Green light: Access to the Nature for People with Disabilities

When the mountain is close to the town and it has status of the oldest natural park in Bulgaria and the Balkans, of course we are talking about Vitosha. Each year more than three million people visit the park. Everyone needs to be close with the nature. Such a contact should be made a lot more accessible also to people with disabilities. This struggle is a cause for the management of the park.

At the beginning of the new century a place with access for blind people was built in the Dendarium area. It was followed by the wheelchair access provided to the area of Iglika Polyana. In general there are five regions in Vitosha providing access for people with disabilities. And that's not enough. The new European standards are describing new plans.

SVETLANA PETROVA, Director of Vitosha Nature Park Directorate:

In this point of view, the park has developed a concept and this concept is to make Vitosha accessible to all. To remove the barriers in front of those people whose lives are most of the time at their homes.

The main plan is related to all the places accessed by a car and thereafter to look for opportunities to overcome all the barriers facing a wheelchair or a white cane. Then people will be able to reach fitness equipment and facilities that are corresponding to their needs. The fundraising campaign is already running. It should give a result in one year. Alley ways and facilities are also designed to face the requirements of children with disabilities. They also will bee giving easier access to other groups of people - these playgrounds and alleys will allow to mothers with young children and elderly people, who are in limited ability, to take advantage of these places and to go out into the nature.

The goal is on 3 of December - the World Day of Disabled People, the Vitosha Nature Park Administration to delight them with the renewed alley and playground of Iglika Polyana.

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