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Walking through a legacy

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By DEANN BARRY

Marian had decided that she needed to get outdoors more and figured that walking outside would be good exercise. She had noticed from reading the newsletter, Senior Moments, that there was a walking group recently formed at the Lakes Area Senior Activity Center. They met at the Northland Arboretum on Tuesday mornings at 9 a.m. to walk; she decided to join them!

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Wearing comfortable shoes, mosquito spray and a light sweater, Marian headed out to the arb. When she arrived, she found several other walkers waiting to go out on the trails. Sam, from Arizona, was visiting his cousin, Betty, for a couple days, so he went into the arb and paid the $3 fee to walk the trails for the day. The rest of the group, were already members of the arb. They all headed off down the trail.

Betty and Sam were fast walkers, so they went ahead of Marian and Nancie. As they were walking, the views of the woods, ponds and glimpses of wildlife were breath taking! At one point, Marian and Nancie saw a doe and her fawn off in the distance feeding. In a pond along the trail, a family of Canadian geese was swimming! It looked like it was a lesson on feeding, as the young goslings were bottoms up more than they were down!

After walking for a couple of hours, Marian thought she was lost, but Nancie brought them back to the trail at the entrance of the arb. It had been a very enjoyable walk for both of them and they agreed to meet the following Tuesday. As she was getting ready to leave, Marian noticed that the arb was open so she went inside. The volunteer at the desk shared some history of the arb. Marian found out that the Northland Arboretum had been started by Rudy Hillig, a local horticulturalist, who had recently passed away. On her way home, Marian thought about the legacy that Rudy had left to the community through his vision at the arb. With that thought in mind, Marian knew that walking the next Tuesday was going to have more meaning to her.

The walking group from the center meets every Tuesday at 9 a.m., weather permitting, at the entrance to the arb. For information on other programs, events, or activities sponsored by the center, stop in at 803 Kingwood St., Brainerd, or call 829-9345.

DEANN BARRY is the Lakes Area Senior Activity Center director

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