GET ACTIVE: EverWalk strives to get everyone moving

EverWalks with Greene County Parks & Trails are free and open to all ages - CONTRIBUTED

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EverWalks with Greene County Parks & Trails are free and open to all ages - CONTRIBUTED

One walk at a time – around the block, through the park or across town – EverWalk strives to get everyone moving.

The world-wide walking initiative, or walking revolution as it has been described, was started by accomplished swimmer Diana Nyad and her expedition leader Bonnie Stoll. Nyad made history in 2013 when, at the age of 64, she swam from Havana to Key West, Florida, in 53 hours.

“Diana was the first person to ever make this swim without the aid of a shark cage,” said Mel Grosvenor, a naturalist with Greene County Parks & Trails. “She made five attempts and finally achieved her dream at the age of 64 – the distance was a whopping 110 miles. After that, she and Bonnie wanted to encourage people to get out and do something for their health. They recognized that sitting is the new smoking and wished to come up with a way to get people to be more active.”

Nyad and Stoll considered several possibilities including swimming and cycling but settled on walking because anyone can do it anywhere with no need for expensive equipment. And there are numerous benefits of walking such as easing joint pain, boosting immune function, losing weight and reducing stress.

“EverWalk aims to get people off of their chairs and make a pledge to walk at least one mile a day,” Grosvenor said. “EverWalk also strives to build a community of walkers from around the globe. Walks are scheduled and led by EverWalk Ambassadors like me. I answer people’s questions about what they are seeing on their walks and post weekly themes about nature for EverWalkers to look for and share photos of.”

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Greene County Parks & Trails naturalist Mel Grosvenor leading a group along the trails of the Indian Mound Reserve during a recent EverWalk - CONTRIBUTED

Greene County Parks & Trails naturalist Mel Grosvenor leading a group along the trails of the Indian Mound Reserve during a recent EverWalk - CONTRIBUTED

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Greene County Parks & Trails naturalist Mel Grosvenor leading a group along the trails of the Indian Mound Reserve during a recent EverWalk - CONTRIBUTED

There are currently EverWalk Ambassadors in 30 states and Washington D.C. as well as Canada, England, France and Sweden.

“I recently joined a weeklong EverWalk Epic event in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where we met EverWalkers from all over and walked 10 miles each day,” Grosvenor said. “I was on hand to answer nature questions. It was great to finally meet Diana and Bonnie and other EverWalkers that I have come to know through social media. It’s a very warm, encouraging and inspiring group to be involved with. We truly are like a family.”

All the walks that Grosvenor leads throughout the Greene County Parks are free and open to all ages. Well-mannered dogs on leashes are also welcome.

EverWalkers can also download the EverWalk app which includes news and chats. Connect with other EverWalkers, post photos and learn more about upcoming events.

Upcoming EverWalk schedule

To join an upcoming EverWalk, visit https://reservations.gcparkstrails.com/programs/

· June 25: Russ Nature Reserve, 2380 Kemp Road, Beavercreek

· July 30: Narrows Reserve, 2575 Indian Ripple Road, Xenia

· August 27: Indian Mound Reserve, 2750 US 42, Cedarville

· September 24: Pearl’s Fen, 4535 Byron Road, Fairborn

· October 29: Halloween costume walk starting at Xenia Station, 150 South Miami Ave., Xenia

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