National Public Lands Day is coming up on September 27th. It is a good day to celebrate trails and dream about new options for enjoying the outdoors. Alaska Trails has been working for ten years to not only build and maintain Alaska’s world-class trails, but to highlight the many benefits trails bring – not just the recreation we all love, but the health, economic and community benefits they bring as well.
According to the State Department of Health, Alaskans spend $459 million a year treating the effects of obesity. Almost 40% of adults and 30% of kids in Alaska are obese. Taken together, Alaskans who are overweight and obese, that accounts for 65% of the population! For children, it’s not only bad for their health, but also negatively affects their academic performance.
Trails are part of the solution to obesity as they offer a year-round source of activity, often right near your home, school or workplace. Trails give kids and families a place to exercise and enjoy the outdoors. Members of the Delta Junction Trails Association (DJTA) attended the Statewide Trails Conference that Alaska Trails held in April. DJTA is working on a Community Trail Plan, which help build support and secure funding to put the trails on-the-ground.
DJTA is facilitating the planning through public meetings and discussions with key stakeholders. The work group will create a plan with recommendations for design, estimated costs, construction, and maintenance of a community-wide trail system. Alaska Trails will continue to be a partner to this effort, which will be a great resource for the community.
Steve Cleary is the Executive Director of Alaska Trails – www.alaska-trails.org
Join us at our DJTA Work Group meeting to review items for the Draft of the Delta Junction Community Trail Plan August 28th 5:30-7:00pm Co-Op Extension Conference Room