June, 9, 2017 - BREWSTER, MA – Spaulding Rehabilitation Network, in partnership with the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), will host a grand opening of the new McGraw Center for Adaptive Sports on Saturday, June 17, 2017 from 11:00AM to 3:00PM at Nickerson State Park in the Town of Brewster. The event will provide persons with physical and cognitive challenges and their families the opportunity to learn more about resources available to them and experience innovative adaptive equipment that will further make the state parks system more accessible. Adaptive cycling, kayaking, hiking, and camping are among the event’s featured activities.
“This expansion of Spaulding’s adaptive sports program unites organizations with a similar mission to improve quality of life for persons living with disability,” says David Storto, President of Spaulding Rehabilitation Network. “We have a committed partner in DCR, and we are so grateful to Melissa and David McGraw for supporting our shared vision and facilitating the work that will serve as a model for the country.”
“The Department of Conservation and Recreation is proud of the partnerships it has with organizations like Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, which allow for increased access in the Commonwealth’s state parks for people of all abilities to enjoy,” said DCR Commissioner Leo Roy. “I look forward to the McGraw Center’s opening and the many ways its staff and resources will support Massachusetts residents and visitors who are determined to enjoy the great outdoors year round.”
The McGraw Center is a first-of-its-kind collaboration between Spaulding Rehabilitation Network’s Adaptive Sports Centers and DCR. Additionally, the new Center was made possible by a generous donation from Melissa and David McGraw, the Donald C. McGraw Foundation.
“There isn’t anything like this in the country,” says David McGraw. “I’m so impressed with the state’s willingness to help and promote this program. We’ll be leading the country by creating a program other parks can follow.”
The June 17th event will include a barbeque lunch, brief program at noon, park tours, and demonstrations of adaptive sports equipment. Attendees can try cycling on the Cape Cod Rail Trail and kayaking on Cliff Pond under the guidance of Spaulding therapists and adaptive sports professionals.
Similar in mission to the McGraw Center, the DCR’s Universal Access Program aims to provide Massachusetts residents with disabilities with access to outdoor recreation opportunities. Through design and site improvements, adaptive equipment, and recreational programming visitors of all abilities can enjoy outdoor activities such as cycling, kayaking, hiking, fishing, and more. Now in its 22nd year, the Universal Access Program is one of the nation’s longest running public programs for adaptive outdoor recreation.
“For over two decades, DCR’s Universal Access Program has been enhancing the quality of life for thousands of individuals who rely on the agency’s adaptive equipment and expertise to make the great outdoors accessible to all,” said Universal Access Program Director Thomas McCarthy. “We are grateful to Spaulding and the McGraw Center for their collaboration to make Nickerson State Park, and Massachusetts, a model for adaptive recreation.”
To preregister or for additional information, please visit Spaulding Rehabilitation Network’s McGraw Center webpage or call 617-823-8448. Handicap accessible parking is available at the Nickerson State Park main gate on Route 6A. Shuttle busses will transport guests from additional parking at the end of Crosby Lane and at the Bayberry Square Shopping Center.
Adaptive cycling, kayaking, hiking, and camping are among recreational activities that will be showcased at the McGraw Center grand opening on Saturday, June 17, 2017.
About Spaulding Adaptive Sports Centers (SASC)
Spaulding Rehabilitation Network opened its first adaptive sports programs in Boston and on Cape Cod in 2001 and expanded to the North Shore in 2009. Spaulding Adaptive Sports Centers are open to all individuals in the community who are living with disabilities. Staff members help each participant find the most appropriate activities for his or her interests, capabilities and needs. SASC became a Paralympic Sport Club in 2013. Today centers are located at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital Boston, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital Cape Cod, and Spaulding Outpatient Center Salem. http://spauldingrehab.org/conditions-and-treatments/adaptive-sports
About DCR’s Universal Access Program (UAP)
The DCR’s Universal Access Program (UAP) was established in 1995 as one of the nation’s first state-level organizations dedicated to providing outdoor recreational opportunities at state parks for visitors of all abilities. Led by Director Thomas McCarthy, the UAP achieves greater accessibility in Massachusetts’s parks through site improvements, specialized adaptive recreation equipment, and accessible recreation programs.