The Surgeon General, Parks and Your Health

The Surgeon General recently released a call to action - Step it Up! - encouraging everyone to walk more.

"Walking is one of the easiest and most affordable ways to build up physical activity in your life.”

-U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek H. Murthy

Dr. Murthy specifically calls on professionals and advocates from across sectors to come together to create safer, more supportive environments for people to walk. Included in this call were parks and recreation officials.

I would argue that our local communities have done an amazing job given their resources to integrate pathways and trails into our park systems - and to encourage people to get out and use them. The various park and recreation departments in the county are all actively working to maintain and improve the pathways that they control. The Spokane Regional Health District is a long-time advocate in leveraging parks, trails and public spaces to increase the health of our friends and neighbors. Special recognition needs to be given to groups like the Friends of the Centennial Trail who have pushed that path beyond the borders of the parks and brought many municipalities and advocates together for the health of everyone.

All that said, there is still work to be done. Urban planners and elected officials are key groups in the process of integrating safe walking routes into streets and new developments. The National Park and Recreation Association is pushing their Safe Routes to Parks program, with tools for everyone to use. Check it out here.

We particularly love this video. Enjoy and let us know how you are helping Spokane become a safer place to walk!

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