A group of community volunteers has helped make a nature trail at Pierce College accessible to people in wheelchairs.
The completion of the project, which involved smoothing out the trail's surface, was marked Thursday with a ribbon-cutting ceremony near the school's Winnetka Avenue entrance.
The trail, which winds through the school's 15-acre arboretum, was opened in April. The All-Access Braille Trail, as it is called, is equipped with Braille markers to help sightless people identify vegetation.
One person in a wheelchair praised the volunteers for making it accessible to other physically disabled people as well.
"They are very caring," said Susan Jolly, an advocate for Independent Living Center of Southern California, a Van Nuys-based organization that helps people with disabilities. "It shows me they are very concerned about treating people with disabilities as individuals."
Volunteers included members of the California Landscapers Assn.; the San Fernando Valley chapter of Telephone Pioneers of America, a volunteer organization of active and retired employees of the telecommunications industry; and Coalition to Save the Farm, a group dedicated to preserving the Pierce College farm.
Doug Hanover, a spokesman for the landscapers' association, said volunteers paved the trail with decomposed granite mixed with concrete to make it smooth. They also raised a small bridge about a foot so wheelchairs could get across, and eliminated steep trails. The entire project, he said, took about three years.