FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 20, 2014
FANNING SPRINGS STATE PARK INCREASES ACCESSIBILITY
~Event offered recreational activities for people with disabilities~
FANNING SPRINGS – The Florida Department
of Environmental Protection’s Florida Park Service in partnership with the
Agency for Persons with Disabilities, hosted an expo at Fanning Springs State Park recently to increase awareness about accessibility and recreation in parks.
More than 400 people
attended the event for people with disabilities, which was sponsored through partnerships with Special Olympics, The ARC of Levy
County, Florida Developmental Disabilities Council, Florida Disabled Outdoors
Association, Florida Alliance for Assistive Services and Technology, The National
Spinal Cord Injury Association of Central Florida, Levy County Commission and Levy County Transit.
“We strive to offer
outdoor recreation to everyone,” said Donald Forgione, director of the Florida
Park Service. “These events allow people to experiment with a variety of accessible
activities that allow them to fully enjoy Florida’s natural treasures.”
The event featured
resource demonstrators, free dental screenings by Special Olympics,
games and activities from Florida Disabled Outdoors Association, and food from
various community organizations. Outdoor recreational
opportunities included sit volleyball, ladder toss, disc golf, trail rides,
parachute games, arts and crafts, and live music and dancing.
Agency for Persons with Disabilities Director Barbara
Palmer said, “The Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Florida Park
Service did an outstanding job ensuring that everyone who attended the
Disability Expo at Fanning Springs had a great time. The event would not have
been possible without the fabulous park rangers. Everyone left the Disability Expo with a smile.”
state parks and state trails offer many opportunities for outdoor recreation.
In Florida, visitors and residents find beaches, freshwater springs, lakes and
rivers where swimming, canoeing, kayaking and fishing are very popular.
Trails offer the opportunity for hiking, bicycling and horseback riding. Most
state parks offer playgrounds where children can play and parents can sit in
the shade to keep a watchful eye. Most parks also offer picnicking facilities
with tables, barbecue grills and shelter.
A similar event is
planned at Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park on October 4, 2014.