Activity Groups and Volunteering with CVPRD

Welcome back to another blog post! As spring approaches, Columbia Valley Parks and Recreation Department is working on outdoor activities that can help improve your health, strengthen our community ties and are just plain fun! We’d like to start three different activity groups: one for walking, another for running, and one for photography. Whether you’re interested in volunteering and running an activity group, or simply interested in attending, we hope to start the conversation in this post. Of course, if you have any additional questions or comments, we encourage you to reach out!

Walking Group

A walking group would provide both social and physical benefits to residents. Research shows that walking regularly is incredibly positive for one’s health and well-being. Walking can improve blood pressure, heart rate, and fitness. Conditions such as depression, arthritis and dementia are a few of the health issues that can also be improved by walking.  And don’t forget the social benefits of walking in a group! Walking groups are great places to meet your neighbors, and since you’re walking, have a good chat and offer/receive support from friends and neighbors. An additional perk of walking is it requires no special equipment or skills, has little risk for injury, and can be done almost anytime and anywhere!

We think it would be a great idea to start walking groups in Columbia Valley. Now, what would that look like? Ideally there would be agreed upon meeting locations, dates and times. It would be great to have volunteer walking group leaders; a volunteer host would organize the dates and times, as well as encourage and support the walkers in the groups. 

Running Group

Like a walking group, a running group also provides both social and physical benefits to residents. People in the past have reported feeling intimidated about joining a running group, usually doubting their own abilities. However, most of these reports reveal that they have found incredibly supportive individuals who encouraged them to simply do their best. There have also been studies which show that running in a group helps individuals push themselves further than they would have alone. This helps a new runner realize they are stronger and more capable than they imagined. There’s also an increased feeling of accountability when an individual joins a running group. When you’re only running alone, it’s easy to de-prioritize your workout and let other responsibilities get in the way. However, when you have a set date and time for your run, it’s more likely you’ll prioritize it. 

As with the walking group, it would be ideal to have an agreed upon meeting location, dates, and time. Again, a volunteer host would be there to encourage, and support interested community members. Running with a group is a great way to receive and give social support to others while you all work towards personal fitness goals. Both walking and running groups would benefit from having volunteer group leaders who would coordinate the dates and times, and who would help support and encourage members in their efforts. Do we see some hands up?

Photography Group

Spring is coming! The skies will clear, and flowers will begin to bloom, wildlife will be foraging on all the fresh spring edibles and nature will be a-buzz. This sets the perfect scene for a gorgeous photo. A photography group provides a great incentive to explore new places and meet new people and take your art to a new level!

A photography group is also a great way to bond with friends and neighbors over a shared passion. It provides opportunities to share tips and tricks and learn from each other. Like the walking and running groups, volunteer hosts would do some planning ahead to determine a location, date, and time for each meeting. And a volunteer host would help the group by being available to support members of the group communicate and feel welcome. Joining a photography group is a great way to meet and connect with others with a shared passion and take some beautiful photos! 

Interested in volunteering? Use this google form to let us know who you are, which group you’re interested in hosting, and your availability! 

Additional Resources

Join a Walking Group to Improve Your Health!

Want to Go Faster or Farther? Join a Running Group

5 Benefits of Joining a Local Photography Group

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