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New viewfinder helps visitors with colorblindness enjoy Natural Tunnel State Park

For Virginia state park visitors with red-green color vision deficiency, the landscape just got more vivid.

Natural Tunnel State Park in Duffield, in Scott County, is the first organization in Virginia to offer an EnChroma viewfinder with special lenses that will help colorblind visitors enjoy fall foliage and the 360-degree view overlooking Rye Cove more fully. The viewfinder was installed at the park’s gazebo on June 28.

Chief Ranger of Visitor Experience Ethan Howes, who is colorblind, led the effort to make the beauty of the park’s landscape and fall foliage more accessible for colorblind guests. Colorblindness affects one in 12 men and one in 200 women; that means about 366,000 people in Virginia potentially could benefit from using the viewfinder.

About 13 million people in the U.S. and 350 million people around the world have the condition, which can make green appear yellow, tan or grayish pink; purple look like blue; and red appear brown.

EnChroma technology already is in use at almost 40 state and national park sites in 16 states. The viewfinder is made by SeeCoast Manufacturing.

Individuals with red-green color vision deficiency will have different experiences while looking through the viewfinder, but a wider array and greater vibrancy of colors usually can be detected immediately or within seconds.

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