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National Trails Awards for 2006

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2006 TRAILS FOR HEALTH AWARD WINNERS

sign: imagine the world cured, visualize mankind healed

The award recognizes a community's commitment to improving access to trails and promoting their use and importance for increasing physical activity. The award is for commitment to long term change through community design, trail planning, heightened awareness of active community environments, physical activity promotion, and increased trail use:

  • Arkansas River Trail Medical Mile Project, Little Rock, Arkansas
  • Memorial Hospital Foundation - River Bluff Trail, Logansport, Indiana

    It was literally impossible for the American Trails Board to narrow the Trails For Health Award down to one single candidate, so this year it will be a dual award. These two winners have gone above and beyond the call of duty, and have proven themselves to be of a kind that will bring more and more awareness to public health issues for years to come.

    Arkansas River Trail Medical Mile Project

    photo of wide concrete trail
    The Medical Mile trail project in Little Rock, AR

    The Arkansas River Trail Medical Mile is a multi-year collaboration project between the City of Little Rock and Heart Clinic Arkansas, the state's largest cardiology clinic. To raise awareness of public health issues and the benefits of trail use, the collaboration was developed to raise $350,000 for the construction of a "Medical Mile" on the Arkansas River Trail. In two years, the project brought in $2.1 million and is recognized as the nation's first outdoor linear health museum concept.

    Central to the development of the Medical Mile was the desire to provide a highly visible educational art amenity that would speak to the need for increased exercise and physical activity through trail use.

    photo: people walking on River Bluff Trail
    American Trails Board members present Terry Eastin the 2006 National Trails and Health Award

    One of the most unique parts of the project was the development of the Headwaters Partnership for the Arkansas River Trail. Supported by six national organizations, including the National Park Service, five state agency directors, a county judge, two mayors, a national television station affiliate, and sixteen local organizations and coalitions, the Headwaters Partnership served as the conduit for establishment of the Medical Mile Project partnership.

    Because of the Medical Mile project's health awareness aspects, millions worldwide will be provided inspirational information through art and interpretation as they walk, bike, jog, or blade the Medical Mile of the Arkansas River Trail.

     

Memorial Hospital Foundation - River Bluff Trail, Logansport, Indiana

photo: kids exercising on trails
Exercise on the River Bluff Trail

Just over five years ago, there was a need for Memorial Hospital to help ensure the health of area residents. It was clear that a health crisis was looming, evidenced by the increasing poor health habits and physical health of the population. At the same time, a committee of Logansport Memorial Hospital employees was brainstorming ways of celebrating the hospital's 75th anniversary.

The team decided to emphasize the leadership's concerns for the community, to stress exercise as a path to a healthy life style and longevity and to insure the protection of community environments by developing a walking trail.

See previous National Trails Award Winners from 2004, 2002, and 2000.

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