Accessibility at Crane Beach

The Trustees of the Reservations are making a concerted effort to make the beach

Crane Beach in Ipswich, a property of The Trustees of Reservations, is often recognized regionally and nationally as a favorite summer beach destination for people from near and far, but it can be the experience and recognition shared by one individual that holds the most meaning.

Alexandra Pecci, a Northshore native who now lives in Southern New Hampshire, and her daughter Chloe, are self-described "unabashed beach bums.” And as much as this duo loves trips to the beach, it’s not easy as Pecci’s daughter has spina bifida and cannot walk without assistance.  “For her entire life, trips to the beach were incredibly difficult to orchestrate," notes Pecci. “Her walker doesn't roll over sand, and neither does anything else on wheels, including strollers. Instead, I would carry her and all of our things slowly and painfully across the sand dunes.” 

On a beautiful day in July, Pecci and her daughter were prepared to improvise when they headed off to Crane Beach with friends. “I was floored when I saw a sign saying that transport was provided to disabled beachgoers,” she notes. “Larry, one of Crane's employees, was so cheerful, funny, and friendly as he helped us load our things into the back of the beach-mobile and drove me, with my daughter on my lap, down to the perfect spot on the sand.”

Thanks to a cooperating tide, the sand near the water was flat and hard, allowing Pecci’s daughter to use her walker to play on the beach, following her friends between the shore and beach blanket without any trouble. When the two were we were ready to head home, the lifeguard called for the beach buggie which drove them back to their car.

Pecci shared with Trustees staff, “I was nearly in tears of joy, happiness, and relief as we arrived on the beach yesterday. I simply cannot describe what this means to me. The beach is a place where we have always healed our souls, and it broke my heart to think we couldn't go anymore. Long, bumpy, stair-filled boardwalks and rolling sand dunes would have made the beach out of reach for Chloe. No more, thanks to the good people at Crane and The Trustees of Reservations. Crane will be our beach from now on.”

Happenstance or fate, just one day after the Pecci’s visit to Crane Beach, the beach received an unexpected delivery of a Mobi-chair – a floating beach wheelchair that provides an easy transition from the boardwalk to the beach to the water. Working with SMILE Mass (Small Miracles In Life Exist), a Massachusetts nonprofit dedicated to providing happy, healthy memories to families living with children or adults with disabilities, teenagers Ben and Sam Kateman raised and donated the money to purchase the chair through their Mitzvah Project, requesting that SMILE Mass place the chair on a North Shore beach. Thanks are also deserved to Kerrie Bates, Recreation Director for the town of Ipswich, who planted the seed and worked behind-the-scenes to help make this all possible.

"We were so pleased to receive such a heart warming message from Alex about her positive experience at Crane Beach with her daughter and one of our staff members," says Barbara Erickson, Trustees President and CEO. "The Trustees are committed to making universal access a priority at our properties and enhancing the visitor experience for all. We were absolutely thrilled when SMILE Mass contacted us the day after we heard from Alex and offered to so generously donate a Mobi-chair, creating yet another way for our visitors needing special assistance to make an easy transition from the boardwalk to the beach to the water."

Thanks to the thinking and generosity of a handful of individuals, coupled with the vison of a local nonprofit organization, a day of swimming at Crane Beach is now even more accessible for all. The Trustees of Reservations contacted Pecci to let her know of the donation and she commented, “How wonderful that the mobi-chair was donated! There really are lots of good people in the world.”

In addition to providing beachfront and swimming access for mobility-impaired visitors, Crane Beach is fully staffed with guest services representatives, rangers, lifeguards, and EMTs and other visitor amenities include the Crane Beach store featuring refreshments and merchandise, bathhouses with toilets and changing areas, as well as outside showers and picnic area.

For daily updates on the tides, parking, programs or weather, follow the beach on twitter @CraneBeachMass and friend them on Facebook (www.facebook.com/craneestate). You can also call the beach office at 978.356.4354, Monday – Friday, 9AM – 5PM or find information online at thetrustees.org/beach.

SMILE Mass is a 501c3 non-profit based in Sudbury, MA. The mission of SMILE Mass is to help families living with children and adults with disabilities create happy, healthy memories. Over the past three summers, SMILE Mass delivered 64 floating beach wheelchairs to public beaches on Cape Cod. SMILE Mass is now focusing on providing mobility access to other areas of Massachusetts and New England.  In addition to the 65 floating beach wheelchairs currently placed on public beaches, SMILE Mass has six loaner beach wheelchairs that individuals can borrow, free of charge, if they are vacationing in any area where they need this accessibility. To learn more about SMILE Mass and the loaner beach wheelchairs visit www.smilemass.org.

This Story was submitted by Holly Hannaway of the Trustees of Reservations.

Location: 
Glen Urquhart School Pre-K through 8th grade in Beverly MA

Babson Farm Quarry Self-guided Walking Tour at Halibut Point

Kids will enjoy this tour of the Halibut Point State Park and Quarry with a focus on its stone-cutting history!
Take a self guided tour at one of Massachusetts most beautiful locations!
7:00 am to 6:00 pm

Butterfly Detectives at Stevens-Coolidge Estate

Kids will learn about monarch butterflies at the Trustees of Reservations' Stevens-Coolidge Estate in North Andover!
To encourage outdoor play and exploration of the great outdoors, this nature-based toddler playgroup will combine themed guided play with opportunities for free time for children and their caregivers to peek under rocks, inspect tree bark for hiding bugs and explore the gardens.
9:30 am to 10:30 am

