MI Big Green Gym: Kalamazoo River Valley Trails

Last weekend, the Kalamazoo River Valley Trails played host to a new trail opening, celebrating the new connection between Mayors’ Riverfront Park and Comstock. Throughout the celebration, there were activities like face painting and music along the way. Individuals were able to bike, run, or walk at their own pace, as the trail opening event held four different marked routes at 3, 6, 9, and 22 miles.

The KRVT have become a healthy and beneficial resource in Kalamazoo to get people moving and get people outside. As Director of Parks and Recreation, Sean Fletcher, reiterates, “getting people active is so important. I think part of what [we] need to do is make sure people know that it isn’t expensive to go walk in a park or walk the KVRT…”

As I noticed during the event, the KRVT system even has lighted sections, so the trails are accessible at dusk if need be, thereby making the trails work with your lifestyle.

Events like the trail opening are meant to raise awareness of the Kalamazoo Parks and Recreation department, as well as bring the community together. “Our department has to make sure that people know about our parks and programs and take advantage of them, which is something we’re [currently] working very hard to improve,” Fletcher states.

To grow these initiatives moving forward, Fletcher notes that the department’s goal is to get people outside. In fact, in 2014 they hope to bring a Mobile Recreation program to different parks and neighborhood associations as a way of building visibility.

Don’t forget that there is still time to participate in the MI Big Green Gym Blues Community Challenge. Visit walkingworks.com to sign up and log your activity. By signing up, you can join Team Kalamazoo, Team Grand Traverse, or Team Marquette. The team rankings at the end determine the award given by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan for community grants.

What Michigan trail systems are your favorites?

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Photo credit: A Healthier Michigan

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