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Oregon State Parks Will Embark on an Ambitious Plan to Make Its Facilities More Accessible

Three problems make up 52% of all barriers at day-use areas, campsites and other properties: doors, parking lots and restrooms.

Oregon State Parks and Recreation has announced ambitious plans to make its facilities more accessible for people with disabilities over the next 25 years.

The new Americans With Disabilities Act Transition Plan helped the agency identify obstacles to both parks and recreational programs across the state in order to then provide a road map for removing them. In all, trained rangers and an ADA coordinator surveyed 273 sites and identified 4,872 barriers, which were then grouped into categories by how easy or difficult they would be to fix.

The study revealed a wide range of issues at state park properties, from narrow trails to inaccessible picnic tables. Three problems, however, make up 52% of all barriers: doors, parking lots and restrooms.

Upgrades and repairs at facilities that are easiest to address will begin this July. That would include tasks like replacing sink fixture controls and adding parking signage. All low-barrier repairs should be complete within five years.

Oregon State Parks expects to wrap up the entire project in June 2046. That timeline will help ensure barrier removal is actually feasible given budget constraints following a year that saw reduced user fees due to the pandemic and historic fall wildfires.