In Memory of Zac 

The Aptus Teaching Landscape is in memory of Zachary (“Zac”) Van Zant, a 21-year old student with autism at Aptus, who passed away shortly after graduating. His love and passion for nature and time outdoors will always be remembered.

The following poem was written in 2005 for Zachary’s birthday. His aunt sent the poem as "for Zac and by Zac," always feeling she was just the vessel that was fortunate enough to hear the words that Zac wanted to express to his family. The Aptus Teaching Landscape will include a memorial swing.  

The Swing

On a warm sunny day
I go outside to play
I swing on my swing
And I hear the birds sing
I can feel the soft ground
And I can look all around
As I reach for the sky
I think I can fly
See the smile on my face
As I look at this place
It shows you "I know"
As I swing to and fro
But I can't say in words 
Hey - "I love birds" 
But if you look closely at me 
You can see what I see
You can sense in my smile
Every once in a while
My joy and my glee
As the wind tickles me 
I am at home on my swing
I can fly on its wing 
With the wind in my face
I am content in this place
I am different than you
We know that is true-
But I share all your joy 
In this world as your boy
I go outside to play
On a cold rainy day
It’s a place I belong 
Where I can hear the earth's song
- Dawn Van Zant 

The Zachary Van Zant Memorial Fund is generously funding the memorial swing, outdoor classroom and community event space. To support the Aptus Teaching Landscape, in memory of Zac, click here.