratt and his family.

  • The Raccoon Bench – With incredible detail, the artist has captured a raccoon family as they thoughtfully watch the world below.
  • The Owl Bench – Grace, tranquility and wisdom emanate from this golden-hued bench, inviting visitors to quietly reflect.
  • The Bunny Bench – As soft as a child's lullaby, these gentle creatures scamper through the forest's natural playground.
  • The Squirrel Bench – The intricate etchings of this bench add visual depth that is reminiscent of relief sculptures from ancient times.
  • The Butterfly Bench – With a touch of unexpected color, the artist has added joy and whimsy to this playful scene.
  • The Bird Bench – Visitors will marvel at the delicate detail as they trace their fingers over each notch and carving.

You can find pictures of the benches along with links to the auctions, which start at $5,000, here.

You are invited to bid on the specific bench you wish to sponsor. The winning bids will receive name recognition on the bench and a framed photograph of the bench once it is placed on the trail.

"This auction presents an opportunity to make a lasting contribution to a meaningful cause," Loren added.