A map of the proposed Monday Mile walking route in New Woodstock. (courtesy MCRHC)
In its continuing efforts to encourage healthy behaviors in area residents, the Madison County Rural Health Council is working to establish a “Monday Mile” walking route in the hamlet of New Woodstock.
The 1.1-mile route, which will take a person approximately 20 minutes to walk, will be centered around the New Woodstock Free Library on Main Street.
“We are involved in the Monday Mile because there is a 64 percent overweight and obesity rate in Madison County,” said Bonnie Slocum, executive director of the Madison County Rural Health Council, during a presentation to the Cazenovia Town Board on April 9. “The ability to get out where you live is the best way to get exercise.”
The Monday Mile program encourages people to use Mondays as a day to start or sustain healthy behaviors by getting in some daily exercise and jump starting the week. It is part of the Healthy Monday national public health initiative to help end chronic preventable diseases by offering weekly prompts and programs to support people and participating organizations in starting and sustaining healthy behaviors.
Healthy Monday is an initiative of the Monday Campaigns and was founded in 2005 in association with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Columbia Mailman School of Public Health and Syracuse University Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs.
The SU program is coordinating with the Madison County Rural Health Council on the New Woodstock Monday Mile route. SU graduate student Eunice Lee said the program has three main goals:
1) To encourage physical activity in a safe and accessible space.
2) To support organizations who use the Monday Mile program.
3) To provide sustainable access to walking routes the community can use free of charge.
Lee said the New Woodstock route came from four months of collaboration between Healthy Monday Syracuse, the Madison County Rural Health Council and the New Woodstock Free Library.
The path, which starts and ends at the library, goes west on Main Street, then back up Main Street to Mill Street, then down and up Mill Street and back to the library. The route will be marked by nine Monday Mile signs that contain maps, directional arrows and distance markers.
Renee Beardsley, of the New Woodstock Free Library, said the library has received “lots of interest” in the Monday Mile program from patrons, and is equipped to support the program with indoor and outdoor spaces, restrooms and eventually health and wellness information. She said the library also has plans to create group walks along the route.
Slocum told the town board that the project needed only their approval and town help to install the nine route signs. The board unanimously offered their support. “I would say proceed,” said Supervisor Bill Zupan.
The New Woodstock path will be the 11th Monday Mile route in Madison County. The other routes are located in Brookfield, Canastota, Morrisville, Oneida, Stockbridge, two in Hamilton and two in DeRuyter.
A map of the planned Monday Mile route can be viewed in the New Woodstock Free Library.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican and Eagle Bulletin newspapers.