EZ Launch In Cadillac Makes Enjoying Water Sports Easier
The DNR and the Cadillac Leadership Class are making it easier for people with special needs to enjoy the water in Wexford County.
A new "EZ Launch" for kayakers is handicap accessible.
It will help people of any age and ability get out on the lake.
9&10’s Lauren Scafidi has a closer look at the many months of work it took to make this project a reality.
"From personal experience I’m horrible at getting in a kayak so something like this is very beneficial of course for the handicap accessible, it kinda opens up a bunch of opportunities for people that never had that sort of opportunity before and go out in the water and have fun," said Chris Blessing.
It’s called the EZ Launch, and it promised a new world of opportunities.
It streamlines the process of getting a kayak or canoe in the water.
Users just have to lower themselves from the seat into the kayak, use their arms to pull themselves through the rails, and glide out into the water. This makes it more easily accessible for users of any age and ability to enjoy outdoor sports.
"As part of our mission with the department we are here to provide access to our natural resources and us being able to take it and maintain it and provide it to the public is very exciting to me," said Scott Slavin. "It’s part of my passion it’s what I do for a living."
The EZ Launch has been in the the planning phase since December for the DNR and the Cadillac Leadership Class.
The two partnered up for this project for the 2016-2017 Cadillac Leadership Class’ yearly project. Projects they’ve worked on in the past include the Cadillac Splash in the Cadillac Commons and building a brand new cabin at Camp Torenta.
As some of it’s users — frequenters and first-timers — step up to try the EZ Launch… organizers who worked hard to put it together proudly watch.
"Trying to picture it in our head and picturing where it was gonna be here but to see it in reality and to see people using it is really exciting," said Courtney Mulder, a member of the Cadillac Leadership Class.
She’s excited to give it a try for herself.
"I have three little boys and I think this is the only way I would be able to kayak with them or canoe with them is something like this ," she said.
"When I have kids one day I can tell em ya know we helped put that doc in," said Chris.
In the month it’s been open so far, more than 100 people have already taken advantage of it.
Anyone is welcome to use it, as long as people have the Michigan State Park sticker on their license plate.