Delaware On-Line — A public health campaign must persuade children and their parents to use Delaware’s expanding network of biking and walking trails in an effort to reduce childhood obesity, the secretary in charge of the state’s natural resources said Tuesday.
“We can be the first state in trails. We have a world-class trail network, and I would argue some of the best parks in the entire country,” said Collin O’Mara, secretary of the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control. “But unless you’re actually reaching out to folks and getting new users … there’s a lot of young families on our beaches. Not so many on our trails.”
O’Mara’s comments were part of a summit policymakers held to discuss progress made by Sussex Outdoors, a Nemours Foundation-supported effort to make outdoor recreation, particularly by children, more popular. The campaign’s supporters have urged lawmakers to appropriate money to build trails. The push succeeded this year, with $3.25 million set aside in the bond bill for trails in state parks and another $10 million for the Department of Transportation to develop trails that link neighborhoods and towns. That appropriation followed a $7 million set-aside in 2011. [Full article …]