Earlier today, people gathered in Georgia’s Panola Mountain State Park to kick off a new initiative called All Terrain Georgia that has made all-terrain track wheelchairs available for those with mobility impairments in outdoor recreational acres across the state. The project is a collaboration between the Georgia Department of Natural Resources and the Aimee Copeland Foundation (ACF), a nonprofit that works to improve access to those with physical challenges.
“All Terrain Georgia is the pride and joy of Aimee Copeland Foundation,” said Aimee Copeland, founder of ACF, in a statement. “It’s been a long time coming and we’re honored to offer this life-changing program to the community.”
An outdoor enthusiast, Copeland was diagnosed with a rare flesh-eating bacterial infection back in 2012 following a ziplining accident. Her doctors found that her best chance of survival was to amputate both of her hands, one foot, and much of one leg. Copeland’s difficult road to recovery led her to start the ACF to help others with physical challenges.
“Our goal is to enable people with mobility impairments to enjoy the nurturing and healing qualities of the vast natural resources that our state has to offer,” Copeland wrote on Instagram. “We have a vision of an inclusive Georgia where everyone has the opportunity to live and play in their own community.”
After today’s unveiling ceremony, all-terrain track chairs are now available at:
· Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center, Mansfield
· Cloudland Canyon State Park, Trenton
· Don Carter State Park, Lake Lanier
· Etowah Indian Mounds Historic Site, Cartersville
· Fort Yargo State Park, Winder
· Hard Labor Creek State Park, Rutledge
· Panola Mountain State Park, Stockbridge
· Pickett’s Mill Battlefield Historic Site, Dallas
· Red Top Mountain State Park, Lake Allatoona
· Smithgall Woods State Park, Helen
· Sweetwater Creek State Park, Lithia Springs
The all-terrain track chairs help users navigate difficult terrain on trails, along with navigating through mud, water, sand, and snow. The track chairs can be used for hiking, hunting, fishing, and many other outdoor recreational activities.
“Our mission is to provide outdoor opportunities for every Georgia citizen and visitor,” said Jeff Cown, director of Georgia State Parks & Historic Sites. “I am proud to partner with the Aimee Copeland Foundation to offer access to visitors with mobility or physical disabilities.”
The chairs are provided free to visitors who qualify and require reservations in advance. Find more information at allterraingeorgia.org and GaStateParks.org.
All photos courtesy of Georgia Department of Natural Resources and the Aimee Copeland Foundation