For a lot of people, taking a hike through a wooded park or wildlife sanctuary on a beautiful day is an invigorating, peaceful, even meditative experience. But that's not always the case for everyone.
“It can be scary to be in an unfamiliar environment," Jerry Berrier told me.
Berrier has been blind since birth. But he’s also a lifelong birder who loves the outdoors. Berrier birds by ear and records their calls and songs whenever he gets the chance.
Now Berrier can venture safely along a nature trail — on his own — more easily. That's because the state Department of Conservation and Recreation built a specially designed, accessible park very close to where he works at the Perkins School for the Blind.
“It is difficult for me as a person who’s totally blind to find places where I can spend an hour or two, or longer, all by myself if I choose to,” Berrier said while sitting on a bench on the Watertown Riverfront Park and Braille Trail along the Charles River.