How to Fundraise for Accessibility Products for Your Local Pennsylvania Park

Today, there is much interest in making the outdoors including lakes and rivers more accessible to those with disabilities. Accessibility products like adaptive kayak and boat launches, accessible fishing piers and other applications are popping up all over. Despite the strong desire to create more accessible public spaces, the movement is in its infancy and there is much work to do. Chances are that your local lake needs an adaptive kayak launch and accessible floating docks and piers. Many states’ budgets do not allow for the purchase of adaptive kayak launches, and  communities have had to rally together to raise money to purchase and install the products. They have shared their best practices with us so that you can may your local lake more accessible too. 

Below is a guide of best practices to help you fundraise for accessibility products for your local park:

1. The first thing that you should do is contact us. Let us know who you are, where your park is located and share the goals of your project with us. We will be able to give you with general assessments of which products would work best at your location and provide a ballpark estimate for the cost of the project. We may also be able to facilitate introductions to groups in your region who have done similar projects.  Also, we can share photos, designs, videos, testimonials and case studies to help you make your case. We are here to support your efforts!

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Beltzville Lake Adaptive Kayak Launch featured in the Times News

The Times News, a daily newspaper serving Carbon County, based in Lehighton, PA, featured the ADA kayak launch used by adaptive paddlers. The ADA kayak launch was designed and built by BoardSafe. The ADA accessible floating dock and adaptive kayak launch opened in August 2017 and is featured in this article.

To watch the video report of the opening ceremony hosted by the Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation and attended by Team River Runner click here.

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ADA Kayak Dock Launch for Adaptive Paddlers Unveiled in State Park Lake

ADA kayak launch manufacturer BoadSafe unveils a new ADA kayak lauch. The Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation hosted an official dedication ceremony for the new ADA boat launch, which allows those with disabilities to more easily enter a kayak and set out on the lake, at Beltzville’s Preachers Camp Boat Launch in the early evening.

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Beltzville is a Pennsylvania State Park and Lake located outside of Lehighton in Carbon County. The park is just over 3,000 acres with a 949 acres being the lake.

Also in attendence was the Lehigh Valley River Runner, a local chapter of the national group, Team River Runner, that promotes the benefits of being outdoors, being active and camaraderie through paddling. Team River Runner continues to display how kayaking and paddling provides freedom to those who are handicapped or wheelchair bound.

The ADA kayak dock is a boat launch with Americans with Disabilities Act features that assist the adaptive paddler to get their boat to the water, transfer down a step and handrail to the boat, enter the boat with multiple hand rail options, a kayak stabilizing system to steady the boat and ultimately a launch feature to safely take off into open water.

As seen in the picture, there is gangway with minimum gade leading from the shore to the aluminum floating dock, paralleled by a boat slide that allows the adaptive athlete to ease their boat down to the dock. Once on the aluminum floating dock, the dock surface is decked with synthetic lumber that provides maintenance free, sturdy, and nonslip surface. In the middle of the floating dock is an aluminum bench and handrail that steps down and lowers the paddler to their boat. Surrounding the kayak is a series of handlebars and hand straps to provide options to the paddler as they enter the cockpit. A submerged system of aluminum bars stabilized the boat for the paddler to safely transition and position themselves comfortably for launching.

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Temple Rowing in Philadelphia Gets New Rowing Docks and Rowing Center

Nationally in the U.S. rowing community, it is known that rowing is important in Philadelphia. Boathouse Row, cheesesteaks and running up the Philadelphia Art Museum steps (Rocky) are the top priorities of the city's visitors. Many who have competitively rowed on the East Coast have competed at one time on the Schuylkill River. Now they have one more rowing center to host them – Temple's new rowing center and boathouse on Kelly Drive just south of the Strawberry Mansion Bridge.

The new rowing center and boathouse officially opening in the spring of 2017. Click here to see local newscast video of the rowing docks during construction. 

The $5.5 million project renovated the previously dilapidated East Park Canoe House. The improvements improved the building's exterior, locker rooms, and provided for public restrooms. The project began in July 2015 after the city and Temple trustee H.F. "Gerry" Lenfest agreed on a partnership to fund the restoration. The Lenfest Foundation donated $3 million to the project, and the city pledged $2.5 million.

Click here to watch the Temple video of the boathouse

The new boathouse is now the proud new home not only for Temple Crew but the Philadelphia Police's Marine Unit stores equipment for water operations and public access is granted to the bathrooms and boat launch.

If you would like information on replacing your rowing docks or designing and building a new rowing center, then call BoardSafe at 610-899-9286.

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