Mindfulness Walk Presented with NACPRO Award

Stark Parks is proud to announce that the Mindfulness Walk at Petros Lake Park has been selected as a recipient of a 2020 National Association of County Parks and Recreation Officials (NACPRO) award in the Park and Rec Facility – Class I category. The annual NACPRO awards honor excellence in parks and recreation at the county, regional, and special district level throughout the nation. This Facility Award recognizes the Mindfulness Walk as having outstanding efforts in planning, design, and construction, as well as benefits to the Stark County community.

Flowering tree near the start of the Mindfulness Walk at Petros Lake Park.

When Stark Parks teamed up with Stark Mental Health & Addiction Recovery (StarkMHAR) at the beginning of 2019, no one from either agency could have predicted the state of the world as it is right now. These two groups set out to create and construct a nature trail that would promote relaxation, focus and awareness, reflection, and embracing the present moment. From the initial planning stages, Stark Parks and StarkMHAR agreed that this place, which they had named the Mindfulness Walk, would serve as a respite for those in the community to use as and when they needed it. The trail was officially opened to the public in June 2019, and has welcomed visitors from all walks of life to experience it. During a time where many individuals feel stress and anxiety creeping into their daily lives, the Mindfulness Walk has proven to be a simple yet powerful resource close-to-home for Stark County residents.

The Mindfulness Walk trail has created a space in Stark County designated for meditation, reflection, and overall self-care. Built in response to a stressful, technology-filled world, the Mindfulness Walk was designed to be a breathing space to help counteract mental health issues like anxiety, depression, and addiction. The project was also made possible through the work of Boy Scouts and many generous donations from local business owners.

While we encourage the use of this local resource to practice reflection, relaxation, and embracing the present moment, we ask that during this time, you do so safely. This includes avoiding touching shared surfaces or objects, and practicing social distancing with other users on the trail. While modifications may need to me made when visiting the Mindfulness Walk, we still believe you can have a valuable and relaxing experience by walking the trail and immersing yourself in the nature that surrounds it.

The Mindfulness Walk was also a selected as the 2019 Ohio Parks and Recreation Association (OPRA) Governor’s Award recipient in February.