The Manitoba government is taking steps to improve accessibility at provincial parks, including making it easier for all Manitobans to enjoy popular park beaches.
On Wednesday, Conservation and Climate Minister Sarah Guillemard announced that Manitoba has installed more mobility mats in order to improve accessibility at a number of park beaches.
“Our provincial parks are designed for all Manitobans and we have made significant investments to improve their accessibility,” Guillemard said in a news release.
“From mobility mats at beaches to accessible trails, buildings and other infrastructure, we support the goals of National AccessAbility Week and Manitoba Access Awareness Week, and want all park visitors to be comfortable and able to enjoy the great outdoors.”
Mobility mats, often called mobi-mats, were first introduced at Birds Hill and St. Malo provincial parks.
This year they have been added to Pioneer Bay Beach in Clearwater Lake Provincial Park; Falcon Lake Beach in Whiteshell Provincial Park; West Beach in Grand Beach Provincial Park; and Kiche Manitou Beach in Spruce Woods Provincial Park. The province noted the mobility mats have also been installed at Lundar Beach, Winnipeg Beach and Rainbow Beach provincial parks.
Manitoba has also added some other accessibility upgrades to Lundar Beach, including a ramp along the trail, wider doors on the washrooms, and accessible pathway construction. A new accessible washroom at the south end of the campground is expected to be operational this month.
The province noted that Duff Roblin Provincial Park now has an accessible viewing platform near the Red River Floodway Inlet Control Structure in St. Norbert. The province also has plans for an accessible walking trail and expanded seating at the park.
Some other accessibility upgrades in Manitoba include:
- Fully accessible washrooms and showers at Paint Lake Provincial Park;
- Accessible components have been added to playgrounds at the Gyles, Brereton and Adam Lake campgrounds at Moose Lake and Gull Harbour Beach in Hecla;
- A more accessible trail has been installed to replace a boardwalk and stair system at Pisew Falls; and
- Improvements are in the works the Cedar Bog Trail in Birds Hill Provincial Park, including adding boardwalk sections to frequently wet areas.
May 30 to June 5 is National AccessAbility Week and Manitoba Access Awareness Week.