A new beach pathway was installed at Clinch Park Beach in Traverse City last Friday thanks to the efforts of Disability Network Northern Michigan. The organization received a generous gift of $18,000 from philanthropist Casey Cowell to upgrade to an ADAWalk system designed by Michigan Lake Products. The upgrade includes a hard surfaced pathway leading to West Grand Traverse Bay, a few resting areas, two benches, and a transfer station to enable individuals with disabilities easy access to the beach—including those who use wheelchairs, walkers, canes, prosthetic limbs, strollers, etc.
“We are beyond thankful for Mr. Cowell’s support. Because of his help, more individuals with disabilities will be able to enjoy the beach,” stated Annie Campbell, Director of Development at Disability Network. “There is plenty of space for people who use wheelchairs to comfortably hang out with friends on the beach, and the new benches will provide guests, such as seniors, the ability to sit down on the shore,” she shared.
The Mobi Mats that were formerly at Clinch Park have been moved to East Bay Park, making one more beach in Traverse City accessible. “Disability Network thanks Mr. Cowell, as well as our other supporters, for helping us create more opportunities and a better quality of life for people with disabilities and their families,” said Campbell.
Visitors of Clinch Park also have access to a Mobi Chair, which allows people with mobility barriers to float in the bay. Funds for the beach chair were raised by Disability Network to provide individuals access into the water. Visitors can rent the device free of charge by making a request to the lifeguards on duty.
The Clinch Park Beach Project is a part of Disability Network’s Access for Everyone Campaign, which strives to make Northern Michigan more welcoming to people of all abilities. Currently, the 501c3 nonprofit is seeking support and raising funds for the following beach projects:
• Greillickville Harbor Park in Elmwood Township: Total Cost $6,3544
• Veterans Park in Elk Rapids: Total Cost $11,500
• Wilderness State Park in Emmet County: Total Cost $13,250
• Zorn Beach in Harbor Springs: Total Cost $5,010
Disability Network also hopes to raise $21,000 to build 10 ramps for impoverished individuals with disabilities, and $150,000 for a new accessible playground at Penny Park in Manistee.
Donations can be sent to: Disability Network, 415 East Eighth Street, Traverse City, MI 49686, or made online by clicking here. For more information about the projects, contact Annie Campbell at 231.922.0903, ext.12.
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