A Stroll in the Park Made Easy

Millennium Park in Chicago, IL. Photo courtesy of Chicago Office of Tourism and Culture.

Countdown to spring: 9 days. Warm weather, budding trees and flowers, squirrels roaming about, birds chirping… you know the rest. With the season fast approaching, local parks are making the move to become accessible, bringing beautiful landscapes and nature to everyone.

In Windsor, Ontario, Lakeside Park has been constantly patching up the stairs that run down the middle of the park. Now the town is hoping to remove them entirely to make the park accessible. The hope is to replace the stairs with a footpath; discussions are still ongoing. Read more about this story here.

Named after the Canadian novel “Beautiful Joe,” Beautiful Joe Park in Meaford, Ontario currently has an extremely steep incline and non-accessible washrooms. The Beautiful Joe Heritage Society is looking to construct accessible public washrooms and install a footbridge that would span the park. Read more about this story here.

If you’d like to learn more about established accessible parks, check out Bowen Park, which has been recognized by the Canadian Institute of Planners as a candidate for the best public space in Canada. You can also take a look at Millennium Park in Chicago, IL.

One example that stood out is the parks of Massachusetts. The Buttonbush Trail at the Cape Cod National Seashore and the Johnny Kelley Trail in Dennis include guide ropes and Braille text. Broadmoor Sanctuary in Natick offers a 1/4-mile handicapped-accessible trail and boardwalk for bird watching. The Department of Conservation and Recreation also hosts accessible hiking programs with mountain wheelchairs, push joggers and lots of rest stops at many state parks.

With the nice weather fast approaching (fingers crossed), Savaria is always excited to hear about parks and outdoor attractions turning to accessible solutions!


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