Floating wheelchair (example) Photo: pixabay.com
Local residents and tourists with accessibility challenges who visit Bonnechere Provincial Park this summer will be able to experience the beach area and Park programs like never before. Thanks to funding from the Employment and Social Development Canada Enabling Accessibility Fund, and the support of several community partners, the Friends of Bonnechere Parks (FBP) has purchased two all-terrain floating wheelchairs and a mat system that will allow visitors and caregivers to more easily access the sand beach and waters of Round Lake.
Bonnechere Provincial Park is a welcoming recreational park for campers, visitors from away and within the local community. One of the Park’s main assets is its beach area, which features play structures, picnic facilities, plenty of sand and warm, shallow waters suitable for swimmers and non-swimmers of all ages. Currently, however, the beach is not accessible to persons with mobility challenges because the terrain is uneven and the sand can be hot and uncomfortable.
This new project funding will allow the Park to mitigate these challenges by providing barrier-free access to the beach by way of hardened surface paths from the parking area, and a stabilizing AccessMat system over the sandy beach and into the water. As well, two all-terrain wheelchairs will be made available free of charge to anyone with mobility challenges who wishes to enjoy the beach area and participate in various waterfront activities.
Access to the beach and lake will allow persons with disabilities to increase their range of motion, freedom of movement, sensory stimulation, and mental health and wellbeing.
The New PossABILITIES project is supported by several community partners including the Township of Killaloe, Hagarty and Richards, Madawaska Valley Association for Community Living, Killaloe Community Resource Centre, Marianhill Friendship Club and Bonnechere Provincial Park.
Volunteers are invited to support this project by coming out to Show You Care For Bonnechere 2.0 – New PossABILITIES on Saturday June 2 from 8:30am to 3:30pm.
This collaborative event will allow volunteers to assist with the implementation of the following accessible solutions:
- enhanced beach access route
- outdoor public eating area
- designated parking spaces
- barrier-free campsites
- wireless alert systems
- ramps and mats
- barrier-free vault privy washrooms
A free healthy BBQ lunch will be provided. Volunteers are asked to bring their own snacks and drinks. Registered volunteers will be entered into a draw for the chance to win Bonnechere Park merchandise.
Those interested in participating on Saturday June 2 should RSVP before May 26. Click HERE to respond by Facebook: www.facebook.com/bonnecherepark/ or reply by email to Kelly Draves: email@example.com
Come out and help create an atmosphere of respect, dignity, equality and independence at Bonnechere Provincial Park that is welcoming to everyone regardless of ability.
Biesenthal, B. (2018, 4 May) New PossABILITIES at Bonnechere Park this Summer [Media release].