Ryan Clarkson from Spinal Cord Injury BC speaks during the official opening of 25 new wheelchair accessible cabins at Maple Bay Campground on Saturday. (Jenna Hauck/ The Progress)

25 new wheelchair-accessible cabins open at Cultus Lake Provincial Park

Maple Bay Campground is now home to 25 new wheelchair friendly cabins, a first for BC Parks

BC Parks celebrated Canada’s Parks Day in Chilliwack with the official opening of 25 brand-new, wheelchair-accessible cabins at Cultus Lake Provincial Park on Saturday.

All of the cabins at Maple Bay Campground are 200-square feet and fully accessible for people with mobility issues — which constitutes a first for BC Parks. The campground also features wheelchair-friendly washrooms and showers.

“The cabins provide another opportunity for individuals who face barriers to experience camping in our parks,” said Lisa Beare, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture and Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows MLA. “We are committed here at the province to creating accessible opportunities like this so everyone can get out and explore our natural spaces.”

Spinal Cord Injury BC was also involved in the project. They provided “valuable input” on the cabin design to help make them accessible to a wider range of people, added Beare.

“It’s nice to know that accessibility, inclusiveness and universal design is in the back of the minds when planning parks like this,” said Ryan Clarkson with Spinal Cord Injury BC.

Each cabin sleeps up to five people and costs $90 a night. They include a covered patio with a picnic table and stainless-steel cooking surface. Guests must bring their own bedding, dishes and cooking stoves.

Though all of the cabins are now open to the public, construction is still underway.

Four of the 25 cabins were constructed by the Canadian Armed Forces 192 Construction Engineering Flight, while two other cabins were built by a class of 14 Grade 11 and 12 students from G.W. Graham middle secondary school.

Steve Link teaches the trades sampler program at G.W. and said his students worked every day, Monday to Friday, on the cabins from November to February. They treated the project as if it were their career.

“There’s a whole sense of pride in getting up and going to work,” said Link.

The cabins at Maple Bay Campground is entirely a Fraser Valley project. The walls were pre-fabricated — consisting of studs, insulation, and plywood — and were built by inmates at Fraser Regional Correctional Centre in Maple Ridge. The beds were built by Woodworks in Abbotsford and the mattresses were made by Kingdom Mattress Factory in Chilliwack. Gerry Enns Contracting did the main washroom facility.

Announcement for the expansion of Maple Bay Campground came in 2016. In the spring of 2018, roads were built on the site and in June of last year construction of the cabins began. The site was formerly home to Cultus Lake United Church Campground (CLUCC) for more than 80 years. CLUCC held its “final campfire” event in the summer of 2014.

READ MORE: Facility upgrades at Chilliwack’s provincial parks

READ MORE: Final campfire doused at Cultus Lake United Church Campground

The official opening of the wheelchair accessible cabins at Maple Bay came at the same time as another project by BC parks. Twenty-two electric sites with electric vehicle (EV) charging stations are now open at Mount Robson Provincial Park located in Fraser-Fort George, a regional district in B.C.’s Central Interior.

The 22 electric sites recently added to the Robson River Campground make Mount Robson the first provincial park in northeast B.C. to offer hook ups. The sites include an RV charging station and an EV charging connection with 50 amp service.

Both projects — the 25 accessible cabins at Maple Bay, and the 22 electric hookup sites — are a first for BC Parks.

For more information and to reserve a cabins or electric sites, go to discovercamping.ca.

The two projects are part of the 2019 campground expansions. Ranging from walk-in sites to marine sites, a total of 364 campsites are being added to 13 parks throughout the province in regions with the highest demand – the Lower Mainland, Thompson-Okanagan, Kootenay Rockies and Mount Robson. Another 232 sites are being added to 12 forestry recreation sites.

Held on the third Saturday of July, Parks Day is a national day to recognize the importance of parks for creating and maintaining healthy ecosystems, protecting critical habitat for species at risk and contributing to human health and well-being. Educational and family-oriented events are held in parks and historic sites across the country.


 

@PhotoJennalism
jenna.hauck@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Each cabin features a picnic table with a stainless-steel cooking surface. (Jenna Hauck/ The Progress)

Each cabin sleeps up to five people. (Jenna Hauck/ The Progress)

Each cabin sleeps up to five people. (Jenna Hauck/ The Progress)

Just Posted

A call for donations to fight COVID-19 in Langley and elsewhere

B.C. hasn’t run out of protective gear, but supplies are getting low

Memorial bench for Langley teen who died in park

Carson Crimeni is remembered with an anti-bullying message

Social media a blessing and a curse during time of crisis: B.C. communication expert

‘In moments of crisis, fear is very real and palpable,’ says SFU’s Peter Chow-White

VIDEO: Viral signs of the times appear on Langley sidewalks

Encouraging words during a time of crisis

Langley heart surgery patient rarely leaves home

James Jepson is especially vulnerable to the novel coronavirus

No plans to call in military right now to enforce COVID-19 quarantine: Trudeau

Trudeau unveils $7.5M for Kids Help Phone, $9M for vulnerable seniors amid COVID-19

QUIZ: How much do you know about the Olympics?

Put your knowledge to the test with these 12 questions

B.C. announces $3M for food banks to increase capacity during COVID-19

It is not clear how much of the money will flow towards Greater Victoria food banks

B.C. is seeing the highest rate of COVID-19 recovery in Canada, and there’s a few reasons why

British Columbia was one of the first to see rise in COVID-19 cases, and has also switched up testing

World COVID-19 update: U.S. expects 100,000 deaths; Oregon declares disaster

Comprehensive update of world news for Sunday, March 19.

B.C. Ferries passengers staying away, as asked, during COVID-19 pandemic

Ferry corporation says ridership down 70-80 per cent over the last week and a half

Sewers stitch masks to free up supplies for front-line health-care workers

“We have little old ladies sewing up a storm,” said Joan Davis

Experts weigh in on best handling of groceries during COVID-19 pandemic

Study suggests the virus can live for up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to three days on plastic

‘There is community’: B.C. councillor welcomes new baby into world amid COVID-19 pandemic

‘I realize there’s much more than fear and worry… there is hope, there is new life’: Jason Lum

Most Read