Wednesday May 11, 2005
Mayor Jerry Abramson is encouraging Louisville residents to become more physically active through an enhanced focus on walking in Metro Parks and a community-wide biking and walking event scheduled for May 30.
“When people in our hometown exercise and spend quality time together as families, the entire community wins,” Abramson said. “Active residents make for a healthier community – and a healthier community has a higher quality of life and is a better place to locate a business.”
At a news conference today at a Shawnee Park walking path, Abramson outlined several initiatives that are part of the ongoing Mayor’s Healthy Hometown Movement.
Metro Parks marks walking paths, opens golf courses to walkers
Those that walk, jog or skate Metro Parks walking paths can now track their distance on the “Mayor’s Miles.” More than 12 miles of paths at Shawnee, Seneca, Iroquois, Cherokee, Chickasaw, & Charlie Vettiner parks are being marked in the coming weeks with green dots every tenth of a mile to allow park users to determine how far they walk. Paths at Thurman Hutchins Park and Jefferson Memorial Forest will also be a part of the Mayor’s Miles initiative, but do not require additional marking.
“It’s an easy and fun way to track your progress,” Abramson said.
Walkers from Active Living and Jenny Craig walked the first Mayor’s Mile today at the 1.3-mile Shawnee Park loop.
In addition, Metro Parks is expanding its walking paths by 13 miles by allowing walkers to use some golf-cart paths at certain times. Residents may now walk the back nines of Shawnee, Seneca, Iroquois, Long Run, Sun Valley and Charlie Vettiner golf courses from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. on weekdays. Those times are when golfers are playing only the front nines and the back nines are not in use.
“We’ve had many requests from residents wanting to walk or jog the golf paths because of the rolling terrain that can present a nice challenge,” Abramson said.
May 30 ‘Hike & Bike’ for both beginner and advanced cyclists and walkers Abramson also invited the community to join him in biking or walking special scenic routes through Louisville on Memorial Day. The Mayor’s Healthy Hometown Hike & Bike will begin May 30 at 10 a.m. at Louisville Slugger Field.
“We have set up a special bike route that will showcase our downtown, the river, our parks and neighborhoods and other unique parts of our hometown,” Abramson said. “Whether you bike, jog or walk several miles every day, or you want to begin new healthy habits, our Hike & Bike is a great way to get out and get moving.”
The bike route will wind from Slugger Field west to Shawnee Park and return via the RiverWalk, with several distance options ranging from a one-mile loop up to the full 14-mile route. Cyclists looking for shorter routes can exit onto the RiverWalk from several marked turning points to return to Slugger Field.
The route will be well-marked and staffed by volunteers to assist with directions, water and snacks at several break stations. “Bike doctors” also will be positioned along the way to assist cyclists who encounter equipment problems. Louisville Metro Police will provide traffic control at key intersections and the Emergency Medical Services bicycle team will patrol the route.
For walkers, a one-mile loop will progress from Slugger Field through Waterfront Park. That path will be marked with green dots as a temporary “Mayor’s Miles” path.
“We’re ensuring there are activities for every athletic ability, because it’s not about how far you go, but it’s about getting out and being active,” Abramson said.
The Slugger Field starting and finishing point will also feature a festival-like atmosphere with food, picnicking, entertainment and doorprizes. Several health and wellness groups will set up booths to provide information about cycling safety, bicycle commuting and other healthy-living information.
The Hike & Bike is the kickoff of the second phase of the Mayor’s Healthy Hometown Movement. Last fall, Abramson launched this campaign with the first phase, “Move It, Louisville” designed to encourage residents to be more active. The second phase, “Lose It, Louisville,” will motivate residents to lose weight. Mayor's Healthy Hometown Hike & Bike