A Vancouver Island city is rolling out the carpet for accessibility.
The City of Nanaimo says it has installed new seasonal mats at three parks, helping make beach areas more accessible to all this summer.
Colliery Dam, Neck Point and Loudon parks are now home to “Mobi-Mats” — non-slip walkways for those with wheels, including wheelchairs, strollers, wagons and kayak trailers.
The mats, made from recycled materials, were installed following the pilot of one on Departure Bay Beach in the summer of 2022. The city says this process was successful, prompting crews to reinstall one there and at the three parks.
At Colliery Dam Park, a mat is at the sandy swimming beach on the south side of the Lower Colliery Dam. It was partially funded by a $5,000 donation from the park’s preservation society.
Neck Point Park’s mat is on Finn Beach and is accessible from the parking lot, while Loudon Park’s mat is beside the accessible fishing dock.
At Departure Bay Beach, a mat is near the Kin Hut Activity Centre. Only this year, it has been upgraded to feature a landing spot, which is an area that can be used for resting or picnicking.
According to the city, locations were selected based on their popularity and suitability for installation. It says people using mats should get assistance, as the ground underneath is uneven.
“The installation of the Mobi-Mats is another example of how the City is working to make accessibility improvements,” said Nanaimo Mayor Leonard Krog. “It is helpful for those in wheelchairs, those with strollers or those with wagons or kayak trailers, and I am sure they will be well used by many members of our community.”
The mats come as part of the city’s 2019-2022 Strategic Plan, which looks to create “a community that is livable, environmentally sustainable and full of opportunity for all generations and walks of life.”
The city says the mats will be in place through the summer season.
— City of Nanaimo (@cityofnanaimo) June 23, 2023