Proposed trail near Banner-UMC hopes to bridge gap between healthcare, nature

Published: Apr. 24, 2016 at 3:35 PM MST|Updated: Apr. 25, 2016 at 2:36 PM MST
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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Sunday, April 24, was National Park Service Rx Day. It is a day to help bridge the gap between healthcare and nature. In celebration of the day, several organizations announced a proposed walking trail.

The Tucson Heritage Parkway and Health Trail could be the newest addition to the neighborhood next to Banner-University Medical Center. Doctors would not only prescribe medication to patients who are dealing with physical or mental ailments, but also give them an opportunity to get outside and walk.

"Walking is probably one of the best long-term exercises out there and possibly strength training. The two together are the best health prescription I could possibly write," said Dr. Richard Wahl, director of Adolescent Medicine at the University of Arizona.

The trail won't just be for patients at Banner-UMC. Anyone will be able enjoy a stroll on the 1.7-mile loop.

Joan Daniels is the president of the Jefferson Park Neighborhood Association and came up with the idea of creating the trail. She said her neighbors are very deserving of the park.

"We have little pockets but nothing as connected, so that is the deal to connect everything so that we can get from one place to another without getting hit by a car," she said.

Part of the trail also features bits of history about the area. Daniels said walkers will have a chance to learn about post-WWII times, a polo village, and even homesteads that were here more than 100 years ago.

Several organizations are applying for a $700,000 grant to help fund the trail.

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