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Access and inclusion Boreal Forests British Columbia Nature

Accessible and inclusive nature parks of British Columbia

The Provincial Government has a mandate to create all new parks to fit the description of being accessible and inclusive nature parks. Perhaps you were looking for a travel blog documenting a trip through the parks in Northern BC, recently developed to be inclusive beyond the universal design of the parks to include accessibility in over 50% of the park to allow inclusive visiting. Perhaps you were looking for user information on a good accessible fishing spot in BC. In that case, this is not that post or blog site. The parks as mentioned above are lacking in transportation from any community to the park. Well, yes, you have a vehicle. One that fits your personal and perhaps unique needs, and once a blogger demonstrates the recreational venue’s accessible worth, you can and will visit. What about those who do not have that access? You most likely won’t take that person on a trip to the park, when the person wants to go. Yeah, my problem. You don’t know me beyond this website. How do I go to any of these parks, with my mobility device? I can’t use the expensive fishing gear I own… Perhaps that’s you too. Another challenge just arrived in my mind. How do we get back home, if a ride there is secured?

A trail marker indicating access standards of the trail through a park. This sign tells us there are diverse standards in the park, likely identified with unique markers in spots more challenging.

We have a few of those parks within our region in Northern British Columbia. The Ancient Forest, the Great West Life Mobility Trail. There’s a few more in the works, BC Parks has way more information on these parks. Yes they need donations to keep improving. Inclusion is a goal that is sustainable. It includes you, among the collective of humans living. It even includes me, with you. But you still won’t take me in your private vehicle. That means to travel is not a shared inclusive space, except to your personal needs. No mention of the time involved between park and starting point and to leave to return, when needed. It’s not just parkland and developed fishing holes, in nature. Public tourism venues such as Hubbell Homestead, Barkerville, and more scattered across the province were made with access in the design. Still no way for those living a pedestrian life, or most in the cycle world on bikes to access. A walk or roll in nature, for anyone, is more beneficial than a team of therapists

An accessible trail only has to be smooth and packed tight. Avoid loose gravel on the paths. A very mentally stabilizing stroll and roll through a park

Recently the BC Government (BC Transit) took over the accessible point-to-point, provincial transportation system called HandyDART. It only covers within a community’s boundary. The model of community support only allows community members, who must be registered, to access in town locations. In Prince George, where it started with the Carefree Transportation Society, they are looking for a new direction to travel. They formerly managed the HandyDART fleet in Prince George, since before it started over 50 years ago. While that happened, and BC Transit transited the switch in leadership, the established society discussed closure and how that would look. That was not in the plans. They looked for niches to fill next, in local inclusive travel. That was the direction they wanted to travel, keeping transportation, accessibility and inclusion in the vision. There are a few. They discussed the lack of ‘inclusive’ travel to these parks and more, looking for a new direction. Could they fill this niche in BC Parks plan to bring inclusion to these parks? Stay tuned. More to come.

Information by WalkNRoll