About Accessible Waters
Making Alberta’s Waterways Accessible for Everyone
Accessible Waters is a registered non-profit in Alberta, with the vision of supporting individuals with disability or mobility limitations in accessing Alberta’s lakes and rivers. We recognize there are often many barriers preventing those with disability or other physical limitations from enjoying and participating in activities on the water. Our goal is to reduce these barriers with a fully modified and accessible boat and to advocate for improved land-to-water facilities to make Alberta’s waterways inclusive and accessible to all. Our customers will benefit from having improved access to our natural environments with the ability to fully participate in water-based activities with family and friends.
For ease of access, our boat The Rum Runner II has been refurbished and fitted with a standard sized ramp, fitted with grab bars, for entr either by foot, wheelchair or other mobility aids. Our seat arrangement is adjustable to ensure adequate space for participants. Standard safety locks ensure an on board wheelchair is secure. Our boat is fully safety equipped with approved life vests and our captain and staff are first aid and CPR trained. Canvas covering provides protection from sun, wind and rain if needed.
Accessible Waters offers a range of different adventures to meet your interests. We are based in Devon, Alberta which has many options for recreational boating near by, and as more water ways become accessible we hope to expand our coverage area. Please check our booking site for ideas for experiences to join in with. If you have some ideas of a boating adventure you’d like to experience, please contact us to organize and we can work together to meet your interests and needs.
The lands of our operation base, of Edmonton and nearby surrounding areas, and the North Saskatchewan River have been an important site of natural abundance, culture, ceremony, and trade for Indigenous people since the time of immemorial.
Accessible Waters operates on Treaty 6 Territory and within the Métis Nation of Alberta Region 4. We acknowledge this land as the traditional territory of many First Nations such as Nehiyaw (Cree), Denesuliné (Dene), Nakota Sioux (Stoney), Anishinaabe (Saulteaux) and Niitsitapi (Blackfoot).
Our organization aims to operate respectfully of this land and be good neighbours to those who have cared for these lands and rivers long before our family settled here. The North Saskatchewan River has been a vital waterbody and land area for the Métis and nation members of Treaty 6 Territory. Accessible Waters will strive to care and respect the water and land and minimize the environmental impact of our activities.
As a family, we have had the privilege of accessing the lakes and rivers in our region and enjoyed diverse experiences on the water. But we recognize that these adventures aren’t easily accessible to all - especially those with mobility limitations or others who need additional assistance with activities. We hope that by providing a fully accessible boat to those with any mobility need and equipped with appropriate seating and safety features, these spectacular waters can be open for all to enjoy.
Our Captain - Butch Pollock - has been an avid boater for over 30 years. He has been able to share these adventures with his children and through boating, they have seen the vast diverse landscapes in Alberta, seen wildlife up close and also enjoyed fishing in many of these lakes and rivers. Butch developed an interest in wanting to help make these experiences accessible to those with mobility issues - to share these opportunities with others and make these moments accessible to families and individuals with limitations or who need added assistance.
Many waterways and adjacent shore facilities in Alberta are currently not easily accessible for those living with disability or who have mobility limitations and want to use the water for boating, sport or leisure. Through our activities, Accessible Waters aims to raise awareness to municipalities and service providers of communities with water access points. We hope to bring these limitations to the attention of these stakeholders, encourage improved facilities and access points and engage in positive action together. In connecting and collaborating with other Alberta service groups with similar accessibility visions, we hope to create a more inclusive space for all the enjoy the waters in our province.
If you or your organization is interested in collaborating with us to meet these goals, please contact us.