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With hot weather forecasted for the weekend, the swimming lake at Dutchess County’s Wilcox Memorial Park in the Town of Milan is certain to be a popular destination. Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro is pleased to announce the installation of a beach mat path and new specialized wheelchairs making the beach area more accessible for people of all abilities. An AccessMat®, WaterWheels® floating wheelchair, and PVC Chair are now available at the Wilcox Park swimming lake beach Thursdays through Mondays from 11am to 7pm (the lake is closed Tuesday and Wednesday). Wheelchairs are available for use free of charge on a first-come, first-serve basis.
County Executive Marcus Molinaro said, “Our ThinkDIFFERENTLY initiative fosters a more inclusive community for our neighbors with different abilities. The accessibility mat and specially designed wheelchairs makes it easier to navigate the sand and enjoy a refreshing dip in the beautiful water at Wilcox Park this weekend and all summer long. Capital improvements such as these not only enhance the accessibility of the facilities, but also improve everyone’s enjoyability of our area’s natural beauty.”
AccessMat® is a portable and removable rollout access route designed for beach environments. The floating wheelchair, WaterWheels®, is designed with floatable armrests and tires to easily transport users from the beach to the water. The PVC sand wheelchair is a sturdy, lightweight all-terrain beach chair designed with large balloon flotation tires to allow easier access on sand and other soft surfaces, such as the park’s grassy picnicking areas.
Dutchess County Legislature Chairman Gregg Pulver said, “The swimming lake at Wilcox Park is a great place to relax with family and friends and cool down in the summer heat. By making simple changes to improve people’s quality of life and welcoming everyone, of every ability, more of Dutchess County’s residents can take advantage of this beautiful park.”
Parks Director Steve Olsen said, “These new accessibility amenities make it easier for so many to enjoy our beautiful beach including those with mobility issues. Whether our visitors have babies in strollers or are individuals with walking issues or are in wheelchairs, the AccessMat®, WaterWheels®, and PVC Chair give access to the sand and water to those who might otherwise have to miss out on the fun of a beautiful day at the beach.”
Wilcox Memorial Memorial Park is located on Route 199 in the Town of Milan. For GPS directions, use the address - 1639 Rte. 199 Stanfordville NY 12581.
The water wheelchairs are available on a first-come, first-served basis with a half-hour limit on the floating wheelchair if demand is high.
For more information on Dutchess County Parks, visit dutchessny.gov/parks.
Wilcox’s swimming lake accessibility amenities are part of Dutchess County’s efforts to ThinkDIFFERENTLY and foster inclusion for individuals of all abilities. Dutchess County is currently developing a new Dutchess County Parks and Recreation Master Plan with a special emphasis on creating universal access at park facilities, including building, playgrounds and trails. The public is encouraged to share input about park facilities and the programming offered to help guide future investment in county parks. Residents and visitors can take part by participating in this online Parks and Recreation Community Needs Survey.