Fully accessible campsite built at Shadow Mountain | SkyHiNews.com

Fully accessible campsite built at Shadow Mountain

Tonya Bina
Sky-Hi Daily News
Grand County, CO Colorado
Byron Hetzler/Sky-Hi News
Byron Hetzler/Sky-Hi News | Sky-Hi News

Green Ridge Campground near the shore of Shadow Mountain Reservoir in the Arapaho National Recreation Area now has a camping platform accessible by those who are in wheelchairs or who have disabilities that make it harder to get on and off the ground.

The 18 inches tall, 12-by-12-foot camping platform was built May 15 by a team of volunteers led by Jack Reichert whose daughter Haley has cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair.

The Reichert family of Fraser plans to use the platform this summer, according to mom Debbie Reichert.

“Once word gets out about it, I think it will become a popular site. I’d like to see it in more campgrounds up here,” she said.

The platform will allow Haley to roll her wheelchair directly up to the edge of the campsite, enabling her to shift herself onto it.

A tent can be pitched on the platform with the use of tie-downs.

“It’s easier. It keeps the person using the wheelchair from having to be on the ground,” said Dan Matthews, manager of the Arapaho National Recreation Area, who worked with volunteers on the project.

Similar to the National Sports Center for the Disabled accessible sites in the Jim Creek campground on U.S. Forest Service land, reserved through the NSCD and designed specifically for people with disabilities, the new Green Ridge accessible site is the first of its kind in the Grand Lake-Three Lakes area.

The public site was a collaboration between JoAnn Roberts of Fraser, who works with developmentally delayed youth through the Horizons organization, and Diana Lynn Rau of Tabernash, whose late son Tim Rau spent much of his life in a wheel chair.

The platform was built in memory of Tim Rau, who was a student at East Grand Middle School and Middle Park High School.

Roberts’ nephew Preston Primmer, 15, of Spokane, Wash. took on the project as an Eagle Scout project. With his family and members of the Fraser Valley Elementary School Cub Scouts, he helped to build the platform, according to Roberts.

The project also included widening the parking lane to make it more accessible.

The wood and Trex decking for the accessible camping platform project were donated by Highland Lumber of Tabernash with gravel from Morrow and Sons of Fraser. The use of equipment on the project was donated by Indian Peaks Rental of Tabernash.

Green Ridge Campground already has an accessible osprey-viewing platform and an accessible trail that leads to the Triple A Barn, so Green Ridge was a “natural choice” for the new campsite, Roberts said.

– Tonya Bina can be reached at 970-887-3334 ext. 19603 or email tbina@skyhidailynews.com.

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