Thursday, September 25, 2008

Laura Hershey essay explores disability experiences in National Parks

Writer, disability advocate and wheelchair user Laura Hershey has an excellent essay in National Parks magazine about her experiences at Yosemite National Park and Grand Canyon National Park. It's a wonderful reminder that our national parks are nourishing experiences for all of us and should be accessible to everyone.

Hershey writes, "Just as the rivers and lakes need replenishment by the yearly snowmelt, and the plants require sunlight and fertilizing scat, so we humans must be fed, protected, warmed or cooled, and rested. Some of us also need to be physically supported in other ways—by walking staffs or wheelchairs, by the loving laps of parents. Entering a national park, or any patch of preserved wilderness, we do not leave our needy bodies behind. In this landscape, less altered by human design, our physical needs simply become more prominent. Here, we can see our bodies for what they are: forces of nature."