Wheelchair-accessible ropes course in works

For immediate release: April 14, 2010

BLOOMSBURG — Nearly two dozen participants in the Pennsylvania Conservation Corps will spend April 27 to 29 developing a wheelchair-accessible high ropes course on Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania’s upper campus. Several members of BU’s Quest program also will participate in the project, running daily from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

According to Brett Simpson, Quest’s executive director, the first phase of the unique course was established with financial support from the Degenstein Foundation and will be unveiled during Quest’s free Spring Festival, Saturday, April 17, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The corps members will complete the second part from April 27 to 29 as a “signature project.”

The Pennsylvania Conservation Corps is a one-year employment program for state residents ages 18 to 25. The corpsmen develop workplace and life skills while completing conservation, historical and other public projects. “Signature projects” are short-term, high-impact projects that showcase the corps’ abilities.

Simpson said the BU project will incorporate problem-solving skills as the group constructs the high ropes course from a design concept, rather than a detailed blueprint. When completed, the wheelchair-accessible course will be the first of its size in the region and one of only a few nationwide, he added.

BU’s Quest is a leadership development program that offers extended and weekend trips and customized team building experiences. The high ropes course on BU’s upper campus helps individuals and teams explore risk taking, confidence, personal challenge, leadership and teamwork.

Bloomsburg University is one of 14 universities in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. The university serves approximately 9,000 students, offering comprehensive programs of study in the colleges of Education, Business, Liberal Arts and Science and Technology.