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Healthy Adventures Begins July 1 in Stark Parks
Program Rewards Hiking, Other Active Pursuits
Stark Parks’ annual Healthy Adventures program begins July 1, with a few new twists. The program encourages outdoor activities, especially walking, and rewards participants with a hiking stick and charm. This year’s charm is FeLeap’s friend, Ollie the Owl. Three sections of the Stark County section of the Towpath Trail are part of the program.
Healthy Adventures forms are available at Stark Parks’ facilities, trailheads, and online at www.StarkParks.com. This year’s new components include:
· GPS coordinates for each trail location
· Descriptions of how to get to each location
· An “honor system” for recording activities
· An option to “choose your own trail” for one activity
· Routes on Stark Parks newest trails: the Middle Branch Trail in Plain Township, the Hoover Trail in North Canton, and the Mahoning Valley Trail near Alliance
· A partnership with AultCare and Aultman, allowing employees to fulfill their “Bee Healthy” requirements through participation in Healthy Adventures.
· Five trail choices of less than two miles, and three trails of 2.02-2.24 miles
The honor system replaces a past requirement for participants to get a park employee’s or volunteer’s signature, or visit a nearby business to have their activity verified. “Other park districts have used an honor system without any problems,” said Connie Rubin, Stark Parks’ public relations coordinator, “so we decided to try it this year.”
A small increase in the size of the 2012 Healthy Adventures brochure allowed inclusion of more precise directions and GPS coordinates for each of the 11 trail options, a frequent request from out-of-county participants. Other components of the program remain the same:
· The program is free for Stark County residents, but costs $5 for non-residents
· Participants turn in their forms after completing all requirements—no need to “pre-register”
· Participants have four months (July 1-Oct. 31) to complete activities.
· In addition to hiking trails, participants can get credit for attending up to three active park district programs of their choice. The park program calendar is available at www.StarkParks.com and in its newsletter.
· Canoeing or kayaking for one hour at Sippo Lake in Perry Township or Walborn Reservoir near Alliance are options
· Participating as a walker or runner in the Friends of Stark Parks annual Canalway Classic 5K on Aug. 11 will also be counted toward the 8-activity goal requirement. Registration for the event is underway at www.OhioChallengeSeries.com and includes a technical t-shirt for registering before July 27.
· An option to purchase a hickory hiking stick by becoming an individual member of the Friends of Stark Parks. Friends members who complete Healthy Adventures receive the annual charm—this year “Ollie the Owl.”
Follow the Canalway
A Towpath was a Towing Path Bicyclists and walkers on the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail today follow the same path that in the 1800s was used by mules and mule-drivers to pull canal boats—with some exceptions. Canal Fever , KSU Press, 2009 More »