Making Accessibility Happen
Every national park has a visitor comment form that you can pick up at the guard station or e-mail online. Sharing your experiences – positive or negative – makes a difference.
Here’s what I sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
Greetings, Superintendent of beautiful Joshua Tree National Park,
As someone living with muscular dystrophy, getting outdoors on my mobility scooter is good for both body and soul. Mother Nature is a great healer and teacher, and at the height of her powers within the U.S. national parks.
On our recent visit to Joshua Tree National Park, my husband and I appreciated the thoughtfully designed accessibility trail at Cap Rock, and plan to revisit the park to experience the other short accessibility trails. (Photo attached.)
However, we spent the rest of our visit yesterday biking/scootering on the paved roads to really cover more of the park outside the confines of a car. We strongly recommend that Joshua Tree NP raises the bar on biking and overall ADA accessibility starting with a park wide biking/scooter/wheelchair/pedestrian paved trail, similar to that found at the Grand Canyon (where you can even rent bikes!). Bare minimum, encourage drivers to share the road (rather than limit everyone else trying to experience the park widely and actively with the necessity of a paved surface).
Also, we suggest you check out the bathroom facilities. Although they are equipped with handicap bars, many of the entrances have a steep bump that is challenging for wheelchair accessibility into the facilities. (Sample photo attached is from the Barker Dam bathroom.)
Thank you for considering these suggestions so everyone may “Experience Your America“.
Response from Superintendent, David Smith:
Joshua Tree National Park Plans ADA Upgrade