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Push to Open Nature

The goal of the Push to Nature initiative is to increase opportunities and invite the full participation of all Albertans in parks. Many Albertans face some sort of barrier to active living. Every Albertan will be affected by disability in their life due to injury, aging or as a caregiver to a loved one. Push to Open Nature aims to increase environmental and recreational opportunities for people of all abilities. 

Accessible Facilities

Nature has no building codes. We must work to ensure that people of all abilities can participate in nature-based experiences and outdoor recreation. We are trying to remove barriers in new and existing facilities, as well as in programs and daily operations.  

Accessible Camping

We are working to identify all barrier-free facilities, including campsites, in Alberta's provincial parks.

The Cecile Buhl One-Kilometre Experience in Alberta Parks

The Cecile Buhl One-Kilometre Experience is meant to connect park users with facilities that offer differently-abled visitors a chance to experience some of Alberta’s parks. The experience itself varies, based on the local appeal and constraints of the site. The One-Kilometre Experience is not necessarily one continuous loop of trail but incorporates at least one accessible washroom and accessible parking. Accessibility audits were performed in the summer of 2016 as a way of ensuring that facilities are designed and constructed so that everyone’s needs are considered. Construction based on the outcome of the audits will be completed from 2017-2020.

For nearly a decade, Cecile Buhl volunteered her time as a Push-to-Open Nature Ambassador, and contributed her life experiences to some of the audits that were completed throughout Alberta’s parks. Sadly, Cecile passed away in November 2016. To honor her selfless contribution, Alberta Parks has named the One-Kilometre Experience in Cecile’s memory. A trail at Fish Creek Provincial Park is being named to recognize Cecile’s passion for life, willingness to take risks and try new things, and lead the way forward for the Alberta Parks's approach to offering accessible opportunities throughout the province.

Adaptive Nature Challenges

Use of adaptive equipment such as Park Explorers, TrailRiders, sit-skis and outrigger kayaks provides access without impacting wilderness.  We develop and support programs that modify the user, not the environment. Adaptive nature challenges require tremendous teamwork and enthusiasm from committed volunteers and participants.  

Help Us Improve

Report accessibility problems you encounter in a provincial park. Submit ideas for places and experiences that should be made more accessible. We'd also love to hear about exceptional places or people in Alberta's parks that provide truly inclusive experiences. Please send your feedback, stories and photos to pushtoopen@gov.ab.ca.

Become a Push to Open Nature Ambassador. Regardless of age, ability or cultural background, everyone belongs outside. As a Push to Open Nature Ambassador, you will report barriers, audit trails for accessibility, and take part in a variety of inclusion events. Email pushtoopen@gov.ab.ca.  

Partner with us. If your organization wants to help push to open nature, we can do it together.  Email pushtoopen@gov.ab.ca.

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