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Park adds amenities

April 6, 2012

A collaborative effort and collective vision among community partners has become a reality. The Antlers Walking Trail “Big People’s Park” is close to completion. The City of Antlers, in partnership with the Pushmataha County Turning Point Coalition, has successfully created an outdoor fitness facility to be enjoyed by all.

Funded by the Oklahoma Department of Tourism’s Recreational Trails Program, the walking trail (upon final completion) is handicap accessible, lighted, features a walking/biking path with enclosed fencing, restrooms, water fountain, park benches/rest areas, identification/educational signage, parking, trash receptacles, exercise enhancement equipment, pavilions, outdoor educational classroom components, planted trees, landscaping, kiosk tourism information and trail head entrance.

This project provides an environment in a central location within the community where individuals (citizens and visitors) can exercise and walk in a safe and healthy environment. This project will serve to promote healthy lifestyles, recreation and economic development by introducing and creating educational opportunities through nature, foliage, wildlife, vegetation, environment, culture (tribal and lifestyle), conservation, signage and exercise enhancement equipment.

The Walking Trail consist of a .6 mile, 8 foot wide, asphalt walking trail which circles two city blocks including a figure eight pattern loop in the middle. Big People’s Park unique features serves our community for the following purposes: Promote health and fitness by providing an enjoyable and safe place for bicycling, walking, jogging, outdoor recreation, removed from the hazards of motor vehicles, un-level surfaces, unlighted pathways, un-leashed animals and unsafe conditions; Contribute to economic development, community beautification and increase tourism; Educate trail visitors on the importance of the environment and promote local attractions; Meet community need for recreation facility to walk/bike/jog safely; Enhance existing recreation/tourism facilities due to location and informative signage; and Complement and Enhance existing park (Little People’s Park) system directly located across the street from project site.

A recently added feature of the park has incorporated Enhancement Exercise Equipment. Accessible exercise enhancement stations (wellness stations) located along the trail on an 11 X 11 concrete slab and under one of the three covered pavilions. Each of the Wellness Stations focuses on a primary body exercise and spotlights knowledge regarding a wellness benefits. They include a Lower Body Warm-Up Station (Osteoporosis), Bench Stepper Station (Tai Chi), Torso Stability Station, Upper Body Warm-Up Station (Posture/Safe Lifting), Standing Push-Up Station (Stress Reduction/Pain Management), Forearm Rolls Station (Yoga), Upper Body Stretch and Strengthen Station, (Exercise for Your Mind) and a Balance Station (Fall Prevention).

The Antlers Walking Trail ~ Big People’s Park offers a safe, easy and pleasant place for people of all ages to participate in physical activity. The 8 foot wide trail makes all routes accessible for individuals with disabilities. The level terrain of the walking trail facility provides grades rarely exceeding 5 percent - giving easy access and usage.

The figure eight trail pattern accommodates individuals with different abilities and expectations regarding traveling distance. Development of this trial creates an environment that will promote physical activity by way of walking, bicycling, and/or roller-blading. Our goal is to make positive public health impacts by land-use planning and trail development.

The trail is housed within walking distance of many local attractions and is adjacent to residential living. It is the hope of the City of Antlers and the Pushmataha County Turning Point Coalition that people from all “walks” will make use of its opportunity. Given the fact there is no charge to utilize this wonderful recreational facility, families need not worry about accessing the park due to financial restraints.

The enthusiasm for this project has been overwhelming throughout the community. Many private businesses and civic/non-profit organizations have obligated dollars toward park amenities and trail features. Community members overall are beginning to utilize the Big People’s Park for their personal use.

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