Wheels on the Beach


Crystal Cove Alliance shows that everyone can enjoy the sand and surf with the help of a beach wheelchair

Crystal CovPicture of a family with daughter in a wheelchair on the beach. Crystal Cove State Park.e Alliance (CCA) believes that beaches should be accessible to all—which is why we work so hard to support the popular beach wheelchair program, serving more than 2,500 appreciative guests per year.

Part of a larger accessibility agenda, one that encompasses a growing number of initiatives like the Beaches and Mobility Program with the Braille Institute, the program provides complimentary beach-friendly wheelchairs to elderly and disabled individuals to easily navigate the sandy shores of Crystal Cove.

“My almost 92-year-old mother … has had a life-long love affair with the Pacific Ocean,” Kevin Felts says. “[With a beach wheelchair], Mom got closer to the water than she’s been in years, and she loved every minute of it.”
“[My daughter] Alison is 14 years old … and has cerebral palsy and usually uses a wheelchair to get around,” adds Atlanta resident Jim Schwab, who visited the park with his family during spring break this year. “During our visit, Alison was able to get up close and see the anemones, crabs, starfish [and] urchins easily and we all enjoyed our walk down the beach together.”

This year, CCA raised more than $20,000 to provide beach wheelchairs for the Historic District and the Moro Canyon beach access. The California Coastal Commission and California Coastal Conservancy provided the initial funding, but the $3,550 wheelchairs require continuous maintenance and repair. Donations to help continue the beach wheelchair program are much appreciated.

Top: Alison Schwab (right) with her twin brother Matt. Bottom: Kevin Felts’ 92-year-old mother at Crystal Cove.

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