Ontario Nature has unveiled a wheelchair accessible boardwalk in advance of accessibility week at Petrel Point Nature Reserve:
To make its natural spaces more accessible, Ontario Nature opened a new wheelchair accessible boardwalk [not pictured] at its Petrel Point Nature Reserve. The upgrade enables people of all abilities to enjoy this stunning property.
“The pristine coastal meadow marsh on this property is a globally rare ecosystem with many rare and sensitive plants,” said Tanya Pulfer, Ontario Nature’s Conservation Science Manager.
Petrel Point Nature Reserve, located on the Southern Bruce Peninsula, is a spectacular example of rare Great Lakes Coastal Meadow Marsh habitat. Visitors use guided trails and walkways to preserve the sensitive plant life that thrives on the property.
The unveiling revealed the first 200 metres of an accessible boardwalk loop. Visitors had the opportunity to observe wildflowers that flourish on the reserve including sundews, pitcher plants, and showy lady’s slippers, rose pogonia and grass-pink orchids.
“We have been working to bring many of our trails up to a higher standard of safety and recreation experience, including improvements to accessibility, so that all Ontarians can enjoy these natural spaces,” said Caroline Schultz, Ontario Nature’s Executive Director.
Ontario Nature received $ 50,000 for an accessible boardwalk project funded by the Government of Canada’s Enabling Accessibility Fund. Funding was also provided by the Government of Ontario’s Great Lakes Guardian Community Fund, TD Friends of the Environment Foundation, Bruce Power, Mountain Equipment Co-Op, the J.P. Bickell Foundation, the Helen McCrea Peacock Foundation and Ontario Nature members.
“This summer, thanks to a new accessible boardwalk, people of all abilities will have the chance to experience the outdoor wonders of Petrel Point Nature Reserve,” stated the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities. The Enabling Accessibility Fund helps communities become more inclusive by creating safe and accessible spaces for all to enjoy.”
Ontario Nature will add an additional 310 meters of accessible boardwalk this summer. This will connect the existing boardwalks and create a loop through the forested section of the reserve. The addition will connect the two existing sections of accessible boardwalk and create a loop through the forest later in the summer.
Ontario Nature protects wild species and wild spaces through conservation, education and public engagement. Ontario Nature is a charitable organization representing more than 30,000 members and supporters, and 150 member groups across Ontario. For more information, visit ontarionature.org.