Tuesdays are for Families at Salisbury Beach

Come to Salisbury Beach for FREE seaside, family friendly activities Tuesdays through the Summer.
Come to Salisbury Beach every Tuesday, July through August for FREE seaside, family friendly activities! Starting July 5th, every Tuesday in July and August there will be free family friendly programing at the Salisbury Beach Center.
10:00 am to 12:00 pm

Gloucester Gratis Days at Hammond Castle

Bring your kids to the Hammond Castle Museum in Gloucester Massachusetts during April Vacation
In keeping with John Hays Hammond, Jr's original vision for his seaside castle-home to serve as a museum offering the Gloucester community access to ancient works of architectural art, Hammond Castle Museum will offer Gloucester residents free, self-guided tours each Tuesday throughout the regular...
10:00 am to 4:00 pm

Arts and Crafts for Little Ones with Colleen Apostolos

Art Classes for children with Colleen Apostolos
Certified Montessori teacher, artist and local mother, Colleen Apostolos-Marsh will guide your young artist in an exploration of color, shape, and texture. Using a variety of media, your child will be free to express their in a beautiful space while socializing and engaging in cooperative play....
10:15 am to 11:15 am

Manchester by the Sea Summer Concert Series

Summer Concerts happen at Masconomo Park in Manchester by the Sea every Tuesday through the Summer!
Come to Manchester Tuesday nights all summer for the annual Music in Masconomo Summer Concert Series. Each week from 6:00 - 8:00 pm a variety of Oldies, Swing, Rhythm & Blues & Classic Rock music will fill the air! Bring your family and friends, blankets and chairs, and dinner to enjoy a...
6:00 pm to 8:00 pm

Ipswich Downtown Tuesdays

Ipswich Downtown Tuesdays includes great dining live music, dancing & extended shopping hours for shopping Downtown Ipswich Massachusetts Tuesday evenings!
Ipswich Downtown Tuesdays includes great dining, live music, dancing at the Take-Out Terrace Stage on the Riverwalk  & extended shopping hours for shopping Downtown Ipswich Tuesday evenings!  Each week will feature live entertainment on the Riverwalk, making for a fun evening out for the whole...
7:30 pm to 9:00 pm

Wednesday, August 17

Babson Farm Quarry Self-guided Walking Tour at Halibut Point

Kids will enjoy this tour of the Halibut Point State Park and Quarry with a focus on its stone-cutting history!
Take a self guided tour at one of Massachusetts most beautiful locations!
7:00 am to 6:00 pm

We Walk the Woods!

Walk the trails in a group at Harold Parker State Forest Every Wednesday at 10am
Walk the trails with a group at Harold Parker State Forest every Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. – Meeting location varies weekly. Email trek.reef@mass.gov for location.
10:00 am to 12:00 pm

Arts and Crafts for Little Ones with Colleen Apostolos

Art Classes for children with Colleen Apostolos
Certified Montessori teacher, artist and local mother, Colleen Apostolos-Marsh will guide your young artist in an exploration of color, shape, and texture. Using a variety of media, your child will be free to express their in a beautiful space while socializing and engaging in cooperative play....
10:15 am to 11:15 am

Bubbles & Books at the Castle

Kids will enjoy a story time and lots of bubble fun at the for Hammond Castle in Gloucester Massachsuetts
Join us every Wednesday morning in July & August for Bubbles and Books! Fairytales do come true at Castles by the Sea!
10:15 am to 11:45 pm

Amesbury Farmers Market

The Amesbury Farmers Market happens every Wednesday at Barewolf Brewing in Amesbury, Massachusetts.
The Amesbury Farmers' Market is a local community farmers’ and artisans’ market located in the heart of the historic mills of Amesbury, Massachusetts at BareWolf Brewing. We are a regularly scheduled community market supporting our local food system, small businesses and neighborhood community...
3:00 pm to 7:00 pm

Feed the Beach Creatures - Rocky Shore Residents

You can look at, AND touch the creatures in Joppa Flats touch tank! Feeding time is a lot of fun!
It's time to feed our touch tank animals! You can help us with sea stars, sea urchins, and rock crabs from the rocky shore; moon snails, surf clams, and hermit crabs from the sandy beach; and minnows, mud whelks, and horseshoe crabs from the salt marsh. Assist our animal husbandry team in sorting,...
4:00 pm to 5:00 pm

Evening Stroll at Maudslay

Enjoy and evening stroll with the park interpreter at Maudlsay State Park in Newburyport
Join the park interpreter for a moderately paced walk to view different areas of the park and experience the changes at Maudslay over the spring, summer and fall.  Rain or shine. Rain cancels.  For ages 6 and up.  Wear walking shoes, bring water and bug spray is recommended.
6:30 pm to 8:00 pm

$1 Wednesdays at the Cabot: How to Train Your Dragon

Come see How to Train Your Dragon at the Cabot Theater in Beverly Massachusetts for just $1/child!
$1 Movies are general admission and tickets are not available in advance. The theater will open a half hour before showtime. Tickets can be purchased upon entry to the theater.
Where: The Cabot
6:30 pm

Stargazing at Mendel Observatory

Mendel Observatory, with the support of volunteers from the North Shore Amateur Astronomy Club, hosts public stargazing every Wednesday night
The Observatory, with the support of volunteers from the North Shore Amateur Astronomy Club, hosts public stargazing every Wednesday night (weather permitting) starting at dusk or 7:30 pm, whichever is later.  When special astronomical events of interest occur (total lunar eclipses, etc.) the Obs
7:00 pm

NYS Summer Movie Madness

NYS hosts a free movie each Wednesday at Newburyport City Hall!
Each Wednesday, Newburyport Youth Services host a free movie for kids and families at the Newburyport City Hall. The weekly schedule is as follows:
8:00 pm to 10:00 pm