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Robinson Nature Center Recognized By Howard County Autism Society As One Of Five Local, Autism-Friendly Organizations

Robinson Nature Center Recognized By Howard County Autism Society As One Of Five Local, Autism-Friendly Organizations

September 12, 2019

Media Contacts: 
Mark Miller, Administrator, Office of Public Information, 410-313-2022
Anna Hunter, Marketing and Public Information Superintendent, Department of Recreation & Parks, 410-313-4686

Howard County Library System also honored, along with Howard Tech, The Children’s Spot, and Verbal Beginnings

COLUMBIA, MD – Last night, the Howard County Autism Society (HCAS) honored five, local autism-friendly organizations during their 2nd Annual Donor Appreciation Event. The winners included Howard County’s first LEED Certified Platinum Robinson Nature Center, as well as the Howard County Library System, Howard Tech, The Children’s Spot, and Verbal Beginnings. The awards are part of the Autism Society’s ongoing effort to encourage and celebrate community inclusion. The recognized organizations enable those affected by autism and their families to visit safe places in the community, actively working to include them through sensory-friendly events, employment, inclusive products and services, Autism 101 training for staff members, and with HCAS volunteers. Photos from the event can be found here.

“I congratulate our wonderful community partners at Howard County Library System, Howard Tech, The Children’s Spot, Verbal Beginnings, and our very own Robinson Nature Center for receiving this award! Their collective efforts to support people living with autism reflect Howard County’s core belief that every person deserves to feel safe and included,” said Howard County Executive Calvin Ball. “From Sensory-Friendly Stories at our libraries to Sensory-Friendly Sundays at the Robinson Nature Center, our community continues to be a leader in including all people with sensory processing differences.”

“We are extremely honored to be recognized by Howard County Autism Society this year. This initiative was a big undertaking that included collaborations, research, surveys, and more” stated Recreation & Parks Director Raul Delerme.

“We are so fortunate to have had the opportunity to partner with Leadership Howard and to have dedicated staff both at Robinson and in Howard County’s Therapeutic Recreation Program putting their heads together to tackle this initiative,” agreed Robinson’s Director Katie Peet. “And we are even more fortunate for the families and providers in the community that came out and visited. They provided their input through online surveys and during their visit to help us understand how we can serve them better.”

A local leader in environmental education, the Robinson Nature Center recently launched a “Sensory-Friendly Sunday” program that provides a quiet, low-stress environment before the Center’s standard operating hours. The program is just one aspect of a larger initiative developed in partnership with a team of Leadership Howard graduates as part of their Community Impact Project, which aims to increase accommodations and resources available for visitors with sensory sensitivities to use both when preparing for their visit and during their time at the Nature Center. Learn more about all the new accommodations available for those with sensory sensitivities here. Dates and times for “Sensory-Friendly Sundays” can be found here.

The Howard County Autism Society, an affiliate of the Autism Society (ASA), is dedicated to improving the lives of all individuals affected by autism through awareness and educational outreach. This past July, the Howard County Autism Society was named the ASA 2019 Affiliate of the Year. For more information, visit http://www.howard-autism.org.

Robinson Nature Center is a unique nature education facility situated on 18 acres of land adjacent to the Middle Patuxent Environmental Area. Owned and operated by Howard County Recreation & Parks and financially supported by the James & Anne Robinson Foundation, the Nature Center runs over 420 programs that include public activities, field trips, home school programs, and more. For more information on Robinson Nature Center, visit https://www.howardcountymd.gov/Robinson

Leadership Howard County is a non-profit whose mission is preparing, inspiring, connecting and sustaining community leaders to make Howard County the best place to live, work and play. For more information, visit: https://www.leadershiphc.org.

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