On top of being a recreational getaway and haven for wildlife, Kivi Park can now call itself an outdoor classroom.
Ramakko’s Source for Adventure and Atlas Snowshoes donated 40 brand new pairs of #snowshoes to Kivi Park this winter so local kids could experience their fabulous #snowshoeing trails. The park started a snowshoe-lending program for schools, to get kids outdoors and into the fresh air.
James Moody of the Sudbury Star reported in February 2016 that the new park near Long Lake is inviting Sudbury schools to sign up for its Get Healthy, Get Active program, which covers transportation costs and outfits kids with snowshoes for a day of fresh air and exercise in the woods.
“It’s to get the schools back out, to get the kids active and encourage healthy living,” said Melissa Sheridan, a member of the Kivi Park development team. “Nowadays the majority of schools don’t have snowshoes because of budget cuts, so the kids don’t partake in that because of the lack of equipment.”
Sheridan said any school board wishing to participate is welcome to register for a snowshoe day at the park.
Staff from the park greet the school groups when they arrive, she said, and ensure each kid gets a pair of suitable snowshoes. The park also boasts outdoor rinks, and larger groups may wish to break the day into a half-day of skating and half-day of snowshoeing, she noted.
Ramakko’s provided 40 pairs of premium Atlas snowshoes, in a couple of different lengths suitable for youth. “They’re lightweight and easy to use,” said Juliana Weaver, a manager at Ramakko’s.
A parent herself, with kids in Grades 5 and 7, Weaver said she appreciates how important outdoor experiences are for kids, as well as how tricky they can be to finance through the school system.
“I know there’s only so much money that can be spread out for field trips, even if parents are pitching in for whatever the amount is,” she said. “So it’s great when something is as easy as this.”
She said a snowshoeing program at her children’s school was cancelled a couple of years ago and it’s a loss a number of families have felt.
“It does make me excited that kids in our geographical area will be able to get out snowshoeing again,” she said.
Kivi Park reported that the program was completely oversubscribed within 48 hours. “Amazing program for an incredible cause! Our children, our students, our teachers and our schools need and want this type of outdoor active program. Thank you Atlas Snow-Shoe Company and Ramakko’s Source for Adventure for making it possible Kivi Park!