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It Happens Here: Acton's adaptive bike program opens recreation area to all

It Happens Here: Acton's adaptive bike program opens recreation area to all
It Happens Here: Acton's adaptive bike program opens recreation area to all 03:08


ACTON - The North Acton Recreation Area (NARA Park) is 1,600 hundred acres of space with a town beach, swimming spots, playing fields and an outdoor amphitheater.

It's open to all and that now includes Leslie Johnson. She's riding for the very first time down the nearby rail trail on a bike, thanks to the town's new adaptive bike program.

"I have a disability myself, so I can't ride on a two-wheel bike," Johnson told WBZ-TV. "When the rail trail got going and I was walking on the rail trail and I saw bikers and wished so badly that I could ride a bike on the rail trail."

So Johnson, a member of the town's Commission on Disabilities, asked the town to help her help the disabled get riding.

"I was feeling for the people. I wanted to see more people on the rail trail with disabilities enjoying it as much people who are fully able," she told WBZ.

That's when the recreation department and its' director Melissa Rier got moving. They got a state grant and got three special bikes - a handcycle, a recumbent bike and a stable trike with a back brace especially for a child.

"We have a lot of things that are about inclusion and that's really important to me and our department," Rier said. "We thought NARA would be a great spot because it's right by the rail trail so someone could rent a bike and go out on the rail trail and just ride."

Now these special bikes are ready for anyone to use. It's a new way to explore the town and a new chance to leave a physical limitation behind.

"It's good to be outside in the fresh air and getting some exercise and doing what other people are doing," Johnson said.

If you live in Acton, the bikes are free, and if you are from out of town you only have to pay $5.

You can't reserve the bikes, but you can call ahead to see if they are available. For more information, call (978) 929-6640 or email recreation@actonma.gov.

EMERGENCY COMPONENT - LOCAL

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