Dartmouth Beaches Become More Accessible With New Mats
Amy DiPietro is the Director at Dartmouth Council on Aging. Her most recent project will make many beachgoers very happy.
“It was actually a random conversation I had with a daughter of a senior that got the ball rolling,” DiPietro said. “She told me that her mom was 84 and grew up in Dartmouth, spending all of her summers at the beach. She now experiences difficulty getting to the water and she didn’t think she’d be able to spend time at the beach anymore.”
This loving daughter inquired about the possibility of adding mats to local beaches so that her mom and others with mobility issues could continue to enjoy their summer spots.
“I had just gotten back from Florida the day before this conversation, so I knew what they were because I saw the blue mats down there,” DiPietro said. “They kind of smooth the sand out so wheels won’t sink in when riding on them. This would enable those in a wheelchair or using a baby stroller to get to the water more easily.”
Dartmouth Council on Aging had a little money set aside for the project and worked it out with Dartmouth Parks and Recreation to have them installed on Wednesday, July 7.
“We’re hosting a program at Jones Beach next Friday,” DiPietro said. “We thought it would be great to host a ‘Day at the Beach’ with Tai chi, yoga, a conditioning class, and then a cookout with a DJ to have a party. One of our seniors said that there was no way she could walk on the beach and thought she’d have to miss out on the fun. When I told her what we had coming, she had tears in her eyes. It had been years since she was able to enjoy the beach and now it’s possible again.”
The beach mats will be placed at two locations at Round Hill Beach. One is now near the bathhouse and the other is situated somewhere in the middle near the handicap parking area.
“I’m not from Dartmouth and I had never been to Round Hill or Jones Beach before now,” DiPietro said. “But they’re little slices of heaven for people in this community and I’m so glad that more people can have access to them. Everyone deserves a day at the beach.”