Wellness trail opens Oct. 5
Jefferson County Health Center will celebrate the inauguration of its new wellness trail from 9:30-11 a.m. Oct. 5, in conjunction with Physical Therapy Month, which has the theme “Keep Moving Forward.”
According to the health center’s community relations manager Ginny Hughes, the celebration being held outdoors at the south end of the center will include sneaker decorating and a Halloween costume contest for children.
“Decorations will be provided, but bring your own sneakers,” said Hughes. “It is really geared for kids, but if adults want to come and glue googly eyes on their sneakers, they’re welcome, too. We’ll have all kinds of neat decorations.”
Hughes said plans are to present awards for the decorated sneakers and the Halloween costumes.
“Everybody will win something,” she said.
Also during the celebration, physical therapists from RehabVisions, the health center’s contracted physical therapy provider, will present clinics on stretching and proper footwear, and Jefferson County Health Center dietitian Tamara Harvatt will demonstrate how to pack a healthy lunch.
Hughes said fitness stations will be set up along the new Jefferson County Health Center Wellness Trail, and youth who complete all the stations will earn a ribbon.
The stations, she explained, will include challenges, such as Hula-Hoop twirling, jumping rope and hopping on one foot.
The trail, which opened to walkers, hikers, joggers and bicyclists in mid-July, is a nine-tenths mile long, 5- to 6-feet-wide gravel trail that is flat, easily walkable and easily accessible.
The trail basically follows the perimeter of the health center’s 34-acre site. It connects to the Fairfield Loop Trail on the south side of the health center’s property, follows it west to the fence line, then turns north and goes along the east side of the hospital’s “Hammes house” and turns east along Libertyville Road. The trail continues past the Doug Johnson Dialysis Center in the northeast corner of the health center campus and hooks back into the Loop Trail on the east side of campus.
The trail was built at the suggestion of Fairfield resident Chuck Espy, said health center administrator and CEO Deb Cardin.
Espy noted that although the Loop Trail was on the east and south ends of the health center campus, there was no way to get totally around the hospital. He thought a new trail would offer those who walk in the health center’s halls an option to walk outdoors, plus those on the Loop Trail could veer around the facility for a change of scenery.
“A trail sure made a lot of sense to me,” he said, and he began “peppering” Cardin, vice president of clinical services Joneane Parker and other health center officials with emails promoting the possibility.
“The idea took hold,” he continued, “and I stayed in touch with them and got Ron Blair [who was instrumental in the development of the Jefferson County trail system] involved to give advice.”
“We decided to do it to keep with our mission to promote health and wellness in the community,” said Cardin.
The name: Jefferson County Health Center Wellness Trail, also was Espy’s suggestion.
The inauguration will be canceled in the event of rain.