Trails on Bowen Island are now more accessible, thanks to an all-terrain wheelchair that can be borrowed from the library.
The unique wheelchair, called a Mountain Trike, is part of the Bowen Island Public Library’s Med Shed, which loans out canes, walkers and other medical devices. “A lot of libraries these days lend things other than books,” said Tina Nielsen, Chief Librarian. “Since we are already good at lending things, we wanted to expand.”
Procuring the all-terrain wheelchair took a team effort that began with library volunteer Sally Fitz-Gibbon when she was trying to assist a visitor. “The man was in a wheelchair and the woman with him was tiny,” said Fitz-Gibbon. “They wanted to go to Dorman Point, which is quite steep and not very good footing.”
When the library team realized that there may be others who were no longer able to access trails because of mobility issues, they began looking into sourcing a mobility device appropriate for trail use. Staff at a health care agency researched options and with the library’s support, a grant request was made to fund the Mountain Trike.
Jennifer Pardee, the Director of the Bowen Island Community Foundation was pleased to support the project. “We can tap into the great ideas that people bring to enhance the community in so many different ways,” she said. “It’s important for it be free because we want it to be accessible to everyone.”
The Library received the grant for the $8000 wheelchair, which arrived from England in spring 2016. To borrow the Mountain Trike, contact the Bowen Island Public Library.
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