Disability Network is excited to announce this year's Beach Access Projects as part of their Access for Everyone Campaign. The 501c3 nonprofit hopes to raise a total of $42,660 to make four beaches accessible by Summer 2015 to individuals with mobility barriers – including those who use wheelchairs, walkers, canes, prosthetic devices, strollers, etc.
This year’s projects include:
•Greilickville Harbor Park ($6,400)
• Veterans Memorial Park in Elk Rapids ($18,000)
• Wilderness State Park in Emmet County ($13,250)
• Zorn Beach in Harbor Springs ($5,010)
With the help of the community, Disability Network hopes to purchase beach pathways so everyone has access to the lake shore. Faith Dunshee, a Volunteer in Emmet County, shared, “Disability Network’s efforts have enabled me to go the beaches at Petoskey State Park, Camp Pet-O-Se-Ga, Whiting Park, and Camp Daggett. As a wheelchair user, it’s nice to have options, and to have the opportunity to hang out with my friends and family at the beach just like everyone else.”
Dianne Richter, Chair of the Parks and Recreation Commission of the Village of Elk Rapids, explained, “This project is about community and creating a better quality of life for people of all abilities. It’s the goal of the Village of Elk Rapids to provide recreational opportunities to everyone who lives in and travels to our region, and the Veterans Memorial Park Beach Access Project will help us achieve that goal.”
The purpose of Access for Everyone is to collaborate with community members to advocate for universal accessibility while providing solutions to break down barriers that prevent people with disabilities from participating in our community. “People live in and travel to our region because we have beautiful beaches and trails. Disability Network’s Access for Everyone Campaign provides more recreational opportunities to individuals who have disabilities, as well as those who are aging, and families with young children. It’s a campaign that truly helps everyone enjoy our natural resources,” stated Annie Campbell, Development Director.
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