Have you seen the new sensory wall at Wildwood Preserve in Homewood?
Hayden Thomason, a soon-to-be Eagle Scout, built the sensory wall and a new trail at Wildwood Preserve. Hayden is a 10th grader at Homewood High School and a Life Scout for Troop 97 under Trinity United Methodist Church who has been scouting since third grade. “I wanted to complete my Eagle Scout at Wildwood Preserve due to its location. It’s a local trail network near my house and where I hang out,” Hayden says. The new trail is approximately 0.25 mi long and creates a loop with an existing trail at the preserve.
Hayden wanted to build a structure at the preserve and came up with the idea to make a sensory wall: a tactile surface created to provide an immersive sensory experience. With the help of volunteers, Hayden recently completed the wall and trail loop. Sensory walls have been found to improve cognition and motor skills and are designed to have a calming effect for children on the autism spectrum. This particular sensory wall focuses on auditory stimulation.
“The sensory wall was a perfect solution to needing a permanent structure. It gives kids and adults a chance to make sounds and be themselves.”
In addition to being a Scout who serves his community, Hayden is an avid outdoorsman and athlete.
“I have always been interested in the outdoors, from running to biking. I love being outdoors through cycling, mountain and road, to running for the cross country and track team at Homewood. I have also been to high adventuring bases in scouting: Northern tier in Minnesota, and Kandersteg International Scout Centre in Switzerland.”