WALKtober Encourages All Ages To Be Active

By Johnson County Public Library | | 9.30.20

This story from Indiana is SO inspiring! It all started with a librarian starting a conversation with local health officials! Big things can come from small conversations!

"The library and Partnership for a Healthier Johnson County unveiled WALKtober, an all-ages month-long campaign encouraging the community to be more active. Participants can sign up and log their activities for the chance to earn prizes. They can take part in specially designed walking challenges such as visiting a local walking trail, completing a scavenger hunt or taking a haunted tour. Those who complete at least three weekly activities earn a virtual badge and are eligible for prize drawings."

"Linda Kilbert, manager of the White River library branch, is also on the wellness team for Partnership for a Healthier Johnson County. The library’s staff wellness team had been holding an annual walking event every October, which has proven to be one of its most popular programs.

"I shared it with the (Partnership) wellness team, and they liked the idea. It’s a little different, but a similar idea: To motivate people to get outdoors to be a little more active and a little more healthy," Kilbert said.

To sign people up and track their walking, WALKtober uses Beanstack, an app the library uses for summer reading programs and other events. Starting on Monday and lasting through Nov. 1, participants can log the minutes of physical activities on the site. Organizers have also put together collections of weekly walking challenges to increase excitement in the program.

People can check out the new trail systems in downtown Greenwood, go on a Franklin scavenger hunt, walk to one of the murals in the county or look for wildlife around the lake at Johnson County Park.

"They’re weekly suggestions that they can mark off," said Erin Kirchhoff, virtual services manager for the library system. "We contributed ideas, such as visiting the #StoryWalk, visiting the trail system, visiting all the parks in the Johnson County area, taking tours. Every town and every area is represented."