bridge in Beckwith Preserve
by Jo Mayer
I urge you to accept nature’s invitation to venture outside this spring. We are blessed with many areas to walk, play, and socialize. Not only is moving more good for your health, but doing so in the company of friends is, too! While there is construction on the Mike Levine Lakelands Trail State Park centered in Stockbridge, other opportunities beckon. Of course, even during improvements to the Lakelands Trail, the recently completed playground and basketball courts will be open and available for play.
Veteran’s Memorial Park in Stockbridge offers many opportunities for outdoor activity. There you can find: Tot play areas with sand boxes, two pavilions, two tennis courts, a marked pickleball court, skate park, swing sets, a playground for school-aged kids, a sand volleyball court, basketball courts, asphalt-paved circular trail, connection to the Community Pathways’ around town trail, a t-ball/coach-pitch baseball field, open fields for group sports, picnic tables and grills. This summer SAWC hopes to add an equipment box filled with sports items for free use in the park.
Our community schools offer a myriad of choices: In the area of the Heritage & Smith School campus, (for before & after school use), there are walking trails, a 9-hole disc golf course, a pavilion, 3 playgrounds, a small basketball court, soccer fields, 3 tracks (about 1/4 mile each), a sledding hill, outdoor adult exercise facilities, baseball & t-ball fields and open field space. On grounds surrounding the JR/SR High School there are nature trails leading to a pond or to Veteran’s Memorial Park, an asphalt track, football, soccer, baseball, and softball fields. There is also access to Beckwith Preserve & Community Pathways across the street from the Jr/Sr High School front parking lot.
Pictured is a bridge leading into the west side woods at Beckwith Preserve.
Gregory and Unadilla Township offer outdoor enticements as well. In downtown Gregory you will find an inviting trailhead to the Lakelands Trail that is friendly to horse riders, walkers and bikers. Unadilla Township Park, at the corner of Barnum and Hadley Roads, has a pavilion, a playground, an asphalt-paved trail around the park, and grills and picnic tables.
Things are happening in the Waterloo/Munith area as well to draw people outside and moving. The Munith Lions Club along with SAWC and the Waterloo Township Parks & Recreation Committee, plan to make improvements to the park in Munith, updating the basketball facilities, sprucing up the picnic tables & the pavilion, adding tot-friendly play items and a “little library.” (A volunteer work day is scheduled for April 22 at 4:30 p.m.—all invited!) In addition, Waterloo Township is putting in a walking trail around its facilities this spring.
Step outside and become a part of the burgeoning life of Michigan in spring.
Jo Mayer is the chair of the Stockbridge Area Wellness Coalition. Meetings are held the third Thursday each month at 5:30pm in the Stockbridge Activity Center, Room 108—come in door #20 in the back parking lot off Cherry Street. On Facebook at Stockbridge-Area Wellness Coalition. For maps of these and other trails, please stop by the Stockbridge Library or come to a SAWC meeting.