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Sunrise over the Wheat Field

WNY's First All-inclusive Farm Community

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According to Autism Speaks, research demonstrates job activities that encourage independence reduce autism symptoms and increase daily living skills. An inclusive farm setting offers rich, varied, and abundant opportunities for self-paced, distraction-free activities that are perceived as immediately meaningful. People are able to see the evolution of their work and feel pride in their accomplishments.


Walter R. Musty Homes for Autism has partnered with Arc of Erie County to create and develop the first all-inclusive farm community in Alden, NY. The project will include horticulture, classes and programs, jobs, housing, social events, and many more opportunities for those with and without disabilities to thrive.


Update: 3/3/2023

The project has been named Black Water Acres. (You can visit Black Water Baths – © 2022 Alden Historical Society, all rights reserved to read about the inspiration behind the name.) The land has been cleared for Phase 1. Architectural renderings and site plans are on the drawing table now. Permits have been approved to start infrastructure in 2023. 

Update: 2/19/24

The roadways are in! Arc Erie County is working diligently to create a functional interior layout of the main building along with programming. There is hope that farming may even occur as early as Summer 2024! 

WRM Homes for Autism & Arc Erie County cannot wait to share more details with everyone as they become available.

Please visit Black Water Acres — The Arc Erie County New York for updates from Arc!

This project is going to require a great deal of funding, and fundraising will play a huge role. Our 11th annual charity golf tournament is June 8, 2024 held at Ironwood Golf Course in Cowlesville, NY to support this project. You can visit the Registration Page to participate in the tournament or click here for sponsorship opportunities. 

Preliminary Site Plan

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1. Main Building 
2. Arts/Crafts, Retail Sales, Restaurant 
3. 15' Wide Parking Area for Farmer's Market Trucks
4. Greenhouses
5. Commercial Buildings
6. Sensory Building
7. Respite/Overnight Rooms
8. Apartment Building 
9. Pavilion
10. Arts Building
11. Field House
12. Market Rate Senior Housing
13. Caretakers Cottage
14. Picnic Shelters/Community Area





(updated 4-6-22)

"Assemblyman Thomas Abinati and NYS Senator John Mannion have introduced new legislative bills for consideration: Bills A9492 and S8521 respectively. These identical bills relate to the creation of an innovative supportive housing program for persons with developmental disabilities. We believe these bills may effectively address some of the housing barriers experienced by our IDD population, assist in addressing the housing crisis among this population, and are clearly a nonpartisan issue throughout the state."


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