Nine-year-old Jesi Bravender is one of the first to use the wheelchair accessible swing after it was re-opened to the public on Tuesday after being locked up by the City of Parksville for the summer following safety concerns.

Wheelchair swing back in operation in Parksville

After a three-month hiatus, people with disabilities can once again enjoy the swing in Parksville Community Park

Parksville Beach is getting back in the swing of things.

After a three-month hiatus, the wheelchair accessible swing located in Parksville’s community park has been re-opened to the public — pending a few conditions, of course.

And the news has one Parksville mother “ecstatic.”

“I’m happy that it’s open,” Tami Bravender told The NEWS last Tuesday afternoon before taking her daughter down to the park to try it out.

Bravender’s nine-year-old daughter, Jesi, was born with cerebral palsy and the young girl uses a wheelchair. Bravender said her daughter was only able to use the wheelchair accessible swing twice last summer before it was taken down due to safety concerns from the City of Parksville.

However, the City issued a news release last week stating the swing has officially been reinstalled.

“The wheelchair swing will remain secured in place with a set of in-ground anchors and lock pins which can be removed using a combination provided to the public via phone or online,” states the release. “Instructions on removing the locking mechanisms, operating the swing and replacing the locks after use can also be found on the sign located in the play area.”

Bravender said she’s “happy that it (the swing) will be under lockdown when not in use.”

While she’s thrilled the swing is open for business again, she maintains “this whole thing should never have happened.”

“Parents and caregivers need to be respectful of kids who are different,” Bravender said. “I watched parents read the sign and still let their kids play on it (before the swing was shut down). Now it’s under lockdown when not in use and I am happy. Very.”

If you are interested in using the wheelchair accessible swing and would like to obtain the combination needed to access it call 250-248-6144 at any time or scan the QR code located on the sign situated near the swing.

According to the City of Parksville, it is hoped the re-installation of the swing will provide a safe play opportunity for park users in wheelchairs and that all park users will respect and abide by the proper use of this equipment.

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