Buttonwood Park Zoo Unveils Handicapped Accessible Train
The Buttonwood Park Zoological Society unveiled a handicapped accessible caboose for the "Black Bear Express" train during a ceremony on Wednesday.
Paula Montgomery, the zoo's Director of Community Engagement, told WBSM News the new caboose opens up the train to all their visitors including one wheelchair bound man who always brought his granddaughter to the zoo but was never able to ride the train with her.
"He's never been able to ride the train with her and when he learned that we were getting a wheelchair accessible caboose, unfortunately he wasn't able to be here with us today, but I've already heard from him and his wife how excited they are to now be able to have him experience the zoo in a way with his granddaughter that he's never been able to do," said Montgomery.
Montgomery says the total cost for the project was roughly $10,000 and was paid for entirely by outside benefactors.
"We were very fortunate that through a grant from the Ronald McDonald House Charities, they paid for part of the train, and we are very fortunate here at the zoo to have a wonderful donor, who chooses to remain anonymous, who supports the many, many projects that we have going on here," said Montgomery.
Montgomery says Paris Casmiro, a wheelchair bound student from Meeting Street-The Schwartz Center, took the inaugural ride and, upon returning, asked to do it again.
The "Black Bear Express" is now the zoo's second ADA certified amusement device along with their Wildlife Carousel.