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The National Park Service (NPS), at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore (National Lakeshore), plans to expand accessibility at key points within the Platte River corridor. The project will provide a universal experience for their facilities at the Loon Lake access, Platte River Campground, Platte River Picnic Area and canoe/kayak launch, and Platte Point. Improvements will also occur at the Philip A. Hart Visitor Center in Empire, Michigan. This project, part of the Targeted Accessibility Improvement Program (TAIP), has a unique opportunity to provide expanded accessibility for all people to experience the National Lakeshore though kayaking, canoeing, tubing, swimming, fishing, picnicking and camping.
The Platte River corridor is located in Benzie County approximately 13 miles southwest of Empire and 8 miles northwest of Honor, Michigan. Physical improvements include accessible oversized parking stalls, accessible routes to activity areas, restrooms, campground facilities such as pay stations, water spigots and fire rings, accessible kayaks/canoe launch and pullout, and fishing and fish cleaning. Programmatic improvements include improving or replacing interpretive media to provide education about park resources and information about recreational experiences so that visitors with disabilities and their companions can prepare for and engage in the activities. Universally designed interpretive media will include indoor and outdoor exhibits and orientation signs that incorporate audio, tactile, and written communication methods.
Information on the facility improvements is available on the park website at https://parkplanning.nps.gov/slbe. The public may comment on this proposal during a 30-day comment period ending January 19, 2017. Comments may be submitted online at https://parkplanning.nps.gov/slbe, or mailed to the park at the following address:
Office of the Superintendent
Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
9922 Front Street
Empire, MI 49630
Attn: Platte River TAIP
Comments submitted to the website or by mail are welcome at any time; however, they should be received no later than January 19, 2017.