Redwood National and State Parks (RNSP) and Redwood Parks Conservancy (RPC) announced the arrival of a brand-new Actiontrack electric all-terrain track chair, enhancing accessibility for visitors with mobility challenges to explore the majestic old growth redwood forests of Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park.
Thanks to a partnership with David’s Chair Outdoor Mobility Systems, the dream of empowering mobility-impaired individuals to engage in outdoor activities is becoming a reality. The track chair is designed to navigate designated trails within the park, providing a unique opportunity to explore areas previously inaccessible to regular wheelchairs.
“It is our hope that this first track chair at Prairie Creek serves as an example of a creative solution to removing barriers to parks that prevent equitable access and inclusion” said Erin Gates, Interpretation and Education Program Manager for California State Parks North Coast Redwoods District. “By using the power of partnerships with organizations like David’s Chair, state and national parks across the country can work towards ensuring that parks are places for everyone.”
The track chair can be reserved online for three-hour blocks, starting from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m., and again from 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. To reserve a chair, visitors can visit https://www.redwoodparksconservancy.org/permits/davids-chair.
Prairie Creek Visitor Center marks the first permanent location in California where David’s Chair has stationed one of its track chairs. This significant milestone is a tribute to the late David Hartrick, whose battle with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) inspired the creation of David’s Chair. Even after his passing, the organization continues to provide the gift of independence and freedom to people with ALS and other mobility challenges.
The new track chair arrived at Prairie Creek last Monday, and the first visitor to explore the redwoods using it was David Echt from San Rafael, CA. Echt, living with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) for half his life, expressed gratitude for the newfound freedom the chair provided.
Both RNSP and California State Parks North Coast Redwoods District (NCRD) continue to work with David’s Chair on expanding their reach to more parks, aiming to make parks accessible and inclusive for all visitors.