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Thunder Bay Bird Observatory Now Wheelchair Accessible

Volunteers at the McKellar Island Bird Observatory have paved the path from Baffin Road to their field station CBC News · Posted: Sep 11, 2018 6:30 AM ET | Last Updated: September 11

McKellar Island Bird Observatory director John Woodcock, right, said paving the trail to the field station makes it accessible to people who use wheelchairs and to all people who struggle to walk through wet, muddy trails.

The McKellar Island Bird Observatory in Thunder Bay, Ont., is now wheelchair accessible.

Volunteers have paved the trail from Baffin Road to the field station where biologists oversee the capture and banding of migrating birds.

They instigated the project after getting several inquiries from people with disabilities wanting to visit the observatory, director John Woodcock told CBC.

“We look forward to bringing people in who otherwise could not experience this bird banding experience,” he added.

The Thunder Bay District Stewardship Council provided several thousand dollars in funding for the materials for the trail, Woodcock said.

Equipment World loaned equipment to the crew.

The work was done by hundreds of volunteers, he added.

Nobody who uses a wheelchair has tried out the trail yet, Woodcock said, but he has contacted those who made inquiries about accessibility to let them know about it.

He added, the trail improves access for more than just people with disabilities; it makes it easier for anyone.

“In the spring it tends to be [a] very wet place,” he said, “and it’s difficult for anybody to get in there … and we decided to go full throttle and build a really good trail that’s not only good for us to get in and out without getting wet but it’s good for anybody.”

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