Thursday, March 27, 2014

Comments sought on variance to allow for addition of accessible cabin at Harrington Beach State Park

BELGIUM, Wis. - The public has an opportunity through April 11, 2014 to comment on a proposed variance to the master plan for Harrington Beach State Park that would allow for the addition of an accessible cabin to the family campground.

Harrington Beach State Park family campground was developed in 2009 on approximately 60 acres of grassland and old field habitat west of Sauk Trail Road. The campground has 73 campsites, six walk-in tent sites and a group site that accommodates up to 30 people. The approved master plan for the park also authorized the construction of two campsites with handicap accessible yurts. However, the yurts were not constructed due to construction code requirements. In place of the two yurts, the Department of Natural Resources is proposing a variance that will allow one accessible cabin to be built.

"The state park accessible cabins open up a whole new world to people with disabilities," says Carolyn Morgen, Harrington Beach property supervisor. "There are many people that would never get an opportunity to spend time in the outdoors camping, having a camp fire, or even cooking for themselves."

The proposed cabin at Harrington Beach State Park will compliment other facilities that offer an opportunity for people with disabilities to experience the outdoors. The park has an accessible trail around Quarry Lake, an accessible fishing pier at Quarry Lake, an accessible fishing pier at Puckett's Pond and an accessible trail to the Lake Michigan beach.

The cabin will have a maximum capacity of six people, and will include wheelchair accessibility, a kitchen with low counter, stove, microwave and refrigerator, two hospital beds with lift, a full-size sofa sleeper and two cots, a Hoyer lift, a bathroom with wheel-in shower, bench and shower commode chair, several outlets and lighting, heat and electricity, a kitchen table and chairs, an attached screened-in porch and an outdoor accessible fire ring.

The cabin would replace one campsite at the northern end of the campground near other accessible features. Funding for the cabin will come from both public and private sources, including a $60,000 grant from the Knowles-Nelson Friends Stewardship Program, a $70,000 donation from the Friends of Harrington Beach State Park and in-kind labor and material donations of $45,000.

Harrington Beach State Park cabin would join seven accessible cabins that are located at Mirror Lake, Buckhorn, High Cliff, Kohler-Andrae and Potawatomi State Parks, at the Kettle Moraine State Forest-Southern Unit, and at the Richard Bong State Recreation Area.

Comments on the proposed variance may be sent to Carolyn Morgen, Harrington Beach State Park, 531 County Road D, Belgium WI, 53004 or by email to Comments should be received by April 11, 2014.

For more information search the DNR website for keywords "Harrington Beach," and click on the tab for Maps/publications and the link for Draft Master Plan Variance: Addition of an accessible cabin to the family campground [PDF].

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