“Parks and trails are havens for positive mental health,” said Community Services Director, Tina Fleming in a statement. “We’re honored to be asked by Strong4Life to have our Gwinnett Trails selected to showcase this one-of-a-kind resource. It’s helping us meet our mission of supporting a community where everyone thrives.”
Signage has been placed in Little Mulberry Park in Dacula, Lenora Park in Snellville, Shorty Howell Park in Duluth and Mountain Park Park in Lilburn with language like “calm your mind” and “let’s get talking.”
Introductory signs explaining the project can be found at park entrances, while a series of “Raising Resilience stations” have been installed along trails featuring QR codes linking visitors to videos of deep-breathing exercises, guided imagery and more.
The four strategically designated parks were chosen based on the Centers for Disease Control’s Social Vulnerability Index map. Circuits were given priority based on likelihood of social impact, diversity in demographics, geography, activity and pre-existing park conditions.
“These parks have multiple amenities,” said Lindsey Jorstad Deputy Department Director, Gwinnett Community Services. “In addition to the trails on site, they have recreation centers, gymnasiums, activity buildings, ballfields and playgrounds.”
The idea behind the program is to encourage these mental health and wellness skills through everyday activities so they become a habit before crisis strikes.
“Kids aren’t born knowing how to cope,” added Baumstein. “These are skills we have to teach them and continue to practice as they get older. We want to help families know it can be done in every day small moments.”
Details about Raising Resilience: www.strong4life.com/en/emotional-wellness/raising-resilience.