DCR Access News

The DCR Universal Access Program produces a free newsletter two times per year highlighting current developments in outdoor recreation at state parks.

Here, you can view the text of the latest version of the Universal Access Program newsletter. This newsletter is published annually in May and December. If you would like to receive a copy of the newsletter, please contact us to get on our mailing list.

Current Issue

The current issue of DCR Access News is available to download in a PDF version or a Microsoft Word version, formatted for screen readers. Please contact us for copies in alternate formats.

Winter 2018

Volume 22, Issue 1

DCR’s Universal Access Program is dedicated to providing outdoor recreation opportunities in Massachusetts State Parks for visitors of all abilities. Accessibility to MassParks is achieved through site improvements, specialized adaptive recreation equipment, and accessible recreation programs.

We invite you to use this newsletter to discover the most accessible recreation opportunities in Massachusetts State Parks!

Pre-Register

Get into the activity sooner when you arrive!  Come with your waiver filled out! (If you are using a screen reader, please use this version of our waiver.)

In the event of poor weather: Contact the providing organization listed below.

Need to cancel?

Please call the providing organization and leave a message.

Visit us on Facebook: See stories and photos from our programs across the state and share your own adventures!

Ice Sleds Available for Independent Use

Did you know that ice sleds are available for use on your own during public skating hours at DCR rinks? One of the Universal Access Program’s goals in providing adaptive recreation experiences is to build confidence and promote independence by encouraging participants to go back to program locations to use adaptive recreation equipment on their own.

A few things to note before you go:

You will need to bring your own helmets if needed.

Skaters must be able to get on off the ice, in and out of equipment and skate independently or with the assistance of companions who attend with skaters.

Sleds are best for use during uncrowded public skate times.

Contact the rink in advance to let staff know that you plan to attend during public skating on a specific date

Sled skate on your own in the following towns:

Auburn, Boston, Brighton, Brockton, Cambridge, Charlestown, Fall River, Franklin, Greenfield, Holyoke, Hyde Park, Jamaica Plain, Medford, Newburyport, North Adams, Plymouth, Revere, Somerville, Springfield, Taunton, West Roxbury, Weymouth, and Worcester. You can view a complete list of how many sleds are located at each rink, or call the Universal Access Program at (413) 545-5758.

Accessible Yurt Camping: Reserve your yurt now!

Plan your next summer vacation now—stay in an accessible DCR yurt! Yurts are circular, domed structures with wooden frames covered in heavy canvas. They have a spacious interior with a skylight, screened windows, and locking doors. Yurts come furnished with bunk beds, a table and chairs, and electricity. They offer an accessible camping experience for campers of all abilities to comfortably enjoy nature without “roughing it.”

Small yurts sleep up to 4 people, while large yurts sleep up to 6 people. Yurts range in price from $45–$70 per night.

Campground reservations open 6 months in advance and fill up fast, so plan ahead! To make a reservation for one of the yurts listed below or for more information, call Rachael at (413) 992-8048 or email rachael.lee@state.ma.us.

Where: Nickerson State Park in Brewster

When: July 12, 13, 14, and 15

Yurts Available: 2 large yurts, 1 small yurt

Park Activities: Take advantage of the vast array of land and water programs at the McGraw Center for Adaptive Sports at Nickerson State Park. The McGraw Center is open from May 1 through October 31.

Where: Shawme-Crowell State Forest in Sandwich

When: August 10, 11, and 12

Yurts Available: 2 large yurts, 1 small yurt

Park Activities: Explore this beautiful state park on the western end of the Cape—take in the serene views and enjoy quiet accessible picnicking.

Where: Myles Standish State Forest in Carver

When: September 28, 29, and 30

Yurts Available: 2 small yurts

Park Activities: Take part in the 12th annual accessible family fishing derby, “Take Me Fishin!” sponsored by the Friends of Myles Standish State Forest.

Save the Date for our Adaptive Recreation Fair!

Artesani Park in Brighton (Boston)

Saturday, June 2, 10:00am–3:00pm

Join DCR’s Universal Access Program as we kick off the summer recreation season! Meet other organizations that offer accessible and adaptive recreation opportunities and sign up for new adventures this summer. Along with program information, enjoy adaptive cycling, letterboxing, equipment demonstrations, refreshments, face painting, music, and scenic views of the Charles River! For details or to register, call Donna at (413) 545-5760 or email donna.hubbard@state.ma.us.

Volunteers Needed for this year’s event! To find out how you can get involved, contact Rachael at (413) 992-8048 or rachael.lee@state.ma.us.

Outdoor Winter Programs

Weston

Leo J. Martin Ski Track
Sundays, January 28, February 4, 11, 25 & Monday (President’s Day), February 19
12pm–4pm
Enjoy kicksledding, sit-skiing, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing on a groomed course. Snow is made daily!
Contact Stavros Outdoor Access to sign up: call (413) 259-0009.

Wendell

Wendell State Forest
Saturdays, 11am–3pm
January 13, 20, 27, & February 3, 10, 17, 24 (March 3 & 10 are scheduled weather makeup dates)
Enjoy the winter woods with outdoor ice skating, cross-country skiing, sit-skiing, gentle sled hockey, kicksledding, snowshoeing, and snowmobile rides, as conditions permit. Bring a lunch and warm up around the fire before heading out on the groomed trails for a group excursion!
Call All Out Adventures to sign up at (413) 584-2052 or email info@alloutadventures.org.

