Wendell Foster’s Campus for Developmental Disabilities

Wendell Foster’s Campus in Owensboro, KY is a facility that serves individuals with any type of developmental disabilities or delay, primarily cerebral palsy and autism. Hawkins Partners, Inc. was selected to design a two-acre sensory park and playground that connects the Northern residential units to the remainder of the campus on the Southern end, making the campus more accessible to residents and staff alike.

A primary goal for the campus was to close the existing road and to make the pedestrian movement safer. The closure of the road created an opportunity to capitalize on the central location of the Young Community Center. The master plan provided a large gathering space to the front of the community center. Adjacent to the central pathway is a bioswale that helps to capture and treat stormwater, as well as feature a small pond/ water feature incorporating the sound of water and creating white noise. The path brings the residents past a custom designed playground that includes challenges for the various disabilities as well as play.

Another goal of the campus was to provide electric wheelchairs for all residents. The main pathways are accessible at 5% or less, however, the secondary routes incorporate varying degrees of grade and turns to provide additional experience for the residents.

Throughout the sensory park, local artwork is incorporated along the path and in many instances are interactive.