WEATHERSFIELD, Vt. – Weathersfield Proctor Library has joined 45 other libraries in the state offering snowshoes to be checked out by their members. The library lends out snowshoes for kids to adults, with sizes to fit most. Staying active in the winter can be challenging without the proper gear. Offering snowshoes and poles at libraries are a way to give Vermonters a free option to get out and snowshoe, enabling them to enjoy the outdoors even in the cold months and get exercise for good health.
RiseVT is an organization working in Vermont communities to opportunities to embrace healthy lifestyles, spread the word, and offer resources to reduce barriers to making healthy choices. The Vermont Department of Health’s 3-4-50 initiative funded the snowshoes in several communities throughout the state. RiseVT, founded in Franklin and Grand Isle counties, has funded the snowshoes at all the libraries in those two counties. As RiseVT expands statewide, the RiseVT Amplify Grants provide mini-grants that help community groups start or sustain health and wellness initiatives. The grants are starting to fund snowshoes at libraries in other communities, including the ones now available at Weathersfield Proctor Library.
“The Weathersfield Proctor Library, working with the Weathersfield Parks and Recreation Commission and the town of Weathersfield, is creating programming that will encourage healthy lifestyles by making it easy for local citizens to get out and enjoy the outdoors,” remarks Mark Richardson, director at Weathersfield Proctor Library, “We are well located to offer snowshoes since the Weathersfield Town Forest and Ascutney State Park are within a mile from the library. Plus, residents can get park passes at the library too! We are really excited to have the support of RiseVT in our shared mission to make it easy for members of our community to be active, especially in the winter months when exercise opportunities might be limited by access to equipment.”
Alice Stewart, Windsor County program manager for RiseVT and a member of the Community Health Team for Mt. Ascutney Hospital and Health Center, is working across sectors in the towns of Windsor, West Windsor, Weathersfield, and Hartland to increase access and opportunities to be physically active and eat healthy foods. “RiseVT is very pleased to provide funding to Weathersfield Proctor Library for this project. Snowshoeing is a great winter activity that requires no special skills or training. It’s fun to do as a family or with a group of friends. This funding is part of our efforts at RiseVT to make it easy and affordable for people in our communities to find fun ways to be active year-round.”