John R. Byrd, Director, Department of Recreation & Parks, 410-313-4640
David Greisman, Media Relations Specialist, Columbia Association, 410-423-4103
Jo Natale, Director of Media Relations, Wegmans, 585-429-3627
COLUMBIA, MD – Howard County Department of Recreation & Parks (HCRP), Columbia Association (CA) and Wegmans store in Columbia are teaming up to introduce Howard County’s Nature Quest and the Wegmans Passport to Family Wellness, an initiative to encourage usage of the county’s excellent trail network.
First developed by Wegmans in 2005, the Passport to Family Wellness is a pocket-sized booklet that guides participants through 16 trails in the county -- eight managed by HCRP and eight managed by CA. Participants record their progress by making a rubbing in their passport of a trail marker located at a designated point on each trail.
“Howard County has some of the best parks and trails in the country,” said Howard County Executive Ken Ulman. “With this passport, families can have some fun together on this nature quest, earn some great prizes and maybe even get a little healthier and fitter in the process. I appreciate the participation of Wegmans and the Columbia Association in this effort.”
"The expansive system of trails in Howard County is part of why this area is such a great place for those who live, work and play here," said Columbia Association President/CEO Milton W. Matthews. "We encourage people to get out, explore and be active, and the Nature Quest and the Wegmans Passport to Family Wellness will give them an excellent opportunity. I thank Howard County and Wegmans for their partnership in this initiative."
HCRP and CA will offer free giveaways to those who walk all eight of their respective trails. For those who walk six trails, Wegmans will offer a coupon for a free towards a Wegmans product. Participants who walk all 16 trails will be entered into a raffle for a $100 Wegmans Gift Card or a Gift Certificate from HCRP or CA.
“We’re committed to helping our neighbors and our own employees live healthier, better lives,” said Krystal Register, Wegmans Nutritionist based at the Columbia store. “It’s the reason we created this program, which is now a ‘passport’ for dozens of trails in many of the communities where we have stores. We hope it inspires friends and families to get moving right here on the beautiful trails in Howard County.”
The free Passports are available beginning Tuesday, July 1 at the following locations:
HCRP Headquarters, 7120 Oakland Mills Road, Columbia
Roger Carter Community Center, 3000 Milltowne Drive, Ellicott City
Gary J. Arthur Community Center, 2400 Route 97, Cooksville
North Laurel Community Center, 9411 Whiskey Bottom Road, Laurel
Robinson Nature Center, 6692 Cedar Lane, Columbia
Meadowbrook Athletic Complex, 5001 Meadowbrook Lane, Ellicott City
CA Headquarters, 10221 Wincopin Circle #100, Columbia
Wegmans, 8855 McGaw Road, Columbia.
July is Recreation & Parks Month and the Passport to Family Wellness kicks off this nationwide month of awareness to promote active lifestyles in parks and facilities here in Howard County. Throughout the month of July, HCRP will be offering several free events; to learn more about these events, visit www.howardcountymd.gov/recandparksmonth.
Wegmans Food Markets, Inc. is an 84-store supermarket chain with stores in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland, and Massachusetts. The family-owned company, founded in 1916, is recognized as an industry leader and innovator. Wegmans has been named one of the ‘100 Best Companies to Work For’ by FORTUNE magazine for 17 consecutive years. In 2014, Wegmans ranked #12 on the list.