Looking for ways to keep your kids engaged and interested in physical activity? Parks and Recreation is offering Girls on the Run and Fitness Exploration for Homeschoolers this spring. There’s also a dog-friendly 5k run scheduled for January.
Girls on the Run
Girls on the Run is a physical activity-based, positive youth development program that inspires girls in third through fifth grades to be joyful, healthy and confident. The volunteer-led program brings together groups of 6-14 girls for a program that encourages personal development, team building and connection to the community. This season, Girls on the Run (third-fifth grades) will be offered at the Multi-Generational Center Tuesdays/Thursdays Feb. 8- May 4 from 4:30-6 p.m. The girls will participate in research-based lessons that use dynamic discussions and fun running games to teach life skills. The season will culminate in a 5k event on April 30 that brings together family, friends and community members to celebrate the girls’ growth throughout the season.
Due to the gracious donation from the Lost Dutchman Marathon Inc., the program fee is reduced, which includes program materials, T-shirt and the end-of-season final 5k registration fee. For more information about the program and to register, go to the Girls on the Run of Maricopa County website, www.gotrmc.org.
Fitness Exploration for Homeschoolers
Fitness Exploration for Homeschoolers is a fitness class that incorporates a variety of physical activities that will encourage homeschooled kids to live active lifestyles, build healthy habits, and learn team building. Activities will include but aren't limited to- games, sport introductions, strength training, coordination and cardiovascular exercises, and outdoor hikes. The possibilities for fitness fun are endless! Two sessions are available this spring; Tuesdays/Thursdays, Feb. 1- 24 and March 22-April 14, from 1-2 p.m.
Dogs are a big part of our families and they need exercise and love the outdoors as much as we do. So we’ve decided to change up our annual Fit Family 5k at Prospector Park to include our 4 legged family members! Bring your family and your pups to the Trails & Tails 5k on Jan. 22. The Parks and Recreation staff will be stationed in the desert, ready to cheer you on to the finish line. To enjoy the beautiful outdoor trails with your entire family and your pups, we are requiring pre-registration. Start waves will be in 10-minute increments between 8:30 a.m.-9:30 a.m., with limited numbers per wave. Registration will be open through Jan. 21. Please arrive no earlier than 15 minutes prior to your start time to check in. All pups must be well behaved and on leash at all time. Pups are not required to participate.
Paws and Claws Care Center (PCCC) will be joining us at the event. They will be collecting items such as cat litter, bleach, Dawn dish soap, canned dog and cat food, dog and cat treats and hard dog toys for strong chewers (such as Kong or Nylabone). PCCC provides services to the residents of Apache Junction such as adoptions, licensing, public outreach and education and many other services.
The Arizona Parks and Recreation Association’s “LeashUpCleanUp” campaign is a collaborative, statewide effort to encourage and remind people to keep their dogs on a leash and clean up after their pets. The campaign is meant to increase awareness about the impact dog waste has on the environment, health, and public safety as well as the importance of keeping your dog leashed in public spaces.
In Arizona, it’s the law that your dog needs to be on a leash when out in public unless you are in an off-leash dog park. No matter where you take your dog or how well trained they are, your dog is safer when on a leash and you are too. Ever think it’s no big deal if you don’t pick up your dog's poop? Imagine that there's one dog for every 10 people. In a town of 40,000 people, that's 4,000 dogs. Now imagine if none of those people picked up their dog's waste. That's 4,000 to 8,000 poops on the ground every day! Pack it in, Pack it out!
My Park = My Gym
This event is also the January “My Park = My Gym: Park2Park” fitness challenge route. Run, walk or dance “Your Way” to complete the 5k. Register for the Jan. 22 event or complete it on your own. Route will be marked Jan. 15-23. Join the challenge and learn how our parks can become your gym. Registration is open for this virtual program.
The fitness challenge highlights four different parks in our community with a different challenge at each park. The challenges are done on your own with some guidance along the way. Register your whole family and discover how you can turn our parks into your gym!
The first challenge was in November, but the trails outside the Multigenerational Center are open to anyone at any time. Use the map in the tracking booklet to assist in this challenge. The December site was at Silly Mountain Park. February is heart health awareness month. Get your heart pumping at Superstitions Shadows Park with the Heart Healthy Hustle. This challenge includes intervals of cardiovascular movement and strength exercises that anyone can do using the different equipment found at the park.
Registration is online, at www.apachejunctionaz.gov/parks, click on Activity Registration, or in person at the Multi-Generational Center, 1035 N. Idaho Road. Just $10 for the entire family! Receive your My Park = My Gym t-shirt at the end of the challenge.
Parks and Recreation would like to thank the Lost Dutchman Marathon for their support.
For more information on either of these programs or other programs and services, please contact the Parks and Recreation Department at 480-474-5240 or visit our website at www.apachejunctionaz.gov/parks.