New dementia-friendly trail opens at Woowookarung Regional Park
Tuesday 13 July, 2021
Australia’s first dementia-friendly forest and sensory trail is now open in Ballarat’s Woowookarung Regional Park, offering a gentle and inclusive way to see, smell, touch and hear nature.
Anne Tudor and local MP Michaela Settle open the trail. Photo Credit: Parks Victoria
Meandering through native bushland on Wadawurrung Country, the $440,000 trail is designed to evoke positive memories, feelings and sensations for people living with dementia at a range of different stopping places.
The project was initiated by Ballarat local Anne Tudor, an advocate for dementia-friendly communities and co-founder of the Bigger Hearts Dementia Alliance Ballarat.
Accessible for wheelchairs and carers, assistance dogs, and groups from residential aged care facilities, the trail offers visitors an experience in nature that can be enjoyed in different ways as their journey through dementia progresses.
The trail meanders through the native bushland of Woowookarung Regional Park. Photo Credit: Parks Victoria
Built by Parks Victoria, the trail was co-designed with people living with dementia and their carers, Ballarat community health groups, the Department of Health and Human Services, and Dementia Australia. Funding was also provided by Parks Victoria major project partner CDC Victoria and supporting partners CMV Truck & Bus and Volvo Bus Australia.