FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
New Equipment Enhances Accessibility to Gifford Pinchot State Park Beaches
Camp Hill, PA – The Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation (PPFF) is thrilled to announce the arrival and installation of new equipment to enhance beach access for people of all abilities at Gifford Pinchot State Park.
The project was made possible thanks to the support from Dawood Engineers, York County Community Foundation Memorial Health Fund, Lawrence L. and Julia Z. Hoverter Charitable Foundation, PPFF donors and members, and the work of staff at Gifford Pinchot State Park.
The ADA equipment is available for public use at the Campground Area and Quaker Race Day Use Area.
Two beach wheelchairs, which are specialized mobility devices designed to help individuals with disabilities enjoy the beach by navigating through sand and water, as well as Mobi-Mats are available for public use.
Mobi-Mats are portable and removable rollout beach access mats that provide a firm, safe, cool, and stable surface for a wide range of users, including people with disabilities or mobility challenges, the elderly, those using wheelchairs, mobility scooters or strollers, and other groups with special access needs. They help with access from the paved paths to the beach and water of Pinchot Lake.
In addition, in the Campground Area, an elevated sand table provides accessible sand and water play for individuals of all abilities.
“This project is an integral piece of our vision to expand the variety of inclusive opportunities for recreation within the park,” states Jennifer Parks, Park Operations Manager with DCNR. She went on to say that the park “recently completed an ADA fishing pier installation and made upgrades to an existing ADA fishing pier. We also have a Boardsafe dock system that will be installed adjacent to the ADA fishing pier and the dock system will provide accessible boating opportunities. We are also pursuing funding to purchase a track-chair that would allow users with mobility issues or disabilities to access and enjoy our trails.”
Park staff store equipment when not in use. Please contact the park office to request usage of ADA equipment. Once contacted, park staff will send someone to facilitate its use.
Visitors can find signage with instructions and contact information on the Campground shed on the beach. At the Quaker Race Day Use Area, the signage is visible at the kiosk, as well as the ranger station.
The purchase of the new equipment is part of an ongoing effort of the Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation to ensure a place and an experience for everyone in the outdoors.
“We understand the value of spending time outdoors for visitors physical, mental, and emotional health,” said Marci Mowery, President of the Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation. “It is our goal to reduce barriers that might prevent someone from engaging in healthy outdoor recreation.”
In addition to the new ADA equipment, ADA benches have been installed, a walking path to the beach was redone in compliance with ADA regulations, and trees were planted by members of the 2022 Pennsylvania Outdoor Corps to provide shade and protect against erosion at the Campground Area beach.
For more information about the work PPFF does to help improve accessibility in Pennsylvania’s state parks and how you can become involved in these efforts, visit our “Outdoors For Everyone” webpage at https://paparksandforests.org/our-work/recreation/outdoors-for-everyone/
About the Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation
The Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation supports 124 state parks and 2.2 million acres of forest by coordinating volunteers, activities, and donations through its 45 chapters. The mission of the foundation is to inspire stewardship of Pennsylvania’s state parks and forests. To learn more about PPFF, visit https://paparksandforests.org/.