Luzerne County, 08/26/2020: Do you want to learn more about Wilkes-Barre’s history, how to start a regular walking workout, and all the changes going on downtown? Y Walk Wednesdays is a series of free, guided, early evening walks on Wednesdays throughout the summer that feature public works, history, walking and health, nature and new development in downtown Wilkes-Barre.
The walks are coordinated by the Wilkes-Barre Family YMCA and are sponsored by Highmark and the Wilkes-Barre City Health Department. The purpose of the walks are to encourage people to get active outdoors. City Health Department funding came from the PA Department of Health’s Preventive Health and Health Services Block Grant.
“Usually we do these walks starting in early June, but because of the COVID-19 emergency they are later, and have a few changes. Even so, our experience is that people really want to be active outside and also learn a little,” said Jim Thomas, Executive Director, Wilkes-Barre Family YMCA. Y Walk Wednesdays are still a program that is free and open to the public, but walks will be limited to 24 walkers, who will have to pre-register. If walkers can’t keep 6 feet apart, they will also be asked to wear masks.
All walks begin at 5:00pm, leaving from outside the Wilkes-Barre Family YMCA, corner of South Franklin and West Northampton Streets. Walks are approximately 90 minutes long and are led by volunteer leaders. In case of heavy rain, the walk will be cancelled. To confirm a walk or for questions, call the Wilkes-Barre Family YMCA on a Wednesday between 4:00-4:30pm.
Schedules for the Walks are available to pick up at the YMCA, and at wbymca.org/schedules. Register at the Wilkes-Barre Family YMCA website, wbymca.org.
Sept. 2nd Keeping the Susquehanna Out of Our Living Rooms. The Wyoming Valley Flood Protection levee system works hard to keep the Susquehanna's waters where they belong: in the river. Walk Leader: Chris Belleman: Luzerne County Flood Protection Authority
Sept. 9th What’s New Downtown. Downtown Wilkes-Barre is resilient and adapting: COVID-19 is just one of many challenges downtown Wilkes-Barre is meeting. Join Larry Newman, the executive director of the Diamond City Partnership, Downtown Wilkes-Barre’s development organization to learn more about new developments.
Sept. 16th LCTA and the Murray Complex Project. Join the Luzerne County Transportation Authority in a walk to the Murray Complex, where LCTA plans to centralize bus and other services. Learn about other changes in LCTA service, and how LCTA is adapting to COVID-19. Walk Leader, Lee Horton, Luzerne County Transportation Authority
Sept. 23rd A Walk on the Wild Side: The Kirby Park Natural Area. Explore the natural and wild wonders of the park’s riparian forest, the wildlife that call it home, some history and the important role it plays as part of the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Walk Leader: Vinnie Cotrone, Riverfront Parks Committee
Sept. 30th Walking Your Way to a Healthier You. Learn about the many ways that regular activity like walking can improve your physical and mental health. This walk will also pass two iconic health landmarks in different styles: the Kirby Center, and the Highmark building. Walk Leader: Mary Price, Wilkes-Barre Family YMCA
Oct. 7th Wilkes-Barre WalkWorks. Join the Wilkes-Barre Family YMCA in walking the Wilkes-Barre WalkWorks route, noting key historic landmarks along the way, and learn more about this program. The route is a mapped 2.2-mile route around downtown and Wilkes-Barre’s addition to the statewide WalkWorks program. Walk Leader: Michele Schasberger, Wilkes-Barre Family YMCA
For more information, call the Wilkes-Barre Family YMCA, 570-823-2191, or visit www.wbymca.org or the Y’s Facebook page.