|Providing access to beaches enables people with disabilities and their friends and family to enjoy a time honored vacationing tradition.|
A beach is a designated area along a shore providing pedestrian entry for the purpose of water play, swimming or other water shoreline activities. Coastal areas, inland lakes, ponds, and rivers all have beaches. However, beach is not synonymous with sand. Soil, gravel, grass and other surfaces are found along shorelines and are also considered to be beaches. Due to the dynamic nature of shorelines, the surface is generally not firm and stable and therefore may not be accessible. This monograph addresses this and other issues involving access to beaches for people with disabilities.
"It broke my heart every day seeing Dad or Mom seated on the pavement watching their kids play 100 feet away on the beach." These words from John Short, Parks Director of Plainfield Charter Township, echoed the feelings of many in the community.
This quickly growing township on the northeast edge of Grand Rapids saw a need at Versluis Park and responded to the challenge. Tired of observing patrons who were unable to engage in beach and water activities because of varying abilities, they decided to do something about it.