Create a Healthier Niagara Falls Collaborative and the Niagara Falls National Heritage Area are partnering together to host a 5K wellness walk at the Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center from 2-4 p.m. Sunday, April 18. A press release stated, “This walk offers an opportunity for members of the community to restore the connection with nature and each other while improving their physical and mental health.
“Designed to counteract the isolation and sedentary lifestyle many of us have experienced due to the pandemic, the walk will allow participants to adhere to COVID-19 safety guidelines while enjoying a healthy activity together. Just the act of walking and talking with each other will help boost people’s spirits and build community support and reconnection after what has been a tough year for many.”
Brian Archie, integrator and change agent for the Create a Healthier Niagara Falls Collaborative, said he is looking forward to the walk as an opportunity for members of the community to reinvigorate their self-care and personal health routines.
“The walk will be a great reminder of all of the physical and mental health benefits of being outside in nature,” Archie said. “Walking is an accessible, mindful exercise that can help us work through negative emotions caused by the pandemic, including loneliness, grief, stress, anxiety, suicidal thoughts and depression. Exercise, getting outside and safely being around others are all important ways that we can help prevent current or future mental health crises.”
The loop route will start at the Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center following the Niagara Gorge Trail to Niagara Falls State Park, returning to the Heritage Center for completion.
“Participants in the walk will be able to rediscover what makes the Niagara Falls area so special,” said Sara Capen, adviser and executive director of the Niagara Falls National Heritage Area. “We hope that the route will remind walkers of the assets in our community that they can safely take advantage of while still social distancing.”
Those interested in participating in the walk can register at https://www.healthierniagarafalls.org/events/walk-with-us.
The Niagara Falls National Heritage Area is one of 55 National Heritage Areas in the U.S. Designated by Congress in 2008, its mission is to preserve, protect and promote the historic, natural and cultural resources of the area stretching from Niagara Falls to Old Fort Niagara in Youngstown. Through partnerships and initiatives, the National Heritage Area supports small grants to community partners, develops significant projects such as the Discover Niagara Shuttle and #NFMurals, and is a leading advocate for enhancing appreciation of the significant historic, cultural and natural resources within the National Heritage Area. Learn more at discoverniagara.org.
The Create a Healthier Niagara Falls Collaborative is a 501(c)(3) that gives opportunities to residents of Niagara Falls to become change agents. The collaborative is deeply engaged in the community, provides tools and support to residents, and partners with local businesses, nonprofit organizations, and faith communities to positively impact the City of Niagara Falls’ health and well-being residents. Learn more at healthierniagarafalls.org.