The UC Santa Barbara Department of Recreation and the UCSB Coastal Fund (CF) installed an all terrain beach wheelchair on Oct. 21 at Campus Point, providing community members with another way to enjoy the local beach.
The wheelchair cost $3,828.60 and was funded by CF after the Recreation Center applied for a grant to fund the chair.
The beach wheelchair has four large tires for rolling through sand along the beach shoreline. Users also have the option to attach a large umbrella to the back of the chair.
Beachgoers can access the chair free of charge at the Adventure Program’s Campus Point Rentals center or through the Rec Cen.
Cathy Czuleger, senior associate director for programming, information technology and development for the Department of Recreation, said the Rec Cen first purchased the beach wheelchair with funding from the Adapted Recreation Program 10 years ago.
The Adapted Recreation Program is a Santa Barbara organization that provides outdoor services to community members with special needs.
She said when the program ended, the wheelchair became “rusty and unusable” so the Rec Cen contacted CF to fund a new chair.
The Rec Cen proposed the project to CF and applied for funding during winter 2016, said Peter Min, outreach coordinator for CF.
“The program ended, and the wheelchair was not maintained or easily available for use during the past 10 years,” Min said.
Czuleger said she decided to write a proposal to CF requesting money to purchase a new chair and said she was happy with the organization’s “generous” funding allocation.
According to Min, CF accepts proposals for research, projects and internships every quarter and critically reviews them to see if they are compatible with the organization’s mission statement, the student community and their goal to preserve the shoreline and marine life.
CF receives funds from all UCSB students through a lock-in student fee every quarter. Each undergraduate student contributes $5.75 per quarter and each graduate student contributes $3.00 per quarter.
CF provides over $350,000 each year to preserve UCSB’s beaches and has distributed over $3 million locally since the fall of 1999.
If students wish to earn funding for their own group or organization, they can participate in CF’s restoration projects and beach clean-ups.