The Florida State Parks Foundation has partnered with Surfing’s Evolution & Preservation Foundation to provide beach wheelchairs at ten of Florida’s most popular beach state parks. The wheelchairs will be available in the parks by early summer.
The beach wheelchairs can be used in areas with soft sand where conventional wheelchairs would get stuck. They can even be wheeled into shallow waters. Ten coastal parks around the state will each receive one wheelchair.
“Increasing accessibility for all is one of our missions and these new beach wheelchairs will allow people with mobility problems the opportunity to get on the beach with their family and friends. They will help create a new experience for them,” said Florida State Parks Foundation President Gil Ziffer.
Surfing’s Evolution & Preservation Foundation, Inc. is a charitable organization founded by surfing legend Ron DiMenna and his wife Lynne, to recognize the importance of the beach and surfing lifestyle in Florida and protect these beaches for future generations to enjoy. Their focus is on keeping the beaches safe and healthy, by supporting programs and events of other organizations that support beaches and oceans and promote education on beach safety.
“Surfing’s Evolution & Preservation Foundation is excited to partner with the Florida State Parks Foundation to provide beach wheelchairs to ten of its parks. We believe that our beaches should be enjoyed by everyone and we are so pleased to be able to increase accessibility for people who may not be able to get on the beach without assistance,” said Stacey Kirby, Foundation Administrator. “It is our hope that these Sand Rider beach wheelchairs will be enjoyed by many beach lovers for years to come. To support Surfing’s Evolution & Preservation Foundation, and to learn about our Endless Summer® specialty license plate, please visit: www.preservesurfingbeaches.org.”
State parks receiving the beach wheelchairs are: Big Lagoon State Park, Pensacola; Grayton Beach State Park, Santa Rosa Beach; Fort Clinch State Park, Fernandina Beach; Little Talbot Island State Park, Jacksonville; Anastasia State Park, St. Augustine; Sebastian Inlet State Park, Melbourne Beach; Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park, Naples; Gasparilla Island State Park, Boca Grande; Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park, Key West and Fort Pierce Inlet State Park, Fort Pierce.
The Florida State Parks Foundation, founded in 1993 as Friends of Florida State Parks and renamed in 2018, is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation whose mission is to support and help sustain the Florida Park Service, its 175 award-winning parks and trails, local Friends groups and more than 20,000 park volunteers.
It does this through programs that preserve and protect state parks, educate visitors about the value of state parks, encourage community engagement and active use of state parks, and advocacy.
The volunteer Board of Directors represents private and public sectors as well as local and statewide interests.