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By Jessica Jaffry
4-H Youth Development Program Coordinator, University of Illinois Extension
Visitors to Jerseyville’s Wock Lake in the last month, may have noticed colorful yard signs with nutrition, food safety, mindfulness, and physical activity information. These signs were part of a successful four-week youth walking program entitled, “Walk Wock Lake.” This program was developed in collaboration with University of Illinois Extension, JCH Wellness Center, Jerseyville Parks and Recreation, and Jerseyville Public Library.
The program was held Tuesdays from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. throughout the month of May, and each session started with stretching led by Jen Lyles with JCH Wellness Center. After stretching, participants engaged in various weekly lessons on the importance of different types of exercise, ways to stay hydrated, measuring heart rate, and making healthy snacks for exercise. Participants also engaged in yoga lessons led by JCH Wellness Center and 4-H parent Tiffany Blasa.
The nutrition and physical activity lessons were led by Lisa Peterson, Extension nutrition and wellness educator, and Jessica Jaffry, Jersey County 4-H program coordinator.
Post lessons, youth, and a few family members took part in a stroll around Wock Lake, reading the signs and participating in the activities. The last session also included fun yard games to celebrate their success by Jerseyville Public Library.
“We are incredibly grateful to work with JCH Wellness Center, Jerseyville Parks and Recreation, and Jerseyville Public Library, who all played key roles in making this program a success and helping improve the health of the families in Jersey County,” Lisa Peterson, Extension nutrition and wellness educator explained.
The overall goal of the program was to increase physical activity in youth and knowledge on nutrition, mindfulness, and physical health. Twenty-six youth and adults participated in the program. 100% of the participants in the program and those who have visited Wock Lake plan to come walk Wock Lake again in the future. The top two most helpful signs indicated by visitors to Wock Lake have been the nutrition and hydration signs followed by the mental and emotional health information.
Haven’t been out to Wock Lake yet to see the signs? They will be on display through the end of June. Head out to the lake with the family to learn fun wellness tips and try some of the activities.
ABOUT EXTENSION: Illinois Extension leads public outreach for University of Illinois by translating research into action plans that allow Illinois families, businesses, and community leaders to solve problems, make informed decisions, and adapt to changes and opportunities.