Wheelchair accessible picnic tables added at Stanley Park

Messenger photo by Kristy Zurbrick
Pamela Wurster and Ashley Good-Wheeler sit at one of two new wheelchair accessible picnic tables in the shelter house at Stanley Park located next to the Madison County Chamber of Commerce in London. Wurster wrote a grant to secure funding for the tables. Good-Wheeler and Jon McKanna (standing, far left) represent the Chamber. Representing Stanley Electric U.S., for which the park is named, are: (starting second from left, standing) Todd May, Allen Hines, Chris Kelley, and Doug Armfelt. Hines and Kelley assembled the tables.

(Posted Sept. 12, 2023)

By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor

The latest upgrade to Stanley Park is the addition of two wheelchair accessible picnic tables.

Stanley Park, named for London car parts manufacturer Stanley Electric U.S., is located next to the Madison County Chamber of Commerce at 730 Keny Boulevard in London. The park includes a large picnic shelter, open green space, and a half-mile walking path through a wooded area.

Pamela Wurster, who lives in the condominium development across the road from the park, considers the park to be a “hidden gem.” Wanting to see improvements made to the park to make it more accessible to people with mobility issues, she volunteered to apply for a United Way grant for funding for wheelchair accessible picnic tables.

“There are about 400 people who live in the condos across the street who are 50 and older. Some are in wheelchairs. By offering handicap accessible tables, they can feel more a part of outings at the picnic shelter,” Wurster said.

The same goes for anyone who visits the park which is open to the public during daylight hours.

The Chamber recently took delivery of the grant-funded tables. Wurster noted that they are made entirely of recycled materials and manufactured in the United States. Each of the tables has an opening that accommodates wheelchairs. The tables now sit amongst the traditional wooden tables in the picnic shelter.

Kathy Henry, a member of the Chamber board and a Stanley Electric U.S. employee, made arrangements to have employees assemble the tables. Stanley Electric has been a financial supporter of the park from its beginning.

Messenger photo by Kristy Zurbrick
Stanley Park includes a half-mile walking path in a wooded area.

Wurster is hopeful that more improvements are on the way for Stanley Park. She has applied for a grant to make the walking path accessible to wheelchairs, strollers, and the like. Currently, the path is a dirt surface.

“It is a really neat path,” said Ashley Good-Wheeler, the Chamber’s community relations coordinator. “It feels like you’re walking into another world when you go back in there.”

Earlier this year, Boy Scout Sam Mallia cleared and improved the entrance to the path as part of his Eagle Scout project.

Good-Wheeler and Jon McKanna, the Chamber’s executive director, expressed appreciation for Wurster’s interest and efforts in improving the park, for Stanley Electric’s ongoing support, and for Mallia’s work on the path entrance.

The park land belongs to the London Community Foundation. The Chamber helps to facilitate maintenance and improvements to the park.

Parking for Stanley Park is available in the Chamber of Commerce parking lot. Anyone is welcome to visit the park, use the picnic shelter, or walk the path. The picnic shelter can be reserved for special occasions by calling the Chamber at (740) 852-2250.

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