RICHLAND TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — A popular destination in Kalamazoo County is now certified to better accommodate visitors with sensory needs.
Gull Meadow Farms will welcome guests for its fall opening this weekend and be able to provide additional tools to help children and adults cope with the crowds and the noise.
Kelly Wendzel, the social media manager for the farm, was inspired to complete the certification program after visiting the John Ball Zoo in Grand Rapids.
“We wanted to be able to provide a space for everybody and one area we knew we were lacking in was guests with sensory needs,” Wendzel said.
Staff completed specialized training and can provide bags designed to improve the visit of people with sensory needs.
Guests can check out the bags, which include items like fidget toys, headphones, and a communication card.
“At certain activities, there will be headphone zone signs, those might be an area of the farm that might have a little bit louder noise,” Wendzel said.
Visitors can also download the KultureCity app before they visit to prepare for what they might encounter on the farm.
The farm hopes completing the certification will make their customers more satisfied with the overall experience.
“I’ve had some guest say ‘you know, we came to the farm once and it was a terrible experience for our child with sensory needs now we can try and come back and experience it again,’” Wendzel said.
The farm will also have designated sensory-friendly nights from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Monday and Oct. 14.