Walking returns to the Farmington Farmers Market this season, under the guidance of three volunteers who have logged plenty of miles around the community.
Sandy Boland and her friends Suzanne Clinton and Polly Varhol will lead the new Walkabouts Farmers Market Walking Club, coordinated with Americorps and Beaumont Health. Walkers will meet at the information tent for the 10 a.m. tours.
“I just love walking around Farmington, and Suzanne and Polly know a lot about Farmington history,” Boland said. “This is what the market is all about, healthy food and healthy living.”
Walking and history
The team has developed half a dozen routes that range from one to one-and-a-half miles. Boland said each will include two Farmington landmarks.
On opening day, walkers will see a Civil War-era home, built in 1863, and learn more about Heeney-Sundquist Funeral Home, which opened in 1850 as Michigan’s first funeral service provider. Future stops will include Oakwood Cemetery, the downtown Farmington library, Farmington City Hall, and the Quaker Cemetery.
The goal for the season is to complete 24 miles. Walkers who sign in and record their progress will receive incentives for completing each 8-mile leg of the journey.
‘A more concentrated effort’
Boland said guest walkers will also make each event more interesting. First up is Farmington Mayor Sara Bowman, who was part of a previous attempt to get a regular fit walk going.
“It was tough to get people to lead,” she said. “This is a more concentrated effort to put it out there so people know they can rely on it.”
The walks, Bowman said, are not just about getting fit, but also camaraderie and building community. It’s another opportunity for people to gather, a Farmington tradition.
“It’s been a long winter and tough on families. We’ve missed a lot,” she said. “Having the Farmers Market, it’s a community event where we get to see our friends and neighbors.”
How to get involved
To join the opening day walkers, just show up at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 8, at the information booth. The Farmington Farmers Market is open Saturdays, May through October, at the Walter Sundquist Farmington Pavilion and Riley Park in downtown Farmington.