Accessible beach wheel chair now available for use at North Beach Park
Thanks to a generous donation from the Friends of Ottawa County Parks, there is now a Mobi Chair, an accessible beach wheel chair available for the public to use free-of-charge at North Beach Park in Ferrysburg. The wheel chair was designed to navigate the sand and can also float in the water!
“Friends of Ottawa County Parks is pleased to help provide this type of equipment to Parks users. Opportunities to increase accessibility or encourage park experiences for all ages and abilities are priorities for this us,” said Alice Hoban, President of Friends of Ottawa County Parks. “Support from memberships, donations, and fundraising activities allows this all-volunteer organization to respond quickly when a need arises. We hope we’ll see some pictures of the chair in use!”
While stunning, the West Michigan dune system creates an accessibility challenge. North Beach Park is currently the most accessible beach park in the county park system, as visitors can reach the beach without climbing stairs. Parks staff have made other improvements as well. Every summer since 1998, a temporary decking surface is laid down to create a path for users who are in a wheelchair or have difficulty walking in the sand. At that time, a new playground with an accessible mat, two ADA-standard picnic tables, and a concrete walkway along the west side of the parking lot were also added. This summer, the temporary path was extended by 40′ so users can travel closer to Lake Michigan.
“We are pleased to continue to make accessibility improvements at North Beach Park and many of our other parks,” said Ottawa County Parks Director, John Scholtz. “The Parks Commission is committed to continually improving park facilities to meet and exceed ADA guidelines. We appreciate the Friends of Ottawa County Parks’ donation and help making this beach friendly to visitors of all abilities.”
The Mobi Chair is available during park hours. Anyone interested in using it should speak to the Park Attendant on duty.