Vancouver Park Board is rolling out new mats that are hoping to bring the beach closer to people who find it difficult to access the sandy area.
The Mobi-Mat is a rollout mat that provides a stable walkway for people with walkers, in wheelchairs, or on scooters.
“I just want to be like everyone else and go to the beach with my friends,” said Jacques Courteau, Co-Chair of City of Vancouver Persons with Disabilities Advisory Committee, in the press release. Courteau had tested the beach mats prior to their launch.
The first mat has been installed just above high tide at English Bay Beach, and if it is successful, more beaches around Vancouver will have the mats installed in the summer of 2018.
“One of our core values is access for all to our parks and recreation facilities,” said Park Board Chair Michael Wiebe in a release. “This mat is a significant addition to our existing adaptive recreation programs.”
Along with the mats, the Vancouver Park Board also has plans to increase the amount of beach-accessible wheelchairs on the shores of Vancouver. Currently there is one at Jericho Beach and one at English Bay Beach, and nine new chairs are set to arrive at other city beaches in 2018.
This isn’t the first time that English Bay Beach has seen new additions on its sands, as last year the Vancouver Park Board introduced chair and umbrella rentals to the popular beach.