Provincial Park trail in Calgary named in honour of accessibility advocate

The Cecile Buhl One Kilometre Experience at Calgary's Fish Creek Park is designed for people with mobility issues

Lydia Buhl and Calgary-Shaw MLA Graham Sucha, centre, are joined by Cecile's friends and family, Alberta Parks' staff and representatives of the City of Calgary and the Premier’s Council on the Status of Persons with Disabilities as they prepare to cut a ribbon to officially unveil Lydia's daughter's namesake trail. (PROVINCE OF ALBERTA PHOTO)

The province is naming a new new trail in Fish Creek Provincial Park for a volunteer who wanted to make parks more accessible to everyone.

The Cecile Buhl One Kilometre Experience has accessible viewpoints, bridge railings and tactile warning surfaces for people with vision loss. It’s the first of seven accessible one-kilometre trails being rolled out across the province.

The trail’s namesake was an educator and Alberta Parks volunteer who wanted to assist Albertans with disabilities. Weeks before her death in 2016, she led accessibility review of the Sikome (Lake) Aquatic Facility in Fish Creek Provincial Park.

Lydia Buhl, Cecile Buhl’s mother, was at the ribbon cutting ceremony.

“Cecile had a vision. The volunteers and employees who worked on this project put their hearts and souls into it,” Lydia said in a prepared statement.

“Nature is what she lived for and that’s where she was happiest. It’s an honour and a pleasure that Cecile is being recognized.”

The trail at Fish Creek Park is just one of seven in the works across the province. Together they will be known as the Cecile Buhl One Kilometre Experience trails.

Other trails already open or opening soon include ones at Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park, Bow Valley Provincial Park, Pigeon Lake Provincial Park, Lois Hole Centennial Provincial Park (John E. Poole boardwalk), Lesser Slave Lake Provincial Park, and Sir Winston Churchill Provincial Park.

Shannon Phillips, minister of Environment and Parks, spoke about the importance of getting out into nature, regardless of one’s mobility in a prepared statement.

“Being outside can improve your life, reducing stress and bringing joy,” said Phillips.

“For one out of every 10 Albertans, mobility challenges make it difficult to get out and enjoy these spaces. Thanks to advocates like Cecile Buhl, we’re helping more Albertans to get out and explore provincial parks with their friends and families.”

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