Adaptive Ice Skating Opportunities

Come join the fun at our adaptive skating programs in Holyoke, Worcester, East Boston, Fall River, and Brockton!

Lace up a pair of conventional skates or slide around the ice on your manual or power wheelchair. Ice sleds are also available to glide around—propel yourself with small hockey sticks or be pushed around the rink by a friend.

Depending on location, activities on the ice include obstacle courses, a tower of blocks for building up and crashing down, races, colorful balls and pucks to shoot around, power chair games, and gently competitive hockey matches.

Ice sleds, skate walkers, helmets, ice grippers, and ice skates are available. Admission and equipment are provided free of cost. Pre-registration is required.

Brockton

John G. Asiaf Memorial Rink
This program takes place during public skating time on a reserved section of the rink.
Sundays, 1:30pm–3:20pm
January 21, February 4, 18, March 4
To sign up, contact All Out Adventures at (413) 584-2052 or info@alloutadventures.org.

East Boston

Porrazzo Memorial Rink
Tuesdays, 11:30am–1:20pm
January 16, February 13, March 13
To sign up call (413) 545-5759 or email laila.soleimani@state.ma.us.

Fall River

Arthur R. Driscoll Memorial Rink
Wednesdays, 11am–12:50pm
January 31, February 28
To sign up call (413) 545-5759 or email laila.soleimani@state.ma.us.

Holyoke

Henry J. Fitzpatrick Skating Rink
Sundays, 1pm–2:50pm
December 17, January 14, February 11, March 11
To sign up call (413) 545-5759 or email laila.soleimani@state.ma.us.

Worcester

Charles J. Buffone Skating Rink
Thursdays, 10am–11:50am
January 25, March 15
To sign up call (413) 545-5759 or email laila.soleimani@state.ma.us.

Calendar of Events

Date

Day

Time

Location

Town

Activity

December 17

Sunday

1pm–2:50pm

Fitzpatrick Rink

Holyoke

Adaptive Skating and Games

January 13

Saturday

11am–3pm

Wendell State Forest

Wendell

Outdoor Recreation

January 14

Sunday

1pm–2:50pm

Fitzpatrick Rink

Holyoke

Adaptive Skating and Games

January 16

Tuesday

11:30am–1:20pm

Porrazzo Rink

E. Boston

Adaptive Skating and Games

January 20

Saturday

11am–3pm

Wendell State Forest

Wendell

Outdoor Recreation

January 21

Sunday

1:30pm–3:20pm

Asiaf Rink

Brockton

Assisted Public Skating

January 25

Thursday

10am–11:50am

Buffone Rink

Worcester

Adaptive Skating and Games

January 27

Saturday

11am–3pm

Wendell State Forest

Wendell

Outdoor Recreation

January 28

Sunday

12am–4pm

Leo J. Martin Ski Track

Weston

X-Country Skiing/Snowshoeing

January 31

Wednesday

11am–12:50pm

Driscoll Rink

Fall River

Adaptive Skating and Games

February 3

Saturday

11am–3pm

Wendell State Forest

Wendell

Outdoor Recreation

February 4

Sunday

12am–4pm

Leo J. Martin Ski Track

Weston

X-Country Skiing/Snowshoeing

February 4

Sunday

1:30pm–3:20pm

Asiaf Rink

Brockton

Assisted Public Skating

February 10

Saturday

11am–3pm

Wendell State Forest

Wendell

Outdoor Recreation

February 11

Sunday

1pm–2:50pm

Fitzpatrick Rink

Holyoke

Adaptive Skating and Games

February 11

Sunday

12am–4pm

Leo J. Martin Ski Track

Weston

X-Country Skiing/Snowshoeing

February 13

Tuesday

11:30am–1:20pm

Porrazzo Rink

E. Boston

Adaptive Skating and Games

February 17

Saturday

11am–3pm

Wendell State Forest

Wendell

Outdoor Recreation

February 18

Sunday

1:30pm–3:20pm

Asiaf Rink

Brockton

Assisted Public Skating

February 19

Monday

12am–4pm

Leo J. Martin Ski Track

Weston

X-Country Skiing/Snowshoeing

February 24

Saturday

11am–3pm

Wendell State Forest

Wendell

Outdoor Recreation

February 25

Sunday

12am–4pm

Leo J. Martin Ski Track

Weston

X-Country Skiing/Snowshoeing

February 28

Wednesday

11am–12:50pm

Driscoll Rink

Fall River

Adaptive Skating and Games

March 4

Sunday

1:30pm–3:20pm

Asiaf Rink

Brockton

Assisted Public Skating

March 11

Sunday

1pm–2:50pm

Fitzpatrick Rink

Holyoke

Adaptive Skating and Games

March 13

Tuesday

11:30am–1:20pm

Porrazzo Rink

E. Boston

Adaptive Skating and Games

March 15

Thursday

10am–11:50am

Buffone Rink

Worcester

Adaptive Skating and Games

June 2

Saturday

11am–3pm

Artesani/Herter Park

Brighton

Adaptive Recreation Fair

Past Issues

Past issues of DCR Access News from 2011 onward are available in PDF format. Please contact our office for copies in alternate formats.

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