New Brunswick parks get upgrades for people with disabilities

Parlee Beach was among three area parks that have gotten accessibility upgrades for the summer. Ability NB / Submitted

Beaches in Moncton and Fredericton have been given upgrades to improve accessibility.

Parlee Beach, a popular spot near Moncton, has accessibility mats that allow people with mobility issues to access the sand and water.

The upgrades follow a 2021 provincial government announcement to invest $400,000 in upgrades for accessibility at the park. It included a comfort station and the mats that have been rolled out on the beach.

All of the upgrades were unveiled on June 27.

Ability New Brunswick and ParaNB Sport and Recreation were part of the unveiling and described it as an emotional day with people turning out to use the new facilities and mat.

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But Parlee isn’t the only beach gaining accessibility upgrades.

Click to play video: 'Parlee Beach improves accessibility to the beach'
Parlee Beach improves accessibility to the beach

In Fredericton, Killarney Lake and Morell Park will be getting accessible docks at the two locations through a $50,000 donation by the Fredericton North Rotary Club.

Bonny Hoyt-Hallett, with the Fredericton North Rotary Club, said it was a part of the club’s centennial commitment and a legacy project.

“We had a number of different things that were offered to us, so we chose the legacy being docks with accessible features,” she said.

Construction of the docks is to be sent out for tender soon. Hoyt-Hallet said they’ll likely be installed before the end of the month, leaving plenty of time for people to enjoy the beach locations.

“It is beautiful, and we’re very lucky in the city of Fredericton to have the river, and also Killarney Lake, where people can go and enjoy playing on a beach, building sand castles and getting in the water, but it’s not always possible for everybody,” she said in an interview on Sunday.

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“It means it opens up that avenue for people that may have not been able to enjoy what a  lot of people are able to.”

The dock at Killarney Lake includes a 12-foot platform to allow to get on and off the ramp. The Morell Park dock will include a transfer-bar so people in a wheelchair can hold the bar and get in and out of a watercraft.

“Both docks are configurable, meaning they can be rearranged to suit a person’s needs when installed,” the city said in a statement.

“Everyone in our city should be able to experience the joy of dipping their toes in the water. This summer that will become a reality for many, thanks to the Fredericton North Rotary Club,” said Mayor Kate Rogers.

“Fredericton City Council is incredibly grateful for this meaningful donation, marking 100 years of active community involvement from local Rotarians.”

Once the docks are installed, the city assumes responsibility for it and the maintenance.

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