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Brillion Nature Center adds ride for seniors

Older residents of Calumet County will be able to bicycle around to some Brillion area local sights, while only exerting their smile muscles, because of a ride made possible by a grant from the Chilton Area Community Foundation.

The $5,000 grant, along with donations from two Chilton businesses, helped the Brillion Nature Center to coordinate the purchase of a Tri-Shaw bicycle rickshaw to be used by area nursing homes and assisted living facilities. The rickshaw will be housed at Garrow Villa, a senior housing complex owned by the Brillion Housing Authority. Lease restrictions prohibit bicycles on the trails of the nature center, Naturalist Jennifer “Louie” Kohlberg said, but the use fits well with the nature center’s goals so it agreed to coordinate the purchase. Riders will be taken around the streets of Brillion and to specific locations, if they request it.

The visits are not just recreational. Kohlberg said traveling to familiar places has been shown to stimulate memory, an issue for some of the residents.

Riders sit in a wide seat on the front, with the “pilot” pedaling from a bicycle seat behind them. Volunteers and staff members from Garrow Villa will pedal while residents of nursing homes and assisted-living facilities in Calumet County ride out front, enjoying the scenery and the wind in their hair. “Cycling Without Age,” an international movement based in Denmark, is coordinated locally by Fox Cities Greenways. More than 20 of the special bicycles are now rolling from nursing homes, assisted living complexes and various nonprofits throughout the region.

“They are so excited to have this bike and the opportunities it affords,” Kohlberg said. “Huge thanks to the Chilton Area Community Foundation for playing such a large role in making it happen!”

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