New amenities make ND state parks more accessible
BISMARCK – The North Dakota Parks and Recreation Department (NDPRD) recently acquired new equipment to bring greater accessibility and inclusivity for visitors of all abilities.
In recognition of International Color Blindness Awareness Month, NDPRD announced it is the first park system in the nation to make all state parks color-blind accessible.
Color blind visitors at each state park can experience the world of color through special glasses. Each state park will receive an EnChroma glasses kit to be available for visitor use by Sept. 30, and Lewis and Clark State Park will additionally receive two SeeCoast viewfinders for installation within the park by the summer of 2024.
The glasses and viewfinders are manufactured in a way to stimulate the brain’s color processing center and enhance color vision. In addition, several color-blind individuals will be selected to receive their own pair of EnChroma glasses and see color for the first time. Dates and times for those color reveal events will be announced soon.
Additionally, Lake Metigoshe State Park was selected as one of 18 nationwide recipients by Ford’s Bronco Wild Foundation partnership with Action Trackchair to receive an Action Axis Trackchair. This chair ensures individuals with mobility impairments can enjoy the park’s natural beauty, recreational activities and facilities.
The free-to-use trackchairs are like traditional wheelchairs but include all-terrain wheels, electrical operation, and a tilt mechanism for climbing and descending hills. While trackchairs can’t go over a boulder or a large log, they are built to tackle rugged terrain.
Lake Sakakawea State Park also has a trackchair for visitor use which was acquired in 2021. Users can contact either park for availability of the chairs.
Adaptive kayak/canoe launches
Many of the state parks are equipped with adaptive kayak and canoe launches as well, which provide a safe and accessible way for all visitors to easily enter and exit small watercraft.