In this edition of the Park Leaders Show, Topher Downham. Outreach Coordinator at City of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks, discusses his background and work with parks.
After a college swimming pool accident left him paralyzed, Downham notes how navigating trails in a wheelchair inspired him to pursue a career in parks. Forced to learn trails as a quadriplegic, Downham now uses his outdoor expertise to lead hand cycle ride nature hikes for people with disabilities.
With decades of experience consulting parks to better their disability accessibility, Downham recently channeled his knowledge into a trail guidebook, The Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks Accessible Trails and Sites. The guide, specifically aimed for the disabled, takes the reader on a tour through 30 trails in Boulder with pointers for handling hard spots and accommodations. The handbook also includes special features ranging from how to find the best shady spots to helping those with memory loss re-engage with nature.