RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - Christmas is here and many of us have unwrapped our presents. However, if you’re looking for another gift, South Dakota Game, Fish, and Parks has something you can give any time of the year, access to the outdoors.
And with two all-terrain wheelchairs, that gift is a lot more approachable. Dining Chair
“You feel the ground beneath the tracks,” said Becky Noble as she sat in the Outdoor Campus West Action Track Chair. “You feel like you’re part of the outdoors among the trees and the wild and it’s an amazing freedom.”
13.7 percent of U.S. adults with a mobility disability may feel like some things are out of reach but the outdoors doesn’t have to be.
An initiative with South Dakota Game, Fish, and Parks has two Action Track Chairs to make discovering nature easier.
“It’s a chair that is built a lot like a tank and it can get folks out there in those areas that have very difficult terrain. It can get folks out there pheasant hunting in tall grass, it can get folks out there deer hunting in areas that are wooded, it can get people out there just enjoying a hike,” said Mike Klosowski, the regional wildland supervisor at Outdoor Campus West.
“Use it for hunting, use it for just going for a walk on the Mickelson Trail. I used it for a wedding!” continued Noble. “I was a bridesmaid and it was outdoors and so I used it for a wedding.”
Noble received this chair as a gift. She decided however it wasn’t meant to be used by just one person.
Working with South Dakota Youth Hunting Adventures and Outdoor Campus West, the chair is now accessible for all.
“We’ve even received a number of calls from other states saying ‘hey, we have people coming to South Dakota utilizing it and now, they want to have it here in Missouri or Wisconsin or other states like that’,” said Klosowski.
“It gives you the freedom to get out, away from your normal, everyday use of mobility and get into those outdoors where sometimes terrain can be a challenge and these tracks provide a freedom like many understand but many don’t,” said Noble.
Although the Mount Rushmore state only has two currently, the plan for the future is to raise funds for 30 more track chairs, spreading accessibility across the state.
These specially-designed all-terrain wheelchairs are growing in popularity but South Dakota is one of only a few states that provides access to them.
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