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Local universally accessible zip line lets those in wheelchairs fly through the sky

Muskegon Luge Sports Park behind the zip line
Posted at 9:11 AM, Oct 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-12 09:21:07-04

MUSKEGON, Mich. — Many Americans don't think twice about taking the stairs or doing activities like running and hiking. But that's not the case for millions of Americans with disabilities who have to use different means to get around. That's why one local sports park decided to make one of their most popular attractions universally accessible.

Chase Boucher of Muskegon is just like any other 11-year-old who loves all things adventure, and that includes things like zip lining.

But Boucher isn't just like every other 11-year-old. Chase has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, a muscle deteriorating disorder, which means he will use a wheelchair for the rest of his life.

"It just makes me a little sad. But I get over it usually," the 11-year-old said.

Boucher's strength keeps his mom, Holly Alderink, radiating with positivity.

"He has a great attitude, he probably keeps me going with that," she said. "There's some times I'm like, I need a pity party, or I'm you know, down in the dumps about it. But his attitude is just so great."

It's that attitude that inspired Dan Bonner with Muskegon Luge Sports Park to make sure that children like Chase can tap into their adventurous spirit.

"He was our very first universally accessible zip liner. We definitely had some emotions flowing," he said.

Bonner, along with the rest of the team at Muskegon Luge, installed a universally accessible zip line for anyone who uses a wheelchair.

"We have had a lot of people that have come out here that use a wheelchair that have said they have asked all around and they cannot find one that is universally accessible," Bonner said.

A quick ATV ride up to the zip line along and an intricate pulley system helps those who are wheelchair bound up to the zip line. They sit in a chair that connects to the ropes of the zip line, and kids like Chase take off into the air.

"I think our community is finally being able to incorporate more disability awareness and more things that they can do, because they deserve that right to be able to do things just like everyone else," Alderink said.