February 05, 2014

News Release

For Immediate Release

National walking advocate Mark Fenton highlights March 6 walking/biking events

Nationally known walking advocate Mark Fenton will highlight a day of walking and biking activities on and near The LINK Thursday, March 6, including:

Mark Fenton is a transportation, planning, and public health consultant, author, host of the PBS series America's Walking, and an active transportation advocate. An adjunct associate professor at Tufts University's Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, he combines a public health perspective with engineering expertise (BS and MS degrees from MIT) to provide innovative community level program, design, and policy solutions to create more pedestrian- bicycle- and transit-friendly settings. Fenton will share his insights about Springfield's progress in becoming more a bicycle- and pedestrian-friendly community.

"Mark Fenton is a leader in promoting community health and fitness and active lifestyles, and he's a great dynamic speaker," said Terry Whaley, Executive Director of Ozark Greenways. "Every time I've seen him, I've been ready to get up out of my chair and get moving before his presentation was finished."

The day begins with a 9 a.m. ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Talmage Trail, coordinated by Springfield Public Works at Doling Park, 301 E. Talmage St. Talmage Trail is the newest section of The LINK, an 8-mile north-south bicycle and walking route connecting Doling Park with Cox South. Talmage Trail is the northern 1/3-mile section of The LINK, connecting Kearney Street to Doling Park with a combination of on-street bike lanes, paths and off-street trails.

After the ribbon cutting, Fenton will join the local officials and the Healthy Living Alliance for a Mobile Summit, traveling the entire route of The LINK by bike and on foot. The Healthy Living Alliance is a network of more than 30 organizations working to encourage healthy, active living in Springfield. Ozark Greenways has been a key partner since the alliance was created in 2011. The Mobile Summit begins at 9:30 a.m. at Doling Park and follows The LINK to Boyd Elementary, Missouri State University's Plaster Student Union, Holland Elementary and ends at The Meyer Center, 3545 S. National Ave. A complete schedule is here: http://hlaspringfield.org/physical-activity/springfields-moving-mobile-summit/

Fenton's visit concludes with Ozark Greenways' 23rd Annual Membership Meeting, held at Hammons Heart Institute, 1325 E. Cherokee St. Social hour is from 6-7 p.m., including heavy appetizers, with a program to follow. Fenton will speak about his observations in Springfield and how it compares with other bicycle- and pedestrian-friendly cities.

All events are free and open to the public.

Since 1991, Ozark Greenways has been preserving greenway trails in and around Springfield for public recreation, health and alternative transportation. Today thousands of people of all ages, abilities and economic backgrounds use Ozark Greenways' 66+ miles of trails. It's typical to see entire families walking, biking or running together. Ozark Greenways is an active partner with Springfield Public Works' ongoing expansion of the city's on-street bike route network, including The LINK. Through Ozark Greenways' public-private partnership, Springfield has been designated a Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists until 2019.

Event contacts:
Terry Whaley, Executive Director, Ozark Greenways, (417) 864-2014, terry@ozarkgreenways.org
Angela Filbeck, Healthy Living Alliance, (417) 417-862-8962, ext. 2145, afilbeck@orymca.org
Cora Scott, Director of Public Information and Civic Engagement, City of Springfield, (417) 864-1009 cscott@springfieldmo.gov

Ozark Greenways–P.O. Box 50733–Springfield, MO 65805–(417) 864-2015–www.ozarkgreenways.org