WESTFIELD-A “health initiative” begun in 2010 at Stanley Park has blossomed over the years to cover a variety of programs to help area residents “get up, get going and get healthy.”
“Stanley Park is a place to come and enjoy its many amenities, including recreation,” said Hillary McEwan, development and event coordinator. “We want to encourage and help people to get up and get moving.”
The health initiative took root with a “G To The 3-Health Expo,” which promoted the theme of “get up, get going and get healthy,” according to McEwan.
Since that initial health expo, the park has flourished with a variety of programs from yoga and Zumba classes with certified instructors to the popular “Walk Around the Park” morning sessions.
“The Zumba, yoga and walks provide a fun way to connect with others while getting in some form of exercise,” said McEwan.
Beginning May 9 and running through June 27, walks will once again be offered on Thursday mornings from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m.
“The park staff and/or volunteer touch on quite a few points of interest of Stanley Park during the walks,” said McEwan, adding that the history or some facts about the Meeting House, Carillon Tower, Veteran’s Memorial, Totem Pole, the gardens and more are covered.
“The participants have also been invited to stroll through the greenhouse and inside the Meeting House to see firsthand parts of the park that many are not privy to,” said McEwan.
The routes chosen each week are determined by the ability of those participating. Walking shoes are recommended.
“Some weeks the walkers explore the Frank Stanley Beveridge Wildlife Sanctuary and other weeks may be the upper part of the park’s campus,” said McEwan.
McEwan noted that the park staff member or volunteer will try to change the route of the walk each week to give the participants a different perspective of the campus, however, the abilities of all of the walkers are taken into consideration.
All walks will meet outside the Westfield Bank Children’s Pavilion (“B”).
For persons interested in Zumba classes, participants will meet on Tuesdays from May 7 through June 25 from 6 to 7 p.m. in the Beveridge Pavilion. The Yoga in the Park sessions will be conducted May 8 through June 26 on Wednesdays from 6 to 7 p.m. on the Acre Lawn, next to the Pavilion Annex.
For a complete list of all of the nature workshops, park tours, concerts and children’s programs, visit www.stanleypark.org. Stanley Park, a private, nonprofit organization, is open to the public with no admission fee.