Walk to win…$10K at stake for Parks & Rec

MARQUETTE, Mich. – A “healthy” competition between Kalamazoo, Marquette, and GrandTraverseCounty to see who can log the most physical activity is in full swing! The Blues’ Community Challenge—a community wellness competition, sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan—encourages individuals of all ages to commit to improving their health by getting active.

And prize money is on the line! Blue Cross Blue Shield will distribute a total of $24,000 between the three Challenge communities, with the largest amount, $10,000, being awarded to the community that takes first place. The money must be spent on a recreational program or project that enhances public health and wellness. In Marquette, Parks and Recreation staff will be providing a list of projects to the City Commission for consideration.

“What better way to focus on wellness than with a little friendly competition,” said Karl Zueger, community service director for the City of Marquette. “The City of Marquette is known for its active population with residents enjoying the vast park system and open spaces during all seasons. Logging over 4500 miles and only half way through the competition, the 2013 MI Big Green Gym – Blues Community Challenge has allowed our residents to clearly demonstrate to the State how important wellness is to this community.“

The challenge officially began April 27 and ends June 22, 2013, but Marquette residents and visitors can still join regardless of age or abilities. Participants will keep track of their physical activity by logging miles of exercise. The winner will be determined by the total number of logged miles in each community. Follow these steps to join Team Marquette:

  1. Log on to www.walkingworks.com and click “SIGN UP”
  2. For your plan, select “Michigan Blue Cross and Blue Shield
  3. For your group, select  “2013 MI Big Green Gym – Blues Community Challenge
  4. Select “Team Marquette” under the team list
  5. Log your daily activity on the website through June 22 to help your team win

“Regardless of the outcome, this has been a rewarding experience for our community,” Zueger said. “The City of Marquette appreciates all the work that the Michigan Recreation and Parks Association and Michigan Blue Cross and Blue Shield has put into bringing our three communities together. I cannot wait to see the final outcome but more importantly it has been gratifying to see our community come together and focus on just being active!”

The City of Kalamazoo, Marquette and GrandTraverseCounties were invited to compete by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. The event is designed to promote overall well-being and healthy lifestyles through use of parks and recreation facilities. Visit www.mrpaonline.org/Programs/MI-Big-Green-Gym for a list of ways to stay active outdoors and events to attend in your community.