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AR logo Access Recreation; this page is the foreword by Georgena Moran

A message from Georgena Moran, Access Recreation Project Coordinator

Living in Portland, Oregon, I feel fortunate to be surrounded by so much natural beauty and to have such great hiking and outdoor resources all around me.  But, as a wheelchair user, I also feel the frustration of not having access to reliable and meaningful information about those hiking opportunities.  I feel that printed materials and online resources vary greatly in the information provided and often are offered with little understanding of what is most useful to people with different types of disabilities.

My belief is that there are actually many trails that could be used by people with disabilities, but what is lacking is the information to make an informed decision.  The concept is simple and empowering – people can make their own determinations if they are just provided the right information.  Conversely, it is frustrating to make the effort to visit a site only to discover that it is unusable and perhaps for the most inconsequential reason.

Several years ago, I decided to improve that situation and convened a team that included representatives from federal, state and local parks departments to develop common standards for providing information that would better inform people with disabilities.  This Access Recreation Committee developed Guidelines based on its collective experience and with the expectation that public agencies in the region would strive for a common standard of trail description and information sharing. 

A generous grant in 2011 from the Recreational Trails Program of the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department has now made it possible to further develop these Guidelines and to publish this web-document.  These Guidelines do not propose to alter existing trails as much as to improve the quality of information that is provided about them.  The team is sensitive to the difficulty public agencies have to implement many new programs, so the underlying premise was to divide the Guidelines into two phases: 1) primary information that can be provided readily and at no cost to the respective agency; and, 2) additional information that can be added over time as funding becomes available.

I hope you will find as much benefit from our effort as the enthusiasm we have felt in assembling this document for you.


Georgena Moran

Georgena Moran

Access Recreation Project Coordinator

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