FARMINGTON — A dream for a unique property is evolving in Farmington. 

Along with the existing wellness trail, fitness trail and maze at the Oliver House, a Life Enrichment Advancing People home is developing.

An opportunity for the public to support the effort while also “raising awareness that people of all abilities can participate at their own level” is the purpose behind LEAP’s first “Run, Walk, or Roll a Mile in My Shoes.”

The cross-country benefit race and participation event takes place at 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 12, at the home at 482 Farmington Falls Road. Registration begins at 10 a.m.

After LEAP bought the house, Executive Director Darryl Wood started walking through the woods on the property. He thought they “were cool,” he said Friday.

A wellness trail, the Stone Soup Gardens Trail, was developed to encourage LEAP employees to use as part of the company’s wellness program, he said.


As an incentive to get them out walking and running, participating employees get to enter a ticket into a drawing every other month for a $50 Hannaford or Farmer’s Market card, he said. They will receive two tickets if they take an individual with a disability.

Along with promoting exercise, the card drawing encourages eating and purchasing local healthy foods, he said.

For businesses, there’s a benefit to encouraging people to pay attention to their own wellness, he said.

Now the goal is to create a fitness trail and maze that the whole community can use.

“All the logistics are not finalized, but it’s at 75 percent,” he said. “The idea is growing that this can really work.”

Wood envisions several stations along the trail, supported by local businesses. At these stations, participants would spend five minutes in warm-up exercises and strength training, plus one minute for aerobic exercises at the top of the trail.


The last station focuses on contemplation or meditation, with activities geared toward deep breathing exercises and contemplation of one’s own impact on the world, he said.

“Each would have a wellness theme and endorse diversity or looking at people for their abilities and not disabilities,” he said.

Wood and a LEAP intern are looking for a couple more businesses to sponsor a station on the fitness trail with a $250 donation. They are targeting businesses with a mutual interest, such as those featuring exercise or equipment.

The maze and wellness and fitness trails have received help from participants in the University of Maine at Farmington’s Day of Caring and from the United Way of the Tri-Valley Area’s Days of Caring volunteers. Students at Cascade Brook School also volunteered for a day.

The Oct. 12 event helps raise funds to support wellness activities for developmentally disabled people, LEAP and the community through continuing the fitness trail work. It’s also being held to encourage the disabled in the community.

While LEAP supports individuals with significant disabilities, there are some in the community who struggle with physical disabilities and a lack of accessibility to some buildings.


“We want to make people aware and break down barriers,” he said. “If they (the physically disabled) can’t get in the front door, they won’t spend their money there.”

The Oct. 12 “Run, Walk or Roll a Mile in My Shoes” offers participants two ways to be involved.

On a participatory level, participants can walk or roll a wheelchair or walker a short distance — about 200 yards — down a stretch of gravel road, according to their abilities. They hope “to reinforce the message that people should not be judged on their disabilities, but should be appreciated and accommodated for their abilities,” according to an event description.

The competitive level is a 1.1 mile cross-country race that begins on a gravel road and passes through the Stone Soup Gardens Trail and maze system that loops back down to the gravel road.

For registration forms, email [email protected] For more information, visit

[email protected]

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