A scene of people with various disabilities gathered around a blue lake, enjoying their home, community, the out-of-doors, health, recreation, housing, transportation and education with an accessible path for them to a high mountain and large yellow sun on the horizon.  New Horizons Un-Limited Inc.

Press Releases: 2011

cabin at Kohler-Andrae State Park, Sheboygan, Wisconsin

New Horizons Un-Limited Announces - Friends of Harrington Beach State Park Plan to Build the 8th Accessible Cabin for Wisconsin State Parks


For more information, contact:
New Horizons Un-Limited
P.O. Box 510034
Milwaukee, WI 53203
Phone: (414) 299-0124

Send e-mail to horizons@new-horizons.org

Visit www.new-horizons.org

The Friends of Harrington Beach State Park, a local citizen support group, in partnership with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources are planning to build Wisconsinís 8th wheelchair accessible cabin for people with disabilities at the family campground of Harrington Beach state Park near Belgium, Wisconsin. The cabin will be built in memory and honor of Jim Schendel, an active member of Wisconsinís disability community , and a tireless advocate for increased accessibility within the park, who unexpectedly passed away in January 2008. Jim also volunteered for New Horizons Un-Limited as a computer trainer at various computer labs and workshops for people with disabilities across Southeastern Wisconsin.

Wisconsin's 8th fully accessible cabin, for people with disabilities and their families, will be built within the campground of Harrington Beach State Park which is approximately 2 miles east of Belgium and 35 miles north of Milwaukee in Ozaukee County. The Harrington Beach State Park, is located within 30 miles of the most populated area of Wisconsin offering a cool respite for the more than 125,000 people who visit the park annually. The park boasts one mile of Lake Michigan shoreline for picnicking, swimming, hiking, nature study, bird watching and fishing. The park encompasses acres of rolling grassland, savanna, wetlands and scattered woodland, is open year-round and has miles of trails for hiking and cross-country skiing.

The park also contains the visible remains of a late 19th-early 20th century limestone quarrying operation with the remains of the adjacent community, called Stonehaven. Extensive ruins of the quarry venture and numerous building foundations provide a step back into history for park visitors. There is an interpretive display and historical interpretive trail. The quarry has since been flooded and now offers an exceptional fishing location, regularly visited by local residents and a growing group of senior citizens who have discovered the charm and beauty of the quarry trail and lake. People visiting Harrington Park will find miles of paved trail and roads offering beautiful (and level) exercise paths with wonderful nature viewing opportunities.

The park, which already includes the following accessible features: Quarry Lake accessible trail, an accessible fishing pier at Puckett's Pond and Quarry Lake, an accessible shuttlebus, an observation platform at the wildlife refuge, five accessible campsites, and accessible picnic tables, buildings and most shelters," is an ideal location for an accessible cabin for people with disabilities. In addition future accessible plans for Harrington Beach State Park include an accessible trail to the fishing pier at Puckett's Pond, an accessible trail to the Lime Kiln and improve or replace the current shuttle to more easily accommodate someone with a disability at the Park.

Why build an accessible cabin? People with physical disabilities often cannot access the camping experience and the outdoors in most of our Wisconsin State Parks. How much can this mean to the family with someone with a disability? - A chance for the entire family to retreat and spend time together in the outdoors. - An opportunity for a loved one with a disability to experience the outdoors without limitations. The accessible cabins across the state are continuously full throughout the season. Most people (writing in the accessible cabin journals across the state) report that they did not think they would ever be able to experience camping and how grateful they are for this opportunity to be together in the outdoors.

The Friends Group has asked New Horizons Un-Limited, Miller Engineering Information Technologies Group Inc., and Strass Maguire and Associates Inc., architects, to coordinate accessibility issues and donate the design for Jim's cabin for the State of Wisconsin. Each of the cabins in the state parks, are a 1080 sq.ft. fully furnished cabin that will sleep up to six with numerous accessible amenities, ensuring that all people with disabilities may use the cabin and the park's amenities without fear of hidden barriers and can move freely from the outdoors to indoors with accessible entrance ramps and doorways. Through a well planned, user-friendly design, all rooms are large enough to allow for people in wheelchairs including a fully accessible bathroom with a roll in shower, kitchen counters that allow wheelchairs to roll under them, a bedroom large enough for wheelchairs and attendants to move about including two hospital beds for campers and hoyer lifts nearby if needed. The living area and an accessible porch offer additional sleeping space for family members. The cabins also offer control of ones environment to meet the needs of those with difficulty in variances in air and temperature. Furthermore, all fixtures and controls will be visually, audibly and physically accessible where required, including faucets, toilet, door and cabinet handles, kitchen appliance controls, environmental controls and light switches.

The Wisconsin DNR, attributes the success of these projects to the residents of Wisconsin who, through their generous donation of funds, building plans, furniture, equipment, time and talent, have made the cabins a reality.

You can help make this accessible cabin available to the many campers who might not otherwise be able to enjoy the experience of camping in the great outdoors.

The Friends Group of Harrington Beach State Park Accessible Cabin is in the stage of raising funds and is seeking your support. A total of $150,000 is required to make this cabin a reality over the next two years. To learn more about this project, how you may be able to assist with their fund raising efforts, or make a tax-deductible, 501(c)(3) donation to FHBSP/Accessible Cabin, call the park at (262) 285-3015 or e-mail us at New Horizons Un-Limited at horizons@new-horizons.org.

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[May 31, 2011]
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