CB786 “Nature Access to All (NatAc)”
The Final Project Event took place on September 17 at Ventspils theatre house “Jūras vārti”. During the first part of the event, the presentations’ round was held.
Project Leader Alise Lūse talked about what has been done in the project over its 2,5 years’ implementation period: the Trails’ Guidebook developed with more than 400 nature trails in Latvia, Estonia, Finland, the mapeirons.eu website created with a map and detailed info on all accessible trails, infrastructure improvements made at 14 project objects, chests of senses for nature interpretation invented, as well as many other activities to improve nature accessibility in the Central Baltic region in order to facilitate the region’s visibility and promote it as one of the most accessible European destinations.
Project accessibility expert J. Briedis from NGO Apeirons reminded of the key issues which should be considered when constructing accessible nature objects.
The practical, real-life experience, what wheelchair users have to deal with in their everyday-life and what are the options for remaining physically active being in a wheelchair, has been shared by two young men – Ivo Pastars and Elvis Kurpnieks, both of whom had got into a wheelchair as a result of an accident.
Upon the closure of the first part, Nele Sober from the Estonian Environmental Board talked about how active rest in nature affects our mental and physical health.
The second part of the Event, as might be noticed from the title, took place outdoors with an excursion to introduce the participants with accessibility solutions in Ventspils at:
- Adventure park “Lemberga hūte”, where it is possible to reach the top of the hill by using a specially invented device for wheelchair lifting over the stairs – although the process is slow (lift-up takes about 40 min), yet it provides an opportunity also for the wheelchair users to enjoy the fantastic view over Ventspils and the seaside from the top of the 58 m high hill;
- Ventspils Seaside Park with comfortable net of paths, a special thematic, accessible to all, Anchors’ path and accessible changing cabins;
- Children’s adventure park with wheelchairs accessible swings;
- South pier and Ostas Street Promenade, both accessible in wheelchair;
- Concert Hall “Latvija” with functional and modern premises, accessible to all.
Presentations:A. Lūse – How to develop an accessible nature tourism site: project “Nature Access to All” (in Latvian) J. Briedis – New accessibility tendencies in the world (in Latvian) N. Sober – Nature dose for physical and mental health (in English)
The second day of the Final Event, September 18, was devoted to the practical on-site accessibility inspection by project partners and accessibility experts of the Lake Būšnieki nature trail, which had been improved with the project support by installing an accessible dry toilet, protective borders on the lake boardwalk, benches, information stands, signs with accessibility pistogramms and tactile fish sculptures.
The Final Project Event was held with support of the Central Baltic Programme 2014-2020 as part of the project CB786 “Nature Access to All” (NatAc).
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