Wichita State News
Wichita State's new walking path measures 1.5 miles.

Wichita State to celebrate fitness; open new public walking path

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Wichita State University will celebrate National Employee Health and Fitness Day with a ribbon-cutting ceremony that will open a new 1.5 mile marked walking path on campus at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, May 20.

The ribbon-cutting will take place on the sidewalk at the intersection of Yale and Perimeter Road north of the Heskett Center. Wichita City Council member Lavonta Williams will cut the ribbon with an assist from WuShock. Other dignitaries planning to participate are Mim McKenzie, chair of the Wichita Health and Wellness Coalition; Cheryl Adams, dean of students at WSU; Dan Mehl, director of the Heskett Center; and Sally Beckett and Shelley Rich, Campus Fitness and Wellness staff.

Shocker Walker bronze marker

These bronze Shocker Walker markers will mark the 1.5-mile path in quarter-mile increments.

The idea for a walking path on campus was spurred by a Health and Wellness Coalition of Wichita's Healthy Perceptions Survey in 2008. Of the 2,000 respondents, fewer than half said that Wichita neighborhoods were designed to encourage walking, and two-thirds said lighting and safety was also a problem.

Wichita State responded to the needs of the community. Beckett wrote a grant in the development of walking groups and $4,889.80 was awarded by The Wichita Community Foundation in partnership with the Health and Wellness Coalition in August 2009.

The Campus Fitness and Wellness staff used a portion of the grant to purchase bronze survey markers to mark a 1.5 mile path around Perimeter Road at WSU in quarter-mile increments. The markers will have a picture of WuShock and the name of the path. This new path will be the only well-lit designated walking path in northeast Wichita. Additional walking paths on campus are expected to be developed in the next year or two.

McKenzie said, "The results from the Healthy Wichita Perception Survey in 2008 showed our community members need safer walking areas, and the Shocker Walker project gives just that. We are thrilled to see a new physical activity opportunity for citizens."

The new WSU walking path has a safe environment with university police and well cared-for sidewalks that are 14 feet wide and accessible for people with disabilities.

"This new walking path is a great way for people in Wichita to get outside, enjoy our beautiful campus and engage in healthy behaviors," said WSU President Don Beggs. "I am proud of the way that Campus Recreation has responded to a need in this community by promoting walking on campus to our neighbors, faculty, staff and students."

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Created on Wednesday, May 12, 2010; Last modified on Wednesday, May 19, 2010