Mobi Comes to Clinch Park Beach
Mobi-Mats come to Clinch Park
It was noticed over the weekend that a part of the Bayfront Plan from 2010 was quietly implemented sometime last week: Clinch Park Beach now has a Mobi-Mat installed leading from the west side of the beach down to the water. Mobi-Mats are mobile walkways that create comfortable, convenient access over the unstable beach sand. The mobile walkways were made possible through funding efforts by Disability Network, Northern Michigan.
In a letter to the parks and recreation commission, the networks resource development manager, Annie Campbell, explained the effort:
“Most people equate disability with limitations. But it’s our mission at Disability Network to change the perceptions and realities that prevent people with disabilities from sharing in the community. With the help of local supporters, we have raised approximately $10,000 toward the purchase of mobility mats to be used on the Traverse City’s beaches. Our hope is to enhance our community’s accessibility for individuals while creating a welcoming, inclusive community.“
While I was there I spoke with a woman using a leg-scooter and in a leg cast who was returning from the water using the mat. She said that since her injury she has gained appreciation for what others contend with and that the Mobi-Mats speak well for Traverse City. “I’m from California,” she said. “It’d be a shame to come to Traverse City, Michigan and not be able to touch Lake Michigan. Now I can.”
Her partner, who wasn’t wearing a leg cast, said he likes how he now can get off the beach without sand on his feet.
The mats have already been installed at the State Park beach and are planned for other TC beaches. This is a big step towards meeting the goals of universal access along the bayfront. And to think, some people opposed the inclusion of these. Really?…take a walk.
You can learn about the work of the Disability Network by viewing a recent episode of Investigating Resilience titled: The Disabled Are Not Invisible