A vacation center accessible to handicapped persons

Fédération des Œuvres laïques de Moselle is reorganizing its environmental discovery and education center of Grau d'Agde (Hérault) to accommodate a broader public and to obtain the "Tourism and Handicap" label.

Environment and Biodiversity

Agde, France

Virginie Benoist

€30,000 to the Selection Committee at 2011/10/20

Project leader

Ligue de l'enseignement - Fédération des Œuvres Laïques de la Moselle

"I was persuaded by the fact that in addition to the social approach, and the conviction that it is important to open up the activities to all children without reservation, the project contains an environmental approach. Educating children about the environment in the setting of discovery classes (visits, exchanges, practical work and understanding of basic concepts), is the very essence of the nonprofit, relying on support from teachers seconded by the national education ministry."

Virginie Benoist

Fédération des Œuvres Laïques de Moselle (FOL Moselle), created in 1947 in Metz, purchased its third vacation center at Agde in 1963 and launched weekly winter and other "green classes" in the 1970s, contributing to the development of the Vacances Pour Tous (vacations for all) service across Greater Eastern France. It has more than 40,000 members today in over 500 sports, cultural and leisure associations. In a project for adult education, it develops and coordinates many educational activities, with a constant concern of access for everyone to culture and recreational activities.

The FOL Moselle centers accommodate children and sometimes adults by setting up vacation trips and personalized excursions (social centers, nonprofit associations, schools). The nonprofit takes considerable care in upgrading its centers to meet the prevailing safety, health and comfort standards, with a concern to include the environmental education aspect. Energy decisions, source-separation, environmental practices are developed in its associative network, with the school public and its members and partners.

Environmental education for all publics

At "Montilles de Gaillardy", a ten acre wooded property at Grau d'Agde, nearly 3,000 children, every year, on vacation or in discovery class, enjoy the marine environment and its activities, as well as the wealth of the local and hinterland biodiversity. The center also proposes sports, artistic, cultural and environmental activities to families that are registered individually or in groups (local municipalities, nonprofit associations, corporate labor-management committees, etc.).

By developing and improving the accommodation and comfort of the premises, it aims to reach out to the largest possible public, and more specifically to handicapped persons, and to gain the "Tourism and Handicap" label. This approach is not limited to rearranging the site just to meet the regulations: the staffing of these persons, their wellbeing and enjoyment during their residence, is guaranteed, thanks to the experience of the staff, trained to take account of the different types of difficulty (psychomotility, hearing impaired, visual impairment, etc.).

Ecological arrangements for everyone's comfort

The project requires adding an accommodation facility for handicapped persons to each of the three buildings on the site, and adapting the premises to welcome them: bedrooms with specially equipped bathrooms; approach ramps; upgrading the outskirts to standards; organizing outdoor restroom facilities; improving the lighting and signage.

The structures will be built with ecological materials: single-thickness well insulated brick walls, local wood frames, terra cotta tile roofs with reinforced insulation, coatings based on natural line, enhanced-insulation joinery, odorless water-based paints (acrylic). The outskirts will be dotted with plantations of local species, demanding little upkeep (no sprinkling) and low-wattage lighting.

The Veolia Foundation is participating in adapting the accommodations to all forms of handicap.