Create a Healthier Niagara Falls Collaborative (CHNFC) and the Niagara Falls National Heritage Area partnered Sunday to host a 5K wellness walk at the Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center. The event offered an opportunity for community members to restore the connection with nature and each other while improving their physical and mental health.
A press release explained, “Designed to counteract the isolation and sedentary lifestyle many of us have experienced due to the pandemic, the walk allowed participants to adhere to COVID-19 safety guidelines while enjoying a healthy activity together. Just the act of walking and talking with each other helped 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 CHNFC, started the event by saying, “We are here today to reconnect with ourselves, our community and others.”
He continued, “Coming together in person outside in nature will restore and reengage us all with what we were doing before COVID-19 happened. We need each other. We are only as well as our neighbors, and we have to take care of each other.”
Archie said he was delighted with the turnout of the event: “It was great seeing so many people coming out. You could see their smiles behind their mask.
“This felt important; we will have similar events very soon.”
The simple loop route started at the Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center and followed the Niagara Gorge Trail to Niagara Falls State Park, returning to the Heritage Center for completion.
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 important 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.