Two kayak launchers installed, four more beach wheelchairs to arrive by June
March 18, 2022. As part of its Destination Management Plan developed in 2019, the Tillamook Coast Visitors Association (TCVA) has worked with nonprofits and local agencies to increase access to the outdoors for more people. In late 2020, a grant from Travel Oregon COVID Relief to TCVA freed up general budget funds to purchase four beach wheelchairs. Two were placed in Pacific City, one in Rockaway Beach and one in Manzanita.
In 2021, TCVA applied for a Travel Oregon Destination Ready grant, which provided enough funds to purchase two kayak launchers. Due to supply chain issues, these kayak launchers were out of stock, but as of this week they are installed and ready for use at Wheeler and Garibaldi.
Newly installed kayak launcher at the Wheeler public wharf.
“I really think this kayak launcher will be extremely popular, and not just for the Wheeler community, but for anyone who visits,” said Doug Honeycutt, Mayor of the Town of Wheeler.
“The idea for the kayak launchers came from members of the dragon boat team who practice in Wheeler and Nehalem,” said Nan Devlin, executive director of TCVA. “Once the Nehalem wharf can support a kayak launcher, we will have one installed there as well.”
The Town of Tillamook installed a kayak launcher at Hoquarton Slough a few years ago.
TCVA also used these 2021 grant funds to purchase a fifth beach wheelchair for tent events at Port Garibaldi, where a stone tent floor made it difficult for ordinary wheelchairs and walkers to navigate.
Then, two weeks ago, TCVA ordered four more beach wheelchairs, which will be used at Nehalem Bay State Park, Cape Lookout State Park, Barview Jetty County Park and a second armchair in Manzanita, which is in great demand. This will bring the county’s total number of beach wheelchairs to nine.
By June, Tillamook County will have nine wheelchairs available throughout the county.
Kayak launchers and beach wheelchairs are free. It’s best to reserve beach wheelchairs in advance to be sure there’s one available on the day you need them.