The Department of Natural Resources has made $25,000 in wheelchair accessibility enhancements at Martinique Beach Provincial Park.
Improvements include widening the boardwalk from the parking lot to the beach edge, adding a new stone path that can support heavy wheelchairs and scooters, and installing a larger change house and a larger outdoor washroom to accommodate people with mobility disabilities.
The upgrades have been completed in time for They Will Surf Again, an event for persons with disabilities being held Saturday, Sept. 20. The park was chosen for its surf and slope of terrain.
“I’m very pleased with the province’s support for this international event. The government of Nova Scotia is dedicated to inclusiveness, recognizing people with disabilities, and tomorrow’s event will show that commitment,” said Kevin Murphy, MLA for Eastern Shore, on behalf of Natural Resources Minister Zach Churchill.
Mr. Murphy is a quadriplegic and uses a wheelchair.
“We are thrilled the province came through with these important accessibility improvements in time for the They Will Surf Again experience,” said Paula Green, an occupational therapist and event co-ordinator. “We expect a fun, fulfilling time for surfers and volunteers.”
They Will Surf Again, an award-winning program founded by California-based Life Rolls On, hosts adaptive surfing events across North America. The Martinique Beach Provincial Park event will be the first in Canada. Twenty adaptive surfers will participate, leaving their wheelchairs to ride surfboards while sitting or lying down.
It is planned to be an annual event. Typically, the events attract travellers and media attention, bringing greater awareness to the capabilities of wheelchair users.
More information about the event and all of Nova Scotia’s provincial parks is at www.novascotiaparks.ca .