GALION — On Friday, May 18, the community is invited to Walk Galion! This new walking route winds throughout several neighborhoods in town and will be officially unveiled as part of Third Friday festivities.

Walkers are encouraged to meet at the Galion Public Library at 5 p.m., walk part of the route, and get back to the Uptowne Square in time for Third Friday activities.

Walk (Galion) is a national campaign that encourages people to get involved in making their communities more vibrant and walkable. The initiative to bring the campaign to Galion was led by the Healthy Weight, Healthy Heart Committee, as part of the Community Health Improvement Plan.

“Most people who don’t walk to any destinations say that it’s too far,” said Lisa Workman, a member of the committee. “This initiative shows that in only a few minutes at a time, you can incorporate exercise into your daily routine while simultaneously soaking in your community’s little gems.”

The Crawford County Community Health Assessment conducted in 2015 showed multiple needs for improving wellness within our community:

 35 percent of adults in Crawford County are obese, compared to 30 percent nationally.

 Heart disease accounted for 19 percent of deaths in the county in 2013.

 16 percent of adults are diagnosed with diabetes, and 32 percent have arthritis.

The Healthy Weight, Healthy Heart Committee is one of several subgroups formed to address improving the community’s overall wellness. Workman met with city officials to discuss the idea of a walking route, and the effort was made possible through funding from the Community Foundation for Crawford County, the City of Galion, and the Galion Historical Society.

Walking is an exercise that can benefit all ages and abilities — a perfect activity for families to do together. The 2.3-mile path for Walk Galion features local sites ranging from parks to historic buildings. You may begin your walk at any point along the route. In the future, planners hope to add more sites.

Some points along the route include:

Heise Park

Galion Public Library

Uptowne Galion

Brownella Cottage and Grace Church

Historic West Main

“This was a simple way promote what Galion has to offer,” said Matt Echelberry, communications director for the city. “I encourage residents to get out a walk this summer, whether on this route or in their own neighborhood.”

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