Michigan State Parks Implement New Tools to Make the Outdoors More Accessible to the Disabled Community

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The outdoors is for everyone. And Michigan State Parks are leading the charge to make nature more accessible to people with disabilities. Michigan now leads the nation in wheelchair accessibility in state parks. The wheelchairs are a heavy-duty version of a standard wheelchair, the biggest difference being the tank type tracks which are used to get over rocks, tree roots and other obstacles. With the help of hundreds of donations and several Friends of the Parks groups, Michigan State Parks now has 14 athletic chairs located in 11 state parks. The only state park on the Upper Peninsula that currently has a program athletics chair is Tahquamenon Falls State Park. Participating in the outdoors has many health benefits, and access to forests, trails and outdoor recreation has always been a challenge within the disability community. Programs like this go a long way toward creating more equity and enjoyment for residents and visitors to Michigan’s incredible shorelines and vast forests. Find out where you can access a track chair or donate to the program at Michigan.gov/dnr.

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