Encourage Outdoor Activity At Local Parks And Trails
The Hunterdon County Board of Commissioners, led by Director Susan J. Soloway, has announced the kick-off of the Hunterdon Outdoor Parks Exploration (H.O.P.E.) Program on May 1st at 10 AM, in Echo Hill Park, located at 41 Lilac Drive in Flemington, and invites families, couples and adults of all ages to participate by exploring seventeen county parks to enjoy the great outdoors and earn a challenge coin.
Director Soloway who will be joined by Commissioner Zachary T. Rich at the kick-off stated, “This past year has been very challenging for all of us and much of that time has been spent inside our homes, greatly limiting our time outside in parks and trails, something Hunterdon County has an abundance of. The H.O.P.E. program was designed to encourage and reintroduce the public to the county’s beautiful parks and to help younger generations appreciate the treasure of nature, while participating in a fun scavenger hunt to earn a beautiful challenge coin."
The program comes with a booklet that has a turtle and each ‘scale’ on the turtle’s back represents one of the seventeen parks needed to earn the coin. The H.O.P.E. booklet contains maps, meditations, exercises, challenges and/or a historic fact about each park.
Parks & Recreation Division Head, Dan Bush, said, “The H.O.P.E. program invites all ages to come back to the county’s parks. Each park has something different every visitor can appreciate; there are hiking trails in some of the parks, hills, fields, and ponds in others, truly something for everyone. The staff and I hope that everyone who visits the parks creates a lasting memory with their family or friends and that children have fun earning the Challenge Coins.”
The booklet and maps for each park and trail are located on the Hunterdon County website and available to print from home or if a home printer is not available, printed booklets can be picked up from the Parks & Recreation Arboretum on Route 31 in Lebanon (Clinton Township).
Commissioner Rich joined Director Soloway in encouraging residents to join in the H.O.P.E. program stating, “As a parent of three kids, I know how hard it has been to have so much of what we normally do changed or put on hold. My family and I are looking forward to returning to being outside and socializing as much as we can, safely, to create those healthy habits and enjoy the beautiful scenery in our county’s parks.”
Director Soloway concluded, “Each park listed in the booklet contains the story behind it such as how a bridge helped to name a town or why building a barn on a hill is beneficial. We hope all who participate will enjoy learning more about Hunterdon County’s parks and their history.”
There are no limits to how many challenge coins participants may earn and the program will run year-round. Visitors to each park are encouraged to take a photo showcasing a different item located within the park and posting the photo on social media with a hashtag (#) or @HunterdonCountyParks, (no photos of minors please).
For booklet and maps information, visit H.O.P.E. on the county’s website or call 908-782-1158 weekdays.