OREGON, Ohio — People paying a visit to Maumee Bay State Park now have new adaptive equipment to enjoy thanks to a donation from the NiSource Charitable Foundation. The new, accessible features were unveiled last Tuesday by staff from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), members of the Ohio State Parks Foundation (OSPF), and representatives from sponsor Columbia Gas.
“Improving outdoor recreation options at Ohio’s state parks for users of all abilities is a top goal for the Ohio State Parks Foundation,” said former Governor Bob Taft, OSPF chairman. “Today’s unveiling is just our first step toward accomplishing that goal.”
Made possible through a donation to the Ohio State Parks Foundation, visitors of all abilities will now be able to enjoy the water and even learn the love of paddling. Two new mobility mats provide a firm surface, connecting people of all abilities to the water’s edge. Two adaptive kayaks and an all-terrain wheelchair were also purchased with the funding provided by the NiSource Charitable Foundation.
“We are always looking for ways to elevate the experience for our visitors and this equipment allows an even wider group to really enjoy the water at Maumee Bay State Park,” ODNR Director Mary Mertz said. “This equipment addressed a big need for access, and we are thankful for this donation that will introduce more people to the beauty of our state parks.”
The Ohio State Parks Foundation is a 501c3 non-profit, charitable organization that supports Ohio State Parks by funding projects and programs of ODNR’s Division of Parks and Watercraft. Creating new ways to improve park experiences for users of all abilities is one of the foundation’s goals.
“Columbia Gas is committed to supporting safe spaces for all of our community members. We are thrilled to partner with the Ohio State Parks Foundation to ensure equity and accessibility here at Maumee State Park and throughout the state,” said Columbia Gas Community Engagement Manager Stephanie Merkle.
Equipment can be borrowed from the park. Those interested in renting it out can call the Maumee Bay State Park office at (419) 836-7758.