Decorative Waves

New Plans for Columbia River Gorge Accessibility

Columbia River Gorge

A conservation non-profit group, "Friends of the River Gorge" has announced plans to establish an inclusive and accessible viewing site in the Columbia River Gorge. The initiative aims to provide equal opportunities for individuals of all abilities to experience the region's natural beauty. The group, consisting of community members, accessibility advocates, and conservationists, aims to collaborate with experts in accessible design to build a site that delights all its visitors with access needs. In addition to incorporating features such as wheelchair ramps, paved pathways, and braille signage, the group also plans to include interpretive displays, (always so helpful for blind/low vision and children with sensory issues), and multilingual information.

According to this story in The Bulletin, the daily newspaper of Bend, Oregon, the group has sought advice from people of color, local American Indian tribes, older adults, disability advocates, and families with young children — as well as the U.S. Forest Service — on how the site can make everyone feel welcome.

Local businesses and community members have shown significant support for the project, and fundraising efforts are underway. The initiative is seen as a model for other communities to prioritize accessibility in outdoor spaces.

 
Meyer/Reed principal landscape architect Jeramie Shane, right, talks about designs for a new Cape Horn lookout while senior designer Margaret Drew, left, listens. Friends of Columbia River Gorge is working with Mayer/Reed to design the lookout and outdoor area with accessibility at the forefront. Meyer/Reed principal landscape architect Jeramie Shane talks about designs for a new Cape Horn lookout while senior designer Margaret Drew listens. Friends of the Columbia River Gorge is working with Mayer/Reed to design the lookout and outdoor area with accessibility at the forefront.   Photo Credit:  Taylor Balkom/The Columbian

Reflecting on the site, Dan Bell, the director of Friends of the Gorge land trust, expressed admiration, stating, "It's such a spectacular property."

We can't wait to visit this once construction is completed!  

 

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