The Friends of Rish Park and our coalition of advocates, families, and individuals with disabilities are writing to express our profound appreciation to Gov. Ron DeSantis, House Speaker Chris Sprowls, Sen. Loranne Ausley, Sen. Ben Albritton, Rep. Jason Shoaf, Rep. Allison Tant, and the Florida Parks System for including needed improvements to the William J. (Billy Joe) Rish Park in the 2022-2023 state budget.
The state-owned Rish Park, located on Cape San Blas, is the only one in Florida specifically set aside for accessible outdoor recreation for people with disabilities.
The park had been damaged by Hurricane Michael in 2018 and had been closed until only a few weeks ago when it was re-opened by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.
The $6.7 million of capital funding in the state budget will help mitigate the hurricane damage, upgrade some of the antiquated infrastructures, and most importantly, make a material difference by expanding the park’s accessible experiences.