Fall 2015 Volume 12, Edition 3
"Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.”
- William Hutchinson Murray
Harrington Beach State Park Accessible Cabin Dedication
Wednesday, July 8, 2015
The 8th accessible camping cabin nears completion at Harrington Beach State Park, Belgium, Wisconsin and views Puckett's pond and surrounding prairie woodlands.
On July 8th the Friends Group of Harrington Beach State Park (HBSP), representatives from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR), including the regional and park rangers and engineers, construction volunteers, workers, contractors, engineers, donors and families including family members of Jim Schendel (who in memoriam inspired the construction of this cabin) were on site at the dedication ceremony of the Harrington Beach State Park Accessible Camping Cabin.
In 1990, Art Miller founder of New Horizons Un-Limited assisted in the design of the first accessible cabin for the Wisconsin State Parks at Mirror Lake, as well as 6 out of the 8 cabins built through the following years, including this cabin.
Speaking of the history of the accessible cabins in the State Parks, Art described how he was asked by the Telephone Pioneers to help design the first cabin, how they dreamed of building 5 more like it and how they designed and constructed the cabins to be built to last 100 years. Explaining to everyone how much the accessible amenities of the cabin can mean to those for whom it was built, he remarked, "You have no idea what this means to families who face each day with the challenges of disabilities and how much respite in the outdoors can mean to a family and the family member with disabilities. It gives them hope for tomorrow to begin again!”
(Continued from page 1.)
Carolyn Morgen, Superintendent/Interim Park Manager, thanked everyone who had been involved with the construction of the accessible cabin. She assured everyone that the many representatives from the DNR present at the dedication were there to express their gratitude to the volunteers who had dreamt it and built it. If anyone had any doubt whether this project was worth it, they need only spend a day in the main office at Kohler Andrea State Park to hear the testimony of grateful families, touched by the generosity of volunteer groups who built the cabins and appreciative of the opportunity to take their family member for a camping experience, something they never thought would be possible.
Ronnie Martin, President of the Friends Group, reminded us of Jim Schendel, a HBSP volunteer who had loved this park and worked tirelessly for the many accessible features for the park. It was at Jim’s passing when family members asked for a bench in Jim’s name, the group decided to build an accessible cabin instead. With Jim’s memorial gift the seed was planted in the hearts of Andy Krueger, former HBSP manager, Danny Goldsmith, Ray Carey, Ronnie Martin and Jim’s siblings, Denise Carney and Mary Movich of the Friends Group. Neil Kraemer and Ray Carey project managers soon asked Art Miller, Miller Engineering ITG and NHU and Lavern Nall, Strass Maguire Architects Assoc. Inc. for the design.
Wisconsin State Senator, Duey Stroebel commended the community of hard workers and friends to have the testament to come together and to give so much to make the cabin happen. He offered, “Congratulations for this fine achievement!”
Dan Schuller, DNR Bureau of Parks and Recreation Director, spoke of the variety of recreational activities available through Harrington Beach State Park and all the Wisconsin State Parks. “The parks are meant for all of us and this community has made it possible for those with disabilities to have the opportunity to enjoy them too. In this way the accessible cabin fulfills the vision of the state which has become the leader in accessible facilities across the U.S.” On behalf of the citizens of Wisconsin he thanked everyone who had helped to take this cabin to completion, a phenomenal feat.
In the coming weeks as the Friends Group puts the finishing touches on the cabin, we look forward to the date when it opens and goes on-line to take reservations. Only 30 minutes from Milwaukee, this park with its accessible trails around Quarry Lake and expansive beach on Lake Michigan offers a wonderful outdoor opportunity for families challenged by disability.
Camping cabins offer a low cost option for enjoying the outdoors for people with physical disabilities who require accessible amenities. The opportunity to respite in the outdoors offers family members to bond in ways that may otherwise be more difficult, offers good nature therapy from life’s stresses and helps individuals with disabilities and their families to become reinvigorated, “It gives them hope for tomorrow to begin again!”
Fall 2015 NHU Outlook Page 3
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