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May 6, 2012

Spreading the word about recreation

(Continued)

All these visions have greater importance than to just kayakers and spectators. They are designed to allow us to get outside and enjoy some fresh air.

The outdoors is a great way to reduce stress and increase healthfulness. Unfortunately, we as a nation are becoming increasingly sedentary, and instead rely on medical technology to keep our tickers ticking. We see the symptoms of our lifestyles in the dramatic rate of obesity and the increase in diabetes. These diseases are beyond epidemic proportions and are increasingly burdening our already stretched and costly health care system.

A modest investment in recreation will pay great dividends. We all have a stake in those outcomes. Our children have an even greater stake.

This opportunity is so significant for our region's sustainability that we should not rely on the energies of a few devoted individuals. Now is the time for us to connect these ideas, as we connect the various trails. Our entire county will benefit and should participate.

We have youth programs at the Crete Center, health programs at the town and county, sports programs and programs at our schools, our hospital, our local Y and our assisted-living homes. Yet, we don't have an entity that helps coordinate all these efforts.

The consolidation of a recreation vision can mean we don't have trails here or there, but rather a network of trails that join.

We don't even need more money. If we pooled the money already invested, and allowed people in all different areas to focus on one type of activity, we can harness our energies more effectively.

Meanwhile, we would be able to market these shining lights so more could benefit. Did you already know about all these resources? Did you know about the problems of a sedentary lifestyle in Clinton County? Do you read often about opportunities, not within an hour's drive, but right here in the Lake City?

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