Some of the most compelling projects supported by Keystone Fund grants have been those that improved accessibility to recreational facilities in the state parks. No fewer than 20 projects under the guidelines of the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) have been completed in the parks since 1999, ranging from installation of ramps and parking lot improvements to accessible cabins, fishing piers, and playgrounds. The Ryerson Station Park swimming pool is an exemplary ADA-compliant project that offers everyone a safe place to swim.
The Keystone Fund made the improvements at Ryerson Station possible. These improvements included the installation of a pool lift and additional accessibility measures to the water. The Ryerson Station pool is the only free swimming pool in Greene County, and it serves locals and visitors alike.
A Penn State University study (The Economic Significance and Impact of Pennsylvania State Parks: An Assessment of Visitor Spending on the State and Regional Economy, 2010) attributed over $500,000 in annual spending by visitors to Ryerson Station State Park in 2008. Improving accessibility at state parks means more visitors and a greater economic impact. Every visitor given the opportunity to participate in an activity is another visitor given the opportunity to spend money.
There is a place for everyone in Pennsylvania’s beautiful outdoors, in its state parks and forests. Improved access for users with limited mobility means improved access for all.
Come summer, nothing compares to the relief provided by a dip in the water–be it a stream, lake, or swimming pool. Thanks to the Keystone Fund, improved beach and pool access for swimmers of all abilities is now possible in locations as diverse as the lakefront at Poe Valley and the swimming pool at Ryerson Station.