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Sioux Lily didn’t mind the cold as she lingered near the shoreline that was accessible to her thanks to the new pathway at Camp Kawartha. Sioux was the Rick Hanson Foundation Ambassador at the Accessible Pathway Ceremony on December 8.
Camp Kawartha's new Accessibility Pathway
December 15, 2017
BY TERRY GILLIS
With funding assistance from the Rick Hansen Foundation and the J.P. Bickell Foundation, on December 8, Camp Kawartha unveiled its new beach front accessible pathway which will offer individuals with mobility issues an easy descent to the waterfront, making activities like canoeing, kayaking and sailing feasible for those in wheelchairs, with walkers, canes or prosthetics.
Guests with accessibility challenges were invited to help Camp Kawartha celebrate their new pathway. Sioux Lily, Event Ambassador for the Rick Hansen Foundation was thrilled to be able to visit the shoreline once again. Lily said she grew up being able to visit the water whenever she wanted, however, because of an illness, she is now restricted to a wheelchair.
“It’s heartbreaking for those up here (away from the water) while peers were down there,” said Lily. “It makes my heart sing to see that everyone can now enjoy the water,’ she commented.
“So many people are really going to benefit from this path,” Sioux Lily told a crowd following the outdoor presentation. “When we make our spaces more inclusive, everyone benefits and we really can learn from each other.”
A commemorative plaque was unvieled at the conclusion of the ceremony on Wednesday, thanking the Rick Hansen Foundation and the J.P. Bickell Foundation for their support.
“Every person deserves the chance to experience the magic of being on the water” says Jacob Rodenburg, Executive Director of the Camp.
“Canada has over 2 million lakes and rivers. Let’s make sure that everyone can fully participate in those quintessentially Canadian pastimes - activities such as canoeing, kayaking and sailing. We are so grateful to the Rick Hansen Foundation and the J.P. Bickell Foundation for making this possible!” Rodenburg said.
In addition to the pathway, in the spring of 2018, Camp Kawartha plans to add an accessible dock and dock lift which will allow staff to shift someone from a wheelchair into a canoe or kayak safely and easily.