The following is the fifth in a series of guides to accessibility of nearby National Park Service areas for handicapped visitors.
It is taken from a new National Park Service handbook called "Access National Parks, A Guide for Handicapped Visitors," which gives information not only on where obstacles to full accessibility have been eliminated, but where they still exist in almost 300 areas of the National park System.
Clara Barton National Historic Site - This home of the founder of the American Red Cross at 5801 Oxford Rd., Glen Echo, Md., was built in 1892. The house is entered by flights of steps at the front and rear and a flight of steps down to the basement on the side. Plans are being made to provide access for wheelchairs at least to the first floor. Fully accessible public restrooms are at nearby Glen Echo Park. (301)492-6246.
Glen Echo Park - Information on activities and facilities at the arts and cultural center at MacArthur Boulevard and Oxford Road in Glen Echo is available at the Glen Echo Gallery and from park personnel. The gallery has two steps at the entry, but staff members are available for assistance. Grading throughout the park is hilly. Ramps give entry to fully accessible restrooms next to the carousel, in the Adventure Theater across from the Experimental Children's Workship in the Campus Room.
Special permits are available to park in the staff lot at the top of the bill for persons attending classes. Entrances that may causes trouble for those with mobility difficulties are the pool area, sculpture building, woodshop, ballroom, writer's workshop and gallery.
The National Park Service offers a variety of arts and crafts courses and programs, including the puppet theater and educational experiences for handicapped children. A regular summer feature through Labor Day is a family Sunday outing called "Chauntanqua Summer," which offers dancing, music and artists at work.
The Children's Workshop is a year-round program involving special groups in a series of intensive study in the performing and applied arts. During the school year, children with multiple handicaps and learning disabilities from the metropolitan area participate in the program. (301)492-6232.
Greenbelt Park - The park visitor center is on Park Central Road in Greenbelt, near the intersection of the Capital Beltway (1-495) and Greenbelt Road. The entrance is difficult because of steps, and the restrooms are inadequate for visitors in wheelchairs.
The Sweetgum picnic area, 2 1/2 miles from the visitor center on Park Cental Road, is fully accessible, and restrooms are equipped for those in wheelchairs. A campground a half mile beyound Sweetgum has on-site parking and also has fully accessible and equipped restrooms with entry at ground level(301)344-3948.
Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens - The gardens and numerous ponds, used to produce aquatic plants, are on Anacostia Drive, off U.S. 295 North at Eastern Avenue exit (follow signs). The three greenhouses have low sills, and the interior surfaces are dirt. A parking lot is adjacent to the largest greenhouse, which is the main office building. Restrooms are located there. Entrance doors are 28 inches wide, and stall doors are 30 inches wide. Gravel paths leading through the gardens are hard packed and level (302)426-6905.
Oxon Hill Farm - The turn-of-the century working farm is a "living history" area where demonstrations are given during the farming seasons.It is located off the Capital Beltway on Indian Head Highway. The visitor center is an old barn with access at ground level from a barrier-free parking area. A portable accessible restroom is available. Roads and paths around the farm are all packed gravel and gently graded. Small picnic grounds are accessible.(301)839-1177.