People with significant mobility issues will now be able to enjoy the beautiful scenery at Staunton State Park.
Last week, the non-profit Friends of Staunton State Park donated an all-terrain wheelchair to the park near Conifer. It is the first park in the state to have one.
"Here at Staunton we have a lot of hiking biking and equestrian use and now we have an opportunity with the track chair to provide hiking access to the disabled individuals," said Zach Taylor, Staunton Park Manager.
The donation was made in memory of Mark Madsen who died last August. He spent time fishing and hiking with his sons in the area that became Staunton State Park before he was paralyzed in a car accident in 2001.
In the summer of 2014 Madsen was once again able to explore the area with the help of a track chair he borrowed from Craig Hospital.
"We're looking at about 10 to 15 miles of trails that we'll be able to utilize the chair on," said Taylor. "The battery life of these things can run from 8 to 10 hours, basically providing access to a lot of the far reaches of the park."
The chair can be reserved from late May through October by calling the park office at 303-816-0912. There's no additional charge to use it.
"It's a phenomenal opportunity. I'm extremely humble, both to have a friends group that supports the park but then the local community that pitched in and made the donations for us to buy this chair. It's an opportunity for us at Staunton State Park as well as Parks and Wildlife to provide access to, at this point, just about anybody that wants to come and do it."