Golden Ears Provincial Park will be one of the recipients of new, more accessible picnic tables as B.C. Parks aims to replace its iconic, but aging, benches across the province.
One hundred easily accessible picnic tables will be installed throughout 2012 in four of B.C.’s busiest provincial parks, marking B.C. Parks’ 100th anniversary and the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, the province announced this week.
Picnickers will no longer need to swing their legs up and over the bench and under the table to sit down, they can just walk along the bench and sit at the table.
Also, the new picnic table design can be modified by leaving one side shortened, to accommodate visitors in wheelchairs.
“Every British Columbian, including people living with disabilities, should be able to visit and enjoy the wonderful parks and outdoor spaces around B.C.,” said Stephanie Cadieux, Minister of Social Development.
The tables cost about $1,000 each and will be installed in four parks around the province in time for summer.
The new accessible table replaces B.C. Parks’ iconic picnic table that has remained unchanged for more than 50 years. Although significantly different from the old design, the new tables re-use the cedar tops of B.C. Parks’ old picnic tables, where possible.
Eventually, all of B.C. Parks’ picnic tables will be replaced with the new model.
“One of B.C. Parks’ priorities is to ensure accessibility for all and to offer everyone the opportunity to experience firsthand the splendour of B.C.’s provincial parks,” said Environment Minister Terry Lake.
The provincial park system began in 1911 with the creation of Strathcona Park on Vancouver Island. Today, the province has nearly 1,000 parks and protected areas.
Golden Ears Provincial Park is one of a growing number with wheelchair-accessible trails.