Sponsored Content

Oregon State Parks:

Extending the Outdoors to Everyone.

Presented by Oregon Lottery June 2, 2022

Milo McIver’s accessible kayak launch provides river access to visitors with mobility challenges.

Oregon is renowned as one of the best places in the US to “get away from it all” for good reason. Our great outdoors is part of what makes our state so special. There are few places in the world where you might enjoy hiking, snow skiing, and some wet suit surfing all in the same weekend. But for people living with physical disabilities, outdoor activities haven’t always been accessible, which is something The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) is improving and they’re carefully planning to make our state’s outdoor spaces as inclusive as they are breathtaking.

Two kayakers paddle off after launching from Milo McIver’s accessible kayak launch.

About 40 minutes outside of Portland, Milo McIver State Park, now offers an accessible kayak launch and several other improvements to make enjoying the park easier for guests who use mobility aids. Similar launches have been installed at The Cove Palisades and William M Tugman State Parks, increasing river access for people with mobility differences.

Mobi Mats are rolled out on sand to provide wheelchair access to beaches.

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to accessibility. Improvement projects come in many shapes and sizes to fit specific challenges and terrain. At Beverly Beach State Park, Mobi Mats are rolled over the sand to provide beach access to people who use wheelchairs. At Silver Falls State Park, construction on an accessible trail will soon allow visitors with limited mobility to enjoy the park’s iconic and much-loved waterfall views. Virtual exploration opportunities are on the way to a connected device near you as a part of OPRD’s digital access program expansion.

Accessible trails like this one improve the inclusivity of Oregon’s state parks.

These improvements are possible thanks in part to voter-approved funding from the Oregon Lottery. Each year, the OPRD leverages millions of Lottery-generated dollars (nearly $90 million since 1999) to fund projects that improve and maintain Oregon’s special places. These dollars help OPRD continue its mission to increase access to our state parks for all Oregonians.

“Partnering with Lottery to advance our inclusion and accessibility efforts has been an incredible opportunity,” said OPRD Communications Director Jason Resch. “Together, we help make state parks more welcoming to everyone, from investing in a new accessible trail and viewpoint at Silver Falls State Park to expanding digital access so anyone, anywhere can experience and enjoy state parks.”

When you play Oregon Lottery games, you help fund important programs like our wonderful state parks. Each year, thousands of Oregonians and out-of-state visitors “get away from it all” across our entire state. Next time you play, remember that you helped ensure the natural beauty of Oregon stays inclusive, preserved, and protected.


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