Newswise — Crawfordville - UF/IFAS Extension invites the community to Walk Across Wakulla from January 11 to March 11, 2021. Over two months, local residents have the opportunity to set a goal to walk 32 or more miles.  The 32 mile goal represents the distance from the Franklin to Jefferson county lines on Highway 98.  To complete the walking goal, youth and families can choose to walk at a park, on a trail, or in your neighborhood.

Members of the Wakulla 4-H Healthy Living Walking Club led by Club Leader Quincee Messersmith have already accepted the challenge.   No need to be a 4-H member to participate. The whole community is invited to participate and the challenge is open to residents of any age. To register, click on the Walk Across Wakulla link or visit the UF/IFAS Extension site: http://blogs.ifas.ufl.edu/wakullaco/2021/01/11/walk-across-wakulla-with-uf-ifas-extension/

The Walk Across Wakulla program concludes on March 11, 2021.  March 11 is the anniversary of Wakulla County’s 1843 founding. In place of the annual Wakulla Wonderful county founding birthday party, postponed until 2022 due to COVID precautions, time spent walking across the county will be part of how Wakulla celebrates the community’s birthday this year.  UF/IFAS Extension invites everyone to get outside and enjoy beautiful Wakulla County!  4-H agent Rachel Pienta says, “If you are a very ambitious walker you could walk a mile to represent every year since Wakulla’s founding!”

For those participants who choose to walk as a group with non-family members, please follow current UF/IFAS safety guidelines in place to help maintain your health and safety: wear a mask and keep a six-foot distance between yourself and other walkers.

Adult and youth participants may choose to keep a log to record their miles.  Youth participants also have the opportunity to color a walking shoe for each mile walked. Completed shoes will be displayed in the UF/IFAS Wakulla Extension facility arena after March 11, 2021.  Shoe coloring pages are available at the Extension office at 84 Cedar Avenue in Crawfordville or can be received electronically or by postal service by request. Email [email protected] to receive your coloring pages.

Special thanks to local youth artist Hannah Vossler.  Hannah created the original artwork for the walking shoe coloring page.

The first 50 youth to complete 32 miles and submit 32 colored shoes will receive a t-shirt from the Wakulla County Farm Bureau and be eligible for a few other fun surprises.

The Walk Across Wakulla is a local pilot program in 2021.  Extension faculty are working in partnership with the Monday Campaigns, a public health initiative associated with Johns Hopkins, Columbia, and Syracuse Universities. The group promotes sustainable behavioral change by dedicating every Monday to health. Research shows that starting the week with a healthy habit may continue throughout the week.  https://www.mondaycampaigns.org/research

Be on the lookout on Wakulla Extension’s social media channels for motivating messages every Monday through the beginning of March. In partnership with the Monday Campaigns, the Wakulla Extension team will be encouraging the community to start their week walking on every “Move It Monday!”

For more information about Walk Across Wakulla, please contact the Wakulla Extension Office at 850-926-3931 or email Samantha Kennedy at [email protected] or Rachel Pienta at [email protected].

For partnership requests with Move It Monday, please email Meghan Crowley at [email protected]