Eat Smart, Move More NC Recipes for Success

July 19, 2009

How the worksite wellness committee at the Port of Wilmington created a walking trail for its employees.

Recipe Name:

Port of Wilmington Walking Trail

Ingredients:

Target audience

  • NC Ports Authority – Port of Wilmington (POW) employees

Partners involved

Resources needed for the project

  • Wellness Committee member time

Instructions:

The project

On November, 19, 2008, the Port of Wilmington (POW) Wellness Committee celebrated the grand opening of the POW Walking Trail, a one-mile walking trail located at the Port. The committee initially came up with the plan to create a walking trail during a brainstorming session at a meeting in late September 2008. They were aware of a partially wooded area on the Port’s grounds that a few employees used during their lunch break to walk. The committee targeted this existing area as the location for a more formalized walking trail. They created a defined path, mapped it, timed it and ensured that it met safety standards.

The POW Wellness Committee is made up of 12 members from a wide variety of departments at the Ports Authority. With the help of committee members from the Safety and Maintenance departments, the actual creation of the trail was quite simple. The Maintenance department measured the distance of the proposed trail, filled in holes with gravel, cut back brush and supplied signs. A part of the walking trail parallels railroad tracks and a committee member from the Safety department researched railroad safety regulations and ensured that they were in compliance.

Once the trail was complete the next step for the committee was to promote it to the employees and encourage them to start using it. The committee made an announcement at the quarterly staff meeting and supplied articles in the weekly employee newsletter about the grand opening of the POW Walking Trail. The kick-off event took place at noon on November 19, 2008. The frigid temperatures that day kept most of the walkers inside but a few were willing to brave the cold.

Basic steps to implementing the project

  • Relevance – The committee took on a project that was relevant to the Port employees. Employees were already using the existing part of the trail..
  • Team Work – Committee members from various departments worked collaboratively to complete the trail and make sure that it met safety standards.
  • Promotion – The committee used various means to announce the opening of the trail and continue to promote it to the employees at the Port.

Results:

The POW employees have access to a mapped walking trail that they can use to move more at work. The trail continues to be maintained and available to employees to use every day. The committee plans to promote and utilize the trail for wellness events, programs, and contests in the future.


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