A future vision spurred by students from Johnson & Wales University

Johnson & Whales studentsThe Healthy Parks, Healthy People program is a multi-year commitment by Cape Cod National Seashore and Cape Cod Healthcare.

To help plan the future, the two organizations have recruited Johnson & Wales University and its Directed Work Experience program. During the past winter and spring, students visited the National Seashore frequently, taking all five supervised hikes, meeting with staff of both organizations and developing elements of the program, including the Healthy Parks, Healthy People kick-off and year-end “party,” to which everyone who registered for walks this season and received their Healthy Parks, Healthy People PASSPORT is invited.

The Johnson & Wales team (future classes will be participating) has its own mission statement: “With a fresh, original and modern perspective, students are able to revitalize National Parks (including) Cape Cod National Seashore, and educate visitors, residents and employees on all things recreation, health and spirituality.”

The Johnson & Wales team envisions programs such as hike nights, seniors’ hikes and family hikes. They hope to work with Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts to combine hiking with maintaining the trails.

Among the student’s priorities: combining mind, body and soul. They are helping to develop moonlight walks with park rangers to identify nocturnal animals and their spiritual meaning; walks with doctors that include small exercises and breathing techniques and walks to places of “contemplation and recuperation” that can include activities like painting.

The students also will help with social media campaigns and even design contests for younger walkers who can submit drawings and designs for potential posters and bumper stickers celebrating Healthy Parks, Healthy People.

The inaugural Johnson & Wales team was led by Professor Kathy Drohan and included students Allie Anticuar, Dani Anticuar, Richard Blinkhorn, Michael El-Far, TJ Papp, Michael Pasquarella, Shawn Riendeau, Kelci Sarris and Emily Williams.