Morinville News File Photo
by Morinville News Staff
If Morinville’s Recreation and Cultural Coordinator Melonie Dziwenka has her way, the streets of Morinville will be full of people out for a winter’s walk Feb. 5. That is the day the province has designated Winter Walk Day, an initiative to remind Albertans about the importance of being active. Dziwenka and the Town support the provincial initiative and are hoping residents will register in solid numbers for the event.
“It’s encouraging people for at least 15 minutes in the day to get out doors. To walk with friends, to take your family, kind of embrace a winter walk.” Dziwenka explained. “A winter walk is different than a summer walk. Listen to the sounds. Throw a snowball. Just have some fun.”
Dziwenka is asking everyone who participates to email her at firstname.lastname@example.org so she can compile a list of everyone who walked that day. “We’re going to register our community with how many participants there were,” she said. “We’re looking at doing draws for a few series of shows [at the culture centre], program fee reductions, and we’re going to have some fun prizes. Really, it is about getting out as a family and with your friends and enjoying the idea of a brisk winter walk.”
Important part of overall community goals
Dziwenka feels that people sometimes forget to be active in the winter months. “Winter pulls us in and we hibernate,” she said. “This reminds us there is a whole different kind of programming we can do in the winter. I think it reminds us to appreciate the outdoors no matter what season we are in.”
The recreation coordinator said there are lots of programming opportunities and encouragement for spring, summer and fall but less focus on the winter months. “I’m looking at this as a kick to a whole new programming series of activities in winter,” she said, adding the winter activity forms part of the Town’s participation in the province’s ChooseWell program, an initiative that looks at healthy living and eating.
If successful Dziwenka believes there are opportunities to expand outdoor winter walking programming, particularly along Morinville’s trail system. “Our trails are wonderful,” she said, adding this year has posed some problems for Public Works with respect to melting snow turning to freezing ice. Despite the challenges this winter, she sees opportunity for residents to take to the trails and see what wildlife is on the trails, particularly around the Morinville Fish and Game Association Trail Pond. “I would love to see more of that unstructured time,” she said. “Morinville with our parks and our trails has so much to offer that you just have to use your creativity. It’s there